Kathryne (Kay) Helen Phelps was born in Van Nuys, California, on May 1, 1926 to Ernest Seward and Ethel Mae Huckman Phelps. She passed away on Friday, May 23, 2014 at her residence with her daughters by her side. She was 88 years old. She was preceded in death by her husband (O.B.) Odber Bliss Watson, her parents Ernest Seward and Ethel Mae Huckman Phelps and her three brothers Robert, Elbert and Wilbur Phelps.
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Kay attended high school in Oxnard, California, in the 1940's. After graduating from high school her family moved to Port Hueneme, California, where she lived until 1946. There she met and married O.B. Watson. They were married on April 15, 1946. They were married sixty years.
After O. B's discharge from the U.S. Navy they moved to Fairbury, Nebraska. There he finished college and became a teacher. Between 1947 and 1952 four daughters were born to them. In 1954 the family moved to Hanford, California. Dad taught at Hanford High for about 20 years.
The family was active in the Hanford First Presbyterian Church where mom served as a Deacon. No matter where she lived, whether in Hanford, San Jose or in Deming, New Mexico, she was involved in both church and civic affairs. While living in Hanford she was active in the Presbyterian Women's Circle where she served in various capacities, including as its president. She taught Sunday school and Bible school and worked with the senior high youth group. She had a lovely alto voice and sang in the Presbyterian Church choir for many years and in the Hanford Community choir when they sang the Messiah at Christmas. She loved the Hymns of the church and sang at least one hymn each night after she had read her Bible.
She loved being a mom. We could count on her being home when we arrived home from school each day. Her hands were never idle. Mom served on the Jefferson School P.T.A. board in various positions and as their president for 2 years. She enjoyed sewing, needle point, knitting and painting scenery. She was also an avid reader. Later in life she helped sew quilt blocks to put into my sister's quilts.
In 2005 she joined Curves and became the oldest member in Hanford. She enjoyed the companionship of the women offering encouraging words, and high fives to everyone. She worked out three times a week until her health would not permit it.
She is survived by her four daughters, Kathleen Gill of Hanford, Melissa Watson of Tulare, Paula Anderson and her husband Lloyd Bruce Anderson of Arizona, and Phoebe Watson of Hanford. She was the proud grandmother of four grandsons Anthony Gill of Hanford, Joseph and his wife Kim Gill of Virginia, Mathew and his wife Debbie Gill of Maryland and Donald and his wife Adrea Gill of Washington. She adored her eight great-grandchildren, Jordan, Joshua and Alex Gill of Washington; Laura and James Gill of Virginia; and Chelsea, Colleen, and Cassidy Gill of Maryland.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held Friday, May 30, 2014 at 10 a.m. in the First Christian Church, 505 W. Cameron St. in Hanford.
Remembrances may be made to American Friends Service, 1501 Cheery St. Philadelphia, Pa. 19102-1403.
Family and Friends may visit www.peoplesfuneralchapel.com to send condolences to the family.
Published in The Hanford Sentinel on May 29, 2014