ELLICOTTVILLE - Mary Catherine "Kay" Stokes, 91, devoted daughter of the late Timothy and Beatrice Hart Stokes, passed away Thursday (Nov. 22, 2012). She was born Aug. 25, 1921.
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Kay was a parishioner at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church in Ellicottville, where she daily attended mass in the church built by her grandfather. She served as secretary for a brief time at her parish and could be relied upon to assist in the counting of collections. Kay volunteered her time for Meals on Wheels well into her late 80s.
Kay was a graduate of Ellicottville High School, class of 1939. She was a woman well before her time and briefly attended Ohio State University and Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.
She worked for the Cattaraugus County Draft Board in Ellicottville, the Veteran's Administration in Olean and Cattaraugus County Cutlery in Little Valley. She retired as deputy auditor for Cattaraugus County.
Kay was fiercely independent and lived all 91 years of her life at her family homestead in Ellicottville until the time of her death. She raised countless Golden Retrievers, including several Barneys, a Phoenix and her surviving pooch, Tabitha, whom she continued to take responsibility for in spite of the fact she no longer lived with her.
In addition to her brother Paul, her nephew Jiggs saw her daily and was a trusted caretaker, without whom she wouldn't have been able to maintain her independence.
While Kay would have been the last person to ever boast of her contributions to her community and family, she regularly went above and beyond, helping those less fortunate with her generosity. She never sought acknowledgment and would have shunned it, but her life story would not be complete without recognizing her unselfish and unheralded love, which she demonstrated not only in words, but, more importantly, in the actions she carried out day after day.
Kay is survived by her brother, Paul (Margaret) Stokes; her sister-in-law, Lois Stokes; 18 nieces and nephews; and many grand- and great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Gerald Stokes; and her sister, Gayle (Kenneth) Junker.
Friends may call at the O'Rourke Funeral Home, 411 Rock City St., Little Valley, on Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday (Nov. 26, 2012) at 11 a.m. at the Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church in Ellicottville. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Ellicottville.
Memorials may be made to a
Published in The Olean Times Herald on Nov. 26, 2012