Mary Kathleen Smith Lindy
Mary Kathleen Smith Lindy died on April 23 of Alzheimers disease, which she lived with for thirteen years. Kay was born in 1932 to James and Mary Biser Aspel in Madison, Wisconsin.
She was the middle of five children and attended St. Bernard Elementary School and Edgewood High School, where she graduated at 17. She completed her nursing degree at St. Mary's School of Nursing in Rochester, Minnesota where the students were educated by The Sisters of St. Francis and trained at the Mayo Clinic. In addition to an excellent education at St. Mary's, Kay made lifelong friends, with whom she shared a love of science, some good trouble, and the compassion of their Catholic faith, a faith she lived by throughout her life.
Kay returned to Madison to the Veteran's Hospital where she met Wayne Smith, a tuberculosis patient given only a few months to live. The rebel in Kay, together with her faith, dismissed this diagnosis and she and Wayne were happily married for twenty-five years before he died in 1979. They moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1960, where they reared seven children. Kay continued her nursing career at Doctor's Hospital in Phoenix and Scottsdale Memorial Hospital, where she was a staff nurse, supervisor, head nurse and the nursing manager of the Emergency Department eventually being promoted to the Ambulatory Division Director. She also continued her education in hospital administration at the University of Phoenix. She constructed a model for a "mobile emergency unit," which ultimately became the foundation for ambulatory services in the Valley, the standard of practice for expanded services which continues today. Kay did her thesis on the 10 hour work day , which she implemented for the emergency room staff. This supported a better work-life balance, employment satisfaction and increased productivity, and most importantly to Kay, resulted in a higher quality of care for the patients. Kay lived in Scottsdale for over fifty years.
Kay's last formal position was with the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation. For several years she travelled around the country and internationally as an Emergency Room Consultant and surveyor. Kay was joined in her travels by Raymond Lindy, whom she married in 1980. They had a very happy full fifteen years before Ray died unexpectedly. In addition to grandparenting eighteen grandkids, they volunteered with New Song, an organization for bereaved children.
In 'retirement' Kay's volunteer activities are too numerous to list, but among the range of roles she served in was as a Eucharistic minister and dockworker at St. Mary's food bank, she also worked weekly at Mission of Mercy. She was very active in her community at The Lakes in Tempe.
She loved to bowl, bike, rollerblade, dance, play mahjong, take her grandkids on adventures and grow roses. She spent the last seven years of her life with her companion Tom Mayer, whom she met at church.
She is also predeceased by her parents, her sister Peggy Aspel Whitbeck and a brother, James Aspel.
She is survived by seven children: Kathy Hoffman (Jim); Mike Smith (Debbie); Gigi Sloss (Henry); Tim Smith (Sarah); Pati Vester (Charlie); Dan Smith (Susan); Andy Smith (Diana); eighteen grandchildren, and fifteen great-grandchildren. She is survived by her brother Dr. Thomas Aspel of California and her sister Pat Clark of Wisconsin. She is also survived by many cousins, nieces, and nephews and a world of friends. She will be deeply missed and her generous spirit, bravery and compassion will remain an inspiration to us all.
A funeral mass will be held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, May 5th, 10:30 AM.
In lieu of flowers, donations are being made to:
"Mary Kathleen Smith Lindy Scholarship" to support scholarships for Native American nursing students at Northland Pioneer College. Please send checks made out to NPC Friends and Family, 1611 S. Main St., Snowflake, AZ 85937. Include, "Mary Kathleen Smith Lindy Scholarship" on the memo line. You may also donate via PayPal at www.npcfriendsfamily.org
Edgewood High School, Madison, Wisconsin. (Mary Kathleen Aspel Smith scholarship fund)