A. Kathleen "Kathy" Gray-Warren, 76, died Oct. 10, 2010, from Alzheimer's at home, where she was cared for throughout the illness by her sons and daughters, grandchildren and friends over the past six years.
A brief service will be at 3 p.m. Thursday at Bean's Cafe, followed at 5 p.m. by a celebration of her love of people, her love of dance and food and wine at the Historic Anchorage Hotel, 330 E St.
Born in Glen Cove, Long Island, N.Y., Alice Kathleen Woods was the chauffeur's daughter on the estate of financier J.P. Morgan until her family moved to California and bought a ranch in the greater Sacramento area.
After working in vocations ranging from secretarial work to cooking to driving logging trucks, she moved to Alaska in early winter 1965 in a Jeep International with four children and everything she owned. She often said that the only reason she stayed was that there was no money to leave. Later she often said that the move to Alaska was the best thing that could have happened to her. It was the land of opportunity.
She worked eight years as the executive assistant to the director of McLaughlin Youth Center while getting her degree in criminology at night at UAA and raising four kids as a single mom. At age 42, Kathy took her oral boards to begin the career that would be her greatest joy, as a patrol officer for 18-plus years at the Anchorage Police Department. Her years of service on the street, and later in the warrants division, led her to volunteer more than 20 years as a board member and sometime acting director of many nonprofit agencies serving the needs of the less fortunate: Bean's Cafe, Victims for Justice, STAR and United Way, to name a few.
Salmon feared her; blueberries and currants trembled on the vine as she approached. As she was Irish, her temper was followed with laughter and she loved to dance. Her travels with her friend Esther Wunnicke took them around the globe.
Officer Gray-Warren is survived by her children, Kathleen Matthews, Marti and Bruce Deruelle, David Kasser, and Brian and Danielle Warren; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
One son and her husband, William Kasser and Kenneth Warren, preceded her in death.
Published in Anchorage Daily News from Oct. 12 to Oct. 13, 2010.