On October 2, 2021, Kathryn "Kay" Ruth Williamson, 86, joined her twin sister, Phyllis, for a heavenly reunion. She passed away peacefully after a brief stay at Peace Hospice.
Kay was born on January 24, 1935, in Tonganoxie, Kansas, just in time to coax Phylly to come join her for a lifetime of adventures. They completed Oral and Ruth's beautiful family of two sons and three daughters. The family moved to Portales, New Mexico when Kay was just 2 years old because Oral joined the faculty of Eastern New Mexico College. After his untimely death at age 47, everyone pitched in to help with chores and finances.
Kay (and Phyllis) graduated from high school in Portales, one of several sets of twins in that class. She then moved to Montana in 1955 to be near her oldest brother, and attended Montana State College (later 'University'), graduating in 1958 with a degree in nursing. She was joined in 1965 by her beloved twin, who accepted the position of Supervisor of Library/Media Services for the Great Falls Public Schools. They purchased a home on Doris Drive in 1970 when Mother Ruth came to live with them for 2 years. Kay proudly lived in her beautiful home until she passed away on October 2, 2021.
Kay began her 35-year nursing career working at Montana Deaconess Hospital. Working with Dr. John Curtis, they established the Heart Diagnostic Center for Children, the first pediatric cardiology unit in Montana. Following her tenure at the hospital, she worked for Montana State-COT training LPN students.
When Kay wasn't working, she and Phylly enjoyed spending time at their cabin near Monarch in the Belt Mountains, at their condo in Big Sky, and traveling around the world. They took their mother to Germany in '68 for a month-long adventure. Canada was a preferred destination. The twins were avid supporters of their dear friend, Lynn Compton, traveling to softball games and tournaments around the state, volunteering at the Peak, and enjoying numerous adventures in the mountains, at the beach, and in their motorhome. Together, they traveled to Austria, The Bahamas, Mazatlan, Banff, and several stops along the beaches of the East Coast.
After Phyllis' passing in 2012, Kay maintained her independence and continued to dote on their cherished Lhasa Apso, Tweed. He joined Kay just days after her passing.
Kay was actively involved in the American Heart Association
for years. She enthusiastically walked her dogs, and was always thrilled when family came to visit. She was a support system to many, and being a handy and resourceful lady, enjoyed upkeeping the cabin and condo.
Kay was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Mahlon; sisters, Joyce and Phyllis; nephew, Mark; niece, Jenny; and beloved pets Tyke and Chumby.
She is survived by her oldest brother, Lynn of Bozeman, and his children Blake (Wickie) Williamson of Bozeman, Marla Kay (David) Johannessen of Bozeman, Karolyn (partner Neil Brown) Williamson of Belgrade, Nellie Ann Tresch of Byers, Colorado, and Martin (Kerry) Williamson of Belgrade; as well as nieces, Cindy (Ron) Selph of Cleburne, Texas, Laura Mays of Artesia, New Mexico, and Lisa (Richard) Howard of Fuqua-Varina, North Carolina. She is also blessed with 27 great nieces and nephews; and 39 great-greats. She is mourned by Lynn Compton (Kerri) of Great Falls; dear neighbors, Dona and Scott Shehan; Steve and Gayle Knudson; and numerous friends near and far.
At Kay's request, there will be no formal services. The family will gather for a celebration of her life next summer in Big Sky. Condolences for the family can be shared online at www.SchniderFuneralHome.com.
Memorials are suggested to Montana Heart Association
(P.O. Box 8951 Missoula, Montana 59807) or Benefis Foundation Peace Hospice (P.O. Box 7008 Great Falls, MT 59406).
Published by Eastern New Mexico News from Oct. 13 to Oct. 17, 2021.