KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kay Clancy Dolson, 72, passed away Feb. 11, 2014, following a courageous battle with cancer.
Kay was born May 27, 1941, in Traverse City, to Peter L. and Edna B. Clancy. As an “Up North” girl, she was an “A” skater and skier and enjoyed all winter sports and activities on the beautiful lakes of the north woods.
She attended St. Francis High School in Traverse City, where she was the valedictorian of the Class of 1959. She went on to the University of Michigan, where she was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta and received a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology in 1963.
While at the U of M she met her husband, Ed. They married on Aug. 10, 1963, and started life in New York City, with Kay teaching in the New York area public schools. Together they had three children, Michael, Patti and Jennifer, of whom Kay was so proud.
In 1966 Kay and Ed returned to Kansas City, where Kay threw her trademark energy and passion into all manners of school and community activities. Anyone who knew Kay knows she never did anything halfway, whether it was planning parties, supporting kids’ and grandkids’ sports teams, filling the house with her vast collection of Santas and other decorations at Christmas or cheering on Michigan football and KU Jayhawk basketball (what could be better?).
She volunteered at St. Teresa’s Academy and Rockhurst High School and was an active member of Visitation Church, where she was a Eucharistic minister and served with other dear friends on the Pastoral Care Ministry Team. She was an active member of the Kansas City Young Matrons, serving as president from 1979 to 1980. Kay was also a devoted member of the Ladies of Charity, regularly volunteering her time and energy and serving as president from 1993 to 1994. She served on the Board of Directors of the Charity’s main mission, Seton Center, for many years. Seeing a need to focus Seton Center’s fundraising efforts, she organized and co-founded its annual Soup and Sandwich Dinner, raising $21 thousand in 2013. Kay also participated in various Democratic political campaigns and completed a strenuous three-year training program to serve as a docent at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. In 2005 she was honored by the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City at its “Celebration of Women.”
Kay was a lifelong learner and never content to just let life go by. She returned to graduate school at the University of Kansas Medical Center in her 40s, earning her master’s degree in speech and language pathology in 1984. She then worked at Research Medical Center, always foregoing the elevator for the stairs until she became too ill to work.
Despite her constant whirlwind of activity Kay always found time for fun and friends. She enjoyed watching all sports (except baseball), loved to play tennis and also participated in numerous bridge, bunko, canasta and book clubs, making new friends everywhere she went.
Kay was happiest, though, when spending time with her family. Her children and grandchildren brought her endless joy, and she never missed a birthday party, concert performance or sporting event, where she could always be heard cheering above the rest of the crowd. She treasured holidays and long weekends with the entire family gathered at “Grammy and Poppy’s Lake House” in the Ozarks. On their 50th wedding anniversary in August she and Ed renewed their vows and celebrated with family and friends in grand style, highlighted by Kay and Ed leading a chorus of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”
Kay was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Lois Clancy; her two brothers, Peter and James Clancy; and her son-in-law, Lee Garringer.
Kay is survived by her loving husband of 50 years, Ed; her three children, Michael and his wife, Lisa, Patti and her husband, Scott, and Jennifer and her husband, David; 11 grandchildren, Holly, Katy and Michael Garringer, Marian Phelps, Conor and Ryan Dolson, Sean and Megan Orvis, Brittni, Cali and Gunnar Strickland; her sisters, Pat Clancy and Marianne (Cookie) McCall and her husband, Jim; sister-in-law, Sue McKee and her husband, Charlie; dear friend, Mary Schell; numerous nieces and nephews; and more friends than can be counted.
The family will receive friends from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Visitation Parish, 5141 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64112, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Private interment will be at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to The V Foundation for Cancer Research. Donations may be made by visiting www.jimmyv.org.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.muehlebachchapel.com.