CHADRON – Shirley Mae (Morgan) Kay, 90, Chadron, died at Chadron Community Hospital on May 25, 2019. A private interment will be held.
Shirley was born to Mary Elizabeth (Ballard) and Robert Ellsworth Morgan on October 24, 1928. She was raised by her aunt and uncle Edith and J.H. Hinz. Shirley attended school in Hay Springs where she played the French horn in the band, graduating in 1946. She was always proud to be a Hay Springs Hawk. She went on to attend Chadron State College.
Shirley married Donald G. Kay of rural Marsland in 1947. Don was in the Air Force during the early years of their marriage and they were stationed at several different bases. After his discharge, they moved back to take over the ranch 13 miles south of Chadron that Shirley’s family homesteaded in 1885. They operated that ranch for more than 65 years. Their ranch was an Aksarben Century Farm and Don and Shirley were inducted into the Dawes County Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2007.
Shirley could crochet beautifully, was a veracious reader, loved to cook, decorate cakes, play cards, and entertain friends and family. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star for more than 50 years serving as Worthy Matron and was a member of the Order of Does where she was chosen as the Elks Sweetheart more than once. She was also a long-time 4-H leader and a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.
One of the special memories Shirley treasured was attending an afternoon tea at the Naval Observatory hosted by then Second Lady Barbara Bush.
Shirley is survived by her husband of 69 years, Don of Chadron; daughter Patti Blundell (Pete Romanjenko) of Chadron, son David Kay of Chadron; grandchildren, Angie (Mike) Kuiper of Harrisburg, S.D., Liz (Kevin) Ravenscroft of Nenzel, Kristen (Jake) Hunter of Chadron, Mike (Elena) Blundell of Beijing, China, Joy (Clay) Weaver of Rapid City, S.D., Cathy (Scott) Leth of Torrington, Wyo.; and great grandchildren William Kuiper, Kirk Kay, Emma Kuiper, Kayleigh Ravenscroft, Eli Hunter, Lilly Ravenscroft, Payten Hunter, Arianna Weaver and Jaelyn Weaver.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her in-laws Dull & Stella Kay and numerous other relatives.
The family would like to extend a thank you to the staff at Prairie Pines, especially Shirley’s caretaker, Janel. They would also like to thank the Chadron Community Hospital nurses, doctors, and staff, as well as the Chadron Volunteer Fire Department.
A memorial has been established for the Circle of Light or the Chadron Volunteer Fire Department. Donations may be sent to Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE 69337.
Online condolences can be made at www.chamberlainchapel.com
Chamberlain Chapel is in charge of arrangements.