August 16, 1925 – October 14, 2022
Kay Watson loved to travel, and on October 14th 2022 surrounded by family she booked her final one-way ticket. Her first trip occurred on August 16th 1925 arriving in Cumberland BC to the great joy of her parents Joseph & Hannah Watson and older siblings Henry, Jack and Edna. At 5 years old, Kay was gifted with her very own little brother, Leland, where she honed her skills as a tour guide extraordinaire, taking him on private tours of areas where most visitors were denied access. Kay outlived all her siblings.
Kay’s next big trip was to Vancouver BC to attend the Vancouver Normal School to get her teacher’s certificate. Education was highly valued by Kay and it was a gift she would pass on through her encouragement to each generation. She spent several summers taking courses to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree. She started teaching in a one room school house in Richmond BC, but did most of her teaching at New Westminster Secondary School. After over thirty years she retired and pursued her love of travel.
Kay excelled at sports, so much so she was inducted in 1989 to the BC Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the Hedlund’s Senior Women’s basketball team who won the Canadian Senior Women’s Championship five years in a row. Kay would learn and hone her craft in many sports including basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, pickle ball, and pretty much anything where there was competition. She was a member of many teams, leagues and clubs, enjoying the social and competitive atmosphere. She was offered a spot on the Chicago Bluebirds in the National Girls Baseball League which has gained recognition in the movie A League of Their Own, but declined the offer because she didn’t want to let her school down. She followed many sports, with favourite teams for each sport. Her career as a recliner coach was exceptional right up to the day before her final journey.
Some people bring home shot glasses or coffee mugs from their vacations, but not Kay….she brought home friends! Kay traveled the world with many people seeing such places including Europe, China, the Panama Canal, South America, the Baltic, the British Isles, Australia and New Zealand to list a few. The friends she met on her journeys were then invited to come and stay with Kay and her long time best friend Sandra Connor, and the tour guiding would begin. They showed their visitors the splendors of beautiful British Columbia, Expo 86′, the Olympic games, fishing in Campbell River, helicopter flights over glaciers, cabin trips to Loon Lake, horseback riding at the base of Mount Baker or sunset dinners overlooking Belcarra or Gartley Beach. Through their travels Kay and Sandra brought people together and expanded their group of friends at each turn.
Kay’s love of travel and sports did come second to one thing. She adored her family, and was thrilled with each new generation that came along. She was always excited to hear each detail of what we were up to or to share the tidbits from her latest adventure. Keeping contact with the clan was paramount to Kay. Cheering on each generation was a joy that all could see on Kay’s face when she spoke of them. Be it a graduation, a new job, a baseball game, or a dance recital, Aunty Kay would be there buying tickets, clapping and smiling from the sidelines. When any of us moved to a new apartment or house, well we could count on Aunty Kay to be one of our first guests!
She travelled many roads, met many friends and touched all of our lives. We are better people for having known her.
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