Katherine “Kay” Asay

June 12, 1931 – June 21, 2015

Katherine Lottie (Patrick) Asay died at Parkhaven Assisted Living in Manhattan, Mont., surrounded by her children and grandchildren, on June 21, 2015.

Katherine “Kay” Asay
Katherine “Kay” Asay

Instead of her dream life of boats, beaches, art, dancing and travel, her life was full of kids, cows and cooking. Lots of cooking! Instead of a thriving social life, Kay and Jack spent the first five summers of their marriage in a remote cow camp in the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming – with their first three kids. She loved to laugh and enjoyed life, traits she maintained to the end. Her life was not as planned, but she would be the first to say she was rich for all her friends and family.

Kay sacrificed so much to be sure that her husband, Jack, and five children were loved, cared for and as safe as she could possibly provide under the circumstances. Jack worried and fretted when he saw the kids drive down the street on a bicycle or go swimming; Kay chewed her fingernails down to stubs when she saw those same kids ride off on a green-broke horse to work cows all day. She must have known there was no hope left for the dream life when, in the mid-1960’s in Casper, Jack traded their tiny boat for a used refrigerator and freezer.

Kay was the constant, steady, loving presence of good sense and sacrifice in the lives of her children. She was proverbial in her example as a mother and friend. If one word had to be used to describe her life, that word would be “sacrificial.”  And she did not moan and groan and gripe about it.  She gave what she had — to be certain that her husband and kids had what they needed.

Kay was a committed Catholic, an unwavering Democrat, a Wyoming Patrick (a tough breed), a striving poet, a pretty good artist, a mischievous mom, a boisterous (and sometimes profane) audience at athletic events, a cook who hated cooking, and therefore, a not-particularly-good cook, an Olympic level whistler, a loving mom who provided constantly for her children but held her own clothes together with safety pins, a very fast driver, a beautiful woman (she had million dollar legs), a great friend and a testament to what your life can produce when you live for the sake of those you love.

She was proud to be a graduate of the University of Wyoming where she met her husband and her Kappa sisters who remained lifelong friends.

Kay was preceded in death by her husband John “Jack” Asay (2005) and brother James “Jimmie” Patrick (2005).  She is survived by her brother Edwin Patrick of Cheyenne; sister-in-law and life-long friend, Brigitte Patrick, of Portland; five children and their spouses; 20 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her children are: Pat (Cheryl) Asay of Bozeman; Jan (Randy) Frost of Winnett; Bryan (Margaret) Asay of Bozeman; Kevin (Laurell) Asay of Helena and Joanna (Ron) Krogstad of Manhattan.

The family is grateful to Parkhaven Retirement and Rocky Mountain Hospice for their loving care. Memorials can be sent to Yellowstone Public Radio, 1500 University Drive, Billings MT 59101-0298.

A funeral service will be held at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service, 113 S. Willson Ave., in Bozeman at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 27, 2015, followed by a noon reception in the Atrium at the Best Western Grantree Inn, 1325 N. 7th Ave., in Bozeman.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.  www.dokkennelson.com.

To send one of our special floral arrangements, please call Valley Flowers & Gifts in Lovell, 307-548-7101