Kathleen (Kay) Grimes, longtime resident of Green Valley, passed away September 7, 2016, at age 96.
Kay’s journey through life was one filled with many accomplishments. At age five she contracted scarlet fever which left her with severe asthma. The family doctor warned that the damp climate threatened her life, and so at age eighteen Kay left her hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and traveled alone to the dry climate of Colorado Springs where she lived at Cragmoor Sanitarium. She found employment at the local telephone company and hitched a ride to work from the sanitarium with the milk man. During her career at US West she was promoted from telephone operator through various positions to become the first woman foreman in the state of Colorado. She also served as President of the Plains and Peak Council of Telephone Pioneers of America. A gifted seamstress, she took up quilting in her retirement and won many prizes at
Colorado county and state fairs for her hand-quilted full sized quilts, one year winning best in show at the Colorado State Fair.
Kay found her greatest joy and reward in her family. With her first husband, Dennis Foley, she raised four daughters: Denise (Ford), Patricia (Sopp), Sheila (Wallace), and Kathleen(Calkins). When Dennis died unexpectedly at age 59 in 1970, Kay resigned herself to life as a widow.
Then four years later she met and married Vernon Grimes. She told everyone she hoped they would have “just ten good years together.” That marriage lasted 42 years until her passing. Together Vernon and Kay built their ranch home in Colorado, and they travelled the world from Hawaii to Europe, Australia and New Zealand before settling at last in Green Valley.
She is survived by her brother, Victor Oetting; sister, Ruth Richey; her daughters; five grandchildren; three great grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren; as well as many nieces and nephews. Her beloved dog, Maggie, also survives.
Kay was active in her church and community. She was a member of the Women’s Guild at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, was a longtime swimmer with the Continental Vistas Swimnastics Group, and served as part of the Welcome Team at Silver Springs. Her smile brought joy to all who knew her.
Tributes to Kay may be made in her name to The Animal League of Green Valley. Per her wishes, a celebration of her life will be held on a later date in Colorado Springs, Colorado.