Lincoln - Robert Willard Kay died Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 with his beloved three girls by his side. Born prematurely, he fit in the size of a shoebox and from the beginning he was a fighter. He was the son of Arthur W. and Cecile M. (St. Andre) Kay. Born in Pawtucket, he was 84 years young, just shy of his 85th birthday. Robert, better known as “Bobby Kay” graduated from East High School and Johnson & Wales University.
A proud veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he served in Tripoli, North Africa and Greece. Bobby began his insurance career at Pawtucket Mutual Insurance Company, then with Gardiner and Whiteley, Inc, before he proudly started his own independent agency. Later in his career he worked for the State of Rhode Island in the Real Estate Division until he retired in 2000.
Always willing to say, “yes” when asked to help, his dedication to community service began at an early age. A past president of the Pawtucket Jaycees and the RI Jaycees, Bobby received the award “ One of The Three Outstanding Young Men of New England.” He continued in his leadership roles serving as a past president and charter member of the Cumberland-Lincoln Rotary Club and a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow. He also was a member of Mount Moriah Lodge #8, F.&A.M. and he was a 32nd Degree Mason with the Scottish Rite. Bob was the past Commander of the American Legion Post 33 of Lincoln.
Bobby never was shy of politics and taught his daughters at a young age to be a part of the process, no matter what side of the aisle you were on. He held elected offices in the town of Lincoln as a member of the Lincoln Budget Board, 10 years on the Lincoln Water Commission, and serving six years on Lincoln Town Council ending his final term as President. A former chairman of the Lincoln Town Republican Committee, Bobby served as the 1978 alternate delegate to the National Republican Convention. An experience he spoke of often to his family.
A big New England sports fan he was an avid follower and season ticket holder of Providence College Friars for over 40 years taking his children and grandchildren and instilling in them the same enthusiasm. He continued that passion for basketball while coaching the Christ Church Basketball team and the Pawtucket Y Biddy League that won the New England Championship. Bob could also be found refereeing and umpiring throughout the Blackstone Valley for many years. His other love was golf. He was a member of Lincoln Country Club for over 40 years trying to master his infamous swing!
He was an active member of Christ Church in Lonsdale serving as an acolyte in his youth and in later years served on the vestry and as a junior warden.
For all who knew Bob, he loved his family fiercely and never missed a moment to be a part of their daily lives. He instilled in them that the love and commitment to family is greater than anything. They will miss him terribly, but his love will continue to shine through their eyes and how they care for one another.
Bob leaves his loving and devoted wife Jean L. (Mathieson) Kay. Bob and his “Jeannie” were married for 62 years. He is also survived by his much loved and adored daughters, Roberta Kay Mclear, and her husband Mark, of Cumberland and Joanne Kay Jourdan, and her husband Alexander, of Lincoln. He also leaves four treasured grandchildren, Casey R. McLear, and his wife Tayla, of Framingham, Sarah J. Bushy, and her husband Mark, of Lincoln, Barrett A. Jourdan of Boston, and Jacob Robert Jourdan of Lincoln. He also leaves three beloved great grandchildren, Ava and Maddox Bushy and Luke McLear. Bob was the brother of the late Donald Kay of Pawtucket.
He also leaves his sister-in-law, Beverly Kay of Pawtucket, and two loyal and caring nephews, Donald Kay, and his wife Robin, and Michael Kay, both of Cumberland; and many extended family, and especially their dear friends who brought joy and laughter to their lives: The Fletchers, McGuys,MacBeths, Browns, Millers, Cooks and Biziers.
The Kay family are beyond grateful for the amazing care that was given to Bob and would like to thank Hope Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses, CNA’s and Social Workers, especially Annie.
Due to Covid restrictions, a private Requiem Eucharist will be livestreamed on Friday, October 30, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at www.bellowsfuneralchapel.com. Burial with military honors will be in Highland Memorial Park, Johnston. A public celebration of Bob’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to Hope Alzheimer’s Center, HopeHealth Hospice and Palliative Care of R.I. and/or Christ Church in Lonsdale.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert W. Kay, please visit our floral store.
Hope Alzheimer’s Center
25 Brayton Avenue, Cranston RI 02920
HopeHealth Hospice & Palliative Care
1085 North Main Street, Providence RI 02904
Christ Church Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 245, Lincoln RI 02865