In the mid-1970s, the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce was the de-facto governing body of a growing suburbia in the midst of an economic boom. As Chamber manager, Kay Moland, played an integral role.
Moland, 84, died July 8 in Lynden, Washington, where she had spent the last six years living in a retirement home near her daughter and son-in-law, Marcia and Dave Van Kirk.
Moland had retired from the Chamber in 1994, after serving as manager for 20 years.
Her job, said Valley businessman Jack Pring, was to grow the organization.
“What she did at the Chamber was for the Valley,” said Pring, who was on the Chamber board. “She was all-in at all times.”
Moland was born in Seattle in 1929. Her first husband had died, leaving her responsible for raising three young children, and for her mother who lived with them.
“Fortunately for us, Gram ran the household while my mom made a living and kept up with the kids’ activities,” said her son, Mike Hollinsworth, who was 11 at the time. “I don’t remember her ever complaining about her plight. She just ‘dug in’ and did what she felt was necessary.”
She would later meet Vern Moland, whose son Ron was playing on the same baseball team as Hollinsworth. Romance blossomed, Hollinsworth said, and they married.
Kay Moland originally went to work for Ralph Summers Advertising Agency and later branched out on her own. The Valley’s first shopping mall, University City, was her client. She became active with the Chamber before eventually becoming its manager.
“I just thought she did a great job,” Pring said. “I have nothing but respect for that lady.”
She is survived by her children and their spouses Mike and Debby Hollinsworth, Spokane Valley; Steve Hollinsworth, Thailand; Marcia and Dave Van Kirk, Lynden; stepsons and spouses Ken and Vicky Moland and Ron and Chris Moland, all of Spokane Valley; seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
“She was a fun-loving person who lived her life with a positive perspective,” Marcia Van Kirk said.