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Obituary: Kamel, Kathryn “Kay”

Age 94

KAMEL, Kathryn “Kay” (Age 94) Kathryn “Kay” Kamel passed away at her home on March 5, 2014. She was 94 years old and had lived life to the fullest up until the end. Kay was born on December 3, 1919, in Fairmount, Indiana, to Rene A. Jones and Inez Brewer Jones. She graduated from the high school program at Westminster Junior College, Salt Lake City at age 16. She then attended the University of Utah for two years, and graduated from the University of Idaho in 1940 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. After college Kay taught school for a year in Murtaugh, Idaho. She then married her college sweetheart, Anthony “Tony” Kamel. Kay and Tony, with their four children, moved to Spokane in 1959. Kay resumed teaching in 1965 at Continuation High School. Three years later she returned to college, earning a Master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance at Eastern Washington University. She became a counselor at Lewis and Clark High School and subsequently at Rogers High School. Later at Rogers H.S., she became the dean of students and coordinated night classes there for Spokane Community College. Kay retired from the school district in 1984. Kay was a lifelong learner, and enthusiastically sought out new adventures and experiences. Traveling to new places was her passion with a variety of group trips to Europe, Australia, Africa, and many places in the U.S. She was an avid reader; books and periodicals ranged from current events to mysteries. She loved music (she played piano) and the theater. Genealogy became an important hobby for her, completing a book of ancestry for her children shortly before she died. Kay also led a physically active life, participating at least 16 times in the Bloomsday race, the last time when she was 84 years old. She played golf and tennis until she was 80 and attended aerobics until a few days before she died. Kay and Tony moved to Rockwood South Hill Retirement Community in 2006. Her final years at Rockwood were especially happy. She enjoyed going on the “mystery tours” organized by Rockwood and attending lunches and wine-tastings. Kay loved being involved with people. She was active in P.E.O. for over 70 years, Town and Country Book Club, and bridge groups. She was a member of the Rockwood Forest Estates Residents’ Association Executive Committee. Earlier in her retirement she volunteered at Sacred Heart Hospital. Kay supported many groups including KSPS, the Spokane Symphony, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Besides being a friend to many, many people, Kay was a devoted parent, grandparent, and great-grandparent. Although much of her family lived long distances away, she traveled to spend time with them. She never failed to remember birthdays and anniversaries. She delighted in their unfolding lives, celebrated their joys and successes, and provided encouragement and support. Kay will be remembered for her generosity, intelligence, integrity, humor and sense of fun, her big heart, beauty, and style. Kay was preceded in death by her brother, Jack Jones; her husband, Tony; and her son, Jim. She is survived by her sister, Marilyn Gorshe; her son, John (Kate) of Mission Viejo, CA; daughter, Kathy (Sandy) of Everett, WA; daughter, Karol (Craig) of Petaluma, CA; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. A memorial will be held at the Ridge at Rockwood South Hill Retirement Community on Saturday, April 12, at 10:30 a.m. Anyone who knew and loved Kay is welcome to join her family in a celebration of her life. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the PEO College Fund or Rockwood Residents’ Assistance Endowment. Please visit Kay’s online memorial at, and leave a message of condolence. Arrangements have been entrusted to: