Tuesday, October 4, 2016
3:30 PM EDT
The Corner Bar
31 North Main Street
Rockford, MI 49341
Following Kay's funeral service, her family invites all to join them at the Corner Bar in Rockford.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Van Andel Institute - to be used for Cancer Research
333 Bostwick Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
In the heart of Kay Hurt there remained a childlike quality which endeared her to many. Easy to please, she found joy in pleasing others, as well. Kay’s strong faith and the love of family saw her through life’s greatest accomplishments and comforted her through the darkest of her days. Kind and compassionate, Kay was in all ways unconditional in her love. Gone but never to be forgotten are the priceless memories she leaves behind of a talented, intelligent and selfless woman who was deeply loved.
The year 1940 introduced many new forms of entertainment for all to enjoy. The sounds of Glenn Miller and Bing Crosby filled the airwaves while some of the best movies, including Gone with the Wind, made their debut. With World War II well underway, America’s involvement was inevitable, and the first peacetime draft was put into place. Amidst these ever changing times in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, there was nothing more joyous to celebrate in the lives of Robert and Doris (Cherry) Davidson than the March 3, 1940, birth of their little girl, Kay Lyn.
Raised alongside her brother, Ron who was eight years older, they were later joined three years later by their younger brother, Bill. Although Kay began her early education in Rockford, Michigan, her family moved often for her father’s job in the textile industry. Even so, Kay enjoyed a childhood typical of her generation playing outdoors with neighborhood friends and riding bikes with her brothers. While living in Michigan, Kay and her family enjoyed fun-filled vacations in Cadillac where treasured times were shared.
During her youth, Kay’s family lived in Kentucky for a time before moving to Florence, Alabama where she attended Coffee High School. Musically inclined, Kay participated in band in high school and college, earning her a spot as first chair playing the saxophone. She also taught herself to play the guitar, and she often played folk music in addition to her wonderful and talented singing voice. At one point she discovered a broken Gibson guitar, and since they were guaranteed for life, she turned it in and had it repaired.
Kay was a very social and outgoing young woman and while furthering her education at Florence State University, she was involved in a variety of social clubs. After earning her degree in art, Kay took a job in Denver, Colorado as an art teacher. With her parents now living in Grand Rapids once again, after a few years Kay returned there herself. She became an art consultant for Grand Rapids Public Schools and she also went on to eventually earn her master’s degree in art from the University of Michigan.
A likable and fun-loving young woman, Kay was soon introduced to Michael “Terry” Hurt through her roommate. Terry appreciated Kay’s upbeat and outgoing personality, and after dating for a time they married. Before long they began a family of their own with the births of two fine sons, David and Jonathan. Kay remained at home caring for her growing family, although she occasionally filled in as substitute teacher now and then. A loving mother, she taught her boys how to roller skate and downhill ski which made for lasting, fond memories.
With what would seem like an ideal life, Kay made a good home for Terry and their two young sons yet she began a struggle with mental illness she would come to combat for the rest of her life. After her marriage ended, Kay spent time living with her dad who tried to help the best he could. When it became evident she needed assistance in living, Kay began spending time in hospitals and adult care facilities. Although quite dependent on others for nearly the rest of her life, there were some wonderful people who came Kay’s way to help care for her. Particularly over the last ten years where those in her group home have greatly improved the quality of her life, her activities, and relationships. Her brother and his wife Brenda provided crucial support as well, keeping Kay’s affairs up to date so that she could live worry free.
Despite her illness, Kay always resorted to her God-given talent. She continued to enjoy painting, and she loved watercolors and sketching. In fact, she even sold some of her works. She remained very social, especially with the women she lived with and with friends from church. Some of the activities Kay truly enjoyed were going to the beach and time spent at the YMCA. She had the opportunity to travel to Wyoming and Utah to spend time with her brother, and she also went to California to visit her son.
From her earliest years, Kay and her brother, Bill attended Sunday school as kids which instilled in her a deep faith. Kay was strong in her faith and attended church faithfully. Those who knew Kay were well aware that she could be quite talkative, and at times shared perhaps a bit too much! Extremely intelligent, Kay knew a little about a lot of things. She was somewhat of a free spirit, and she trusted people to a fault. It was naturally in Kay’s nature to be kind and compassionate. She exemplified unconditional love to those in her life and her sweet demeanor was easy to love. With childlike innocence, it didn’t take much to please Kay, and with ways all her own, she enjoyed pleasing others, too. Her love of laughter found her enjoying the humor of others, and she even had the ability to laugh at herself. During her later years, Kay learned to not take life so seriously, but just as important, she was a proud mother who talked often of her boys.
About 15 years ago, Kay was diagnosed with cancer. Once treated, it remained in remission until approximately six years ago when it returned. It was easy to see that Kay had her share of struggles in life, yet the love and admiration she bestowed on others was to be admired. For those who knew and loved Kay best, there will remain a special place in their heart for her as she is dearly missed and fondly remembered.
Kay Hurt, age 76 of Grand Rapids passed away October 1, 2016. She is survived by her sons, David Hurt and Jonathan (Jennifer) Hurst; grandchildren, Abigail, Grace and Jack Hurst; her brother, Bill (Brenda) Davidson as well as nieces, nephews and cousins. Kay was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Doris Davidson; and by her brother, Ron Davidson. Her funeral service will be held Tuesday, October 4 at 1:00 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Van't Hof Chapel, 851 Leonard NW where friends may visit with her family from 12 noon until the time of the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to VanAndel Institute to be used for cancer research are appreciated. To read more about her life, to share a memory or to sign her online guestbook, please visit www.lifestorynet.com.