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Life Story / Obituary
Kay Powers cared deeply for others and enjoyed surrounding herself with the family she so loved. Known for her gracious hosting of countless Thanksgiving dinners, Kay loved to entertain her family during the holidays as well as gather together for large Sunday dinners. Her greatest legacy was her gift of time and selflessness toward others. Relishing in her role as a mother, there was no other place she would rather be than enjoying her family and staying active in their lives. Kay will be sincerely missed by her many special friends and loved ones.
In the year 1939, Lou Gehrig retired from the New York Yankees, the classic film, The Wizard of Oz held its Hollywood premiere, and the first commercial air flight crossed the Atlantic Ocean. On February 15th of that same year, Ivan and Dora (Mann) Cronkhite welcomed home their newborn daughter, Kay, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Following her four older brothers, Kay’s birth brought much joy and happiness to her loving parents.
Kay lived a typical childhood of the times. Her father worked as a power engineer and her mother was a homemaker. As a young adolescent she spent quite a bit of time at Selkirk Lake with her good friend, Lavon Packer. Being the only girl, Kay was her father’s little princess and her brothers were very protective of her. She attended local schools and graduated with the Class of 1957 from Kalamazoo Central High School. Social by nature, Kay was successful in both her grades and her friendships during these years. After graduation, she went on to work at Lockshore Farms Dairy. Her dear friend, Char, set her up on a blind date with her brother, Charles “Bud” Powers. Kay fell in love with his 1952 Cadillac from the moment she laid eyes on it and later also fell for Bud’s charming personality. He was working at the City of Kalamazoo at the time and with a steady income and strong interest in settling down, it was no surprise that within just a few months from their June date they were making wedding plans. The happy couple joined in marriage on November 15, 1958 at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church. Bud and Kay settled in Bloomingdale on a forty-acre farm which was bought from her parents. They remained there for forty wonderful years.
Kay and Bud were blessed with five wonderful children. She was a natural at mothering. Kay enjoyed every stage and cherished the moments she was able to stay home with them. After her youngest son, Rich was old enough to attend school, Kay started working at the school to be closer to the kids. She never missed any opportunity to participate in school activities and celebrate their many successes. As a family, they enjoyed sharing memories traveling to northern Michigan’s Little Manistee Lake as well as Alpena to name a couple. Kay loved preparing food for the family as well as soaking up the sunshine. As much as she loved children and babies. She loved her dog Puc, she was her constant companion. When she was blessed with grandchildren, Kay enjoyed the spoiling side of babies and children and she excelled at this. She spent quality time with them watching them grow and have children of their own. Kay treasured the many blessings of having close relationships with her growing family.
When she and Bud were both retired, they shared their many special pastimes. They were both fond of traveling and enjoying many wonderful trips together. Over the years, they had covered nearly every state including her favorite state of Hawaii. Many of their travels were long road trips yet they did enjoy adventure on an Alaskan cruise. Many of their trips were through Bud’s work. As a couple they continued their special dates and enjoyed taking in live performances at Western Michigan University’s Miller Auditorium. The two of them had a beautiful marriage together. During the brightest moments as well as the saddest pain of losing their daughter, they leaned on one another for support over the years.
For her own personal pleasure, Kay loved crafting, sewing, and knitting. She loved to make special gifts and keepsakes for many members of the family. She also was an avid reader and enjoyed reading anything by Nora Roberts. When it came to shopping trips, Kay was always satisfied when she could find the best bargain. She was content to come home empty handed if that meant waiting for the best deal! Described as always pleasant without a mean bone in her body, Kay leaves a wonderful example of treating everyone she met with genuine kindness. She accepted others, and enjoyed taking care of everyone by putting their needs before her own. Her selfless ways will surely leave lasting impressions on all those who knew and loved her. Sadly, she is gone. May her loved ones find comfort in knowing her memories will burn brightly in their hearts forevermore.
Kay Powers, age 82, of Mattawan, Michigan, died on March 10, 2021 at her home after her two-year battle with cancer. She worked for over twenty years as an executive secretary for Bloomingdale Schools. Kay was preceded in death by a daughter, Kathleen Powers in 2010 and by 4 brothers: Richard, Jerome, Stanley “Jack”, and Roger. Members of her family include her husband of 62 years, Charles “Bud” Powers; 4 children: Dan (Debra) Powers, Carla Powers, Teresa Tirro (Dan Harting) and Rich Powers; 8 grandchildren: Daniel (Mandy) Powers, Michael Powers, Caitlin Powers, Jennifer Beggel, Jessica (Scott) Wurschmidt, Nick Tirro (Kathryn Erwin), Katie (Colin) Wagner, and Ben Powers; 4 great-grandchildren: Mia, Hankie, P.J. and Addie; and many nieces and nephews. Cremation will take place. A Life Story Celebration will take place at a later date. Please visit Kay’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.