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Kathleen Mary “Kay” Earnest, 91, died on Sept. 15, 2019, in Anacortes, Washington.
She was born on Sept. 27, 1927, in Kelowna, British Columbia.
In 1953, as a new nurse, she moved to Ketchikan in 1953, to help nurse polio patients in iron lung machines.
She also worked in a variety of nursing roles, including in the emergency department and as “house supervisor” before retiring from the Pioneer Home.
“Kay was a caregiver by nature,” her family writes. “Always helping others, no matter the time of day or night.”
She co-authored the book “Pioneer Nursing in Alaska” about her experiences as a nurse.
To be closer to her daughter, Colleen, she relocated to Anacortes in 2008.
“Kay was a master gardener and was well known for her beautiful landscaped gardens. In her later years, she took great pride in ‘her’ garden at Cedar Mountain Condominiums,” her family writes. “She also was an avid walker, and had many friends (both two and four-legged) that she would visit with along her daily walks. She dearly loved all animals, especially dogs.”
Her famly added that she was a “loving mother, incredible mother-in-law and a very special grandma. She will be missed dearly.”
She was preceded in death by her parents, Michael and Jenny; sister, Joan; brother, Terry; and sister-in-law, Jo.
She is survived by her daughter, Colleen (Mike) Painter of Anacortes; son, Michael (Tammy) Earnest of Ketchikan; sister, Sheila Duke of White Rock, British Columbia; grandsons, Cody Morrison of Ketchikan, Trevan Earnest of Bend, Oregon, and Michael Painter of Anacortes; great-grandsons, Brody and Rowdy; great-granddaughter, Kennedy; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins in Canada.
At her request, there will be no services.
Donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America or the Ketchikan Humane Society.