Kay Bradford was born in Huntington Utah in December 1923, making her a sprightly 93 when we first crossed paths. During our brief years together, Kay made an indelible mark on our hearts and lives. She was irrepressibly positive, intensely hopeful, eternally effervescent, and deliberately joyful. Though Kay was undeniably showy (her favorite colors were glitter and sparkle after all!), these virtues were not a show. She embodied a love of life and exuded a Christlike love for all of God’s children that disarmed all suspicion and division.
I was privileged to serve Kay and her children Dorothy and Robert first as a home teacher and then as a ministering brother. The minor acts of service my companions and I were able to render were completely eclipsed by the wealth of wisdom and number of candies we received in return. Kay’s kindness and generosity were such that you couldn’t spend five minutes with her without a rejuvenated view on life and a baggie of caramels, chocolates, popcorn, or starbursts. She would often have an arsenal of treats prepared for our children and the other families we had lined up after visiting her.
During the pandemic, Kay and Dorothy invited us to prepare and share the sacrament each week in their home. The visits were touchstones in my week. The time was sacred because of the ordinance and the privilege of sharing a few moments in conversation and prayer together. She would often have a quote or insight from one of the many books she read, and she always sent us away with an admonition to express gratitude and see the good in the world around us.
Two weeks ago, Kay passed away with her family by her side. She leaves behind almost a hundred children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren. She leaves behind thousands of friends and acquaintances who are better because of her example.
We couldn’t attend her funeral, and I have been trying to find a way to process the grief and gratitude I feel at her passing. The video below is my small memento of a woman who changed my life. In October of 2018, I brought our kids to her place to ask her some questions. She agreed to let me record the interview. I was going to edit it down to a 5-minute video, but I couldn’t bring myself to cut any of her words or movements. Here is all 33 minutes of the uncut interview. Let Kay take you on a tour of her home and share some insights about how to stay happy in a challenging world.
I love you Kay, Dorothy, and Robert. I’m so grateful for what you taught me and my family, and I pray for all of you in this time of transition and change.