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Ralph L. Kay

December 25, 1938 ~ June 11, 2016 (age 77)

   Ralph L. Kay, 77, a member of one of the founding families of Payson, died at 10:00 a.m. Saturday (June 11, 2016) at his home where his family had lived for generations.

   Born December 25, 1938, in Hannibal, Missouri, Ralph was the son of Garnet and Dorothy Minor Kay.  He married Jean McCarl.

   Ralph attended Sodom Grade School, located on the family farm, and graduated from Seymour High School in 1956.  He was a lifelong member of the Payson Congregational Church, which his ancestors built.  Ralph was a very generous person who loved nature, animals, bird watching and the changing of the seasons.  His greatest enjoyment in life was keeping up with his four grandchildren's activities and in his later years, he enjoyed going for rides with one of his grandsons to check on crops in the field and to look at the newest farm implements.

   Ralph was a lifelong farmer who served in the 128th Ordinance Company of the Illinois National Guard.  In 1961, his unit was activated for service during the Berlin Crisis.

   Survivors include his widow; two daughters, Jennifer Davidson (Brad) of Quincy and Angela Gibbs (Steve) of Roseville; four grandchildren, Evan Davidson (fiance Brooke Gronewold) of Carthage, Gentry Davidson and Emma Davidson both of Quincy and Steven Gibbs of Roseville; and a cousin, Carolyn Wedberg of Trail, OR.

   Mr. Kay was preceded in death by his parents; a sister in infancy, Patricia; and a cousin Elizabeth Watschke.

   A Memorial Graveside service will be held Sunday afternoon at 3:00 in the Payson New Cemetery with Clif Weisinger officiating.  Military Honors will be conducted by the Illinois National Guard Funeral Honors Detail and the Payson V.F.W. Post No. 2061.

   Visitation will be held Sunday afternoon from 2:00 to 3:00 in the Zehender Robinson Stormer Cookson Funeral Home in Payson.

   Memorials may be made to the Payson New Cemetery or to the Payson Fire Department.
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