MADISON - Kay Gordon McGuire, age 75, passed away January 6, 2018, at Agrace Hospice Care surrounded by her family. She was born on July 31, 1942, in Iola, Wisconsin, to Arvie and Mary Jane (Christensen) Gordon of Chilton, Wisconsin.
Kay grew up in Chilton, Wisconsin, graduated from Chilton High School, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning her bachelors degree in Education and participating in the Integrated Liberal Studies program. She was a lifelong learner; continued coursework in English throughout her career and loved auditing classes at the university during her retirement.
Kay began her teaching career in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and then Janesville, Wisconsin, before she started teaching at LaFollette High School in 1969. She taught English at LaFollette High School for 31 years, retiring in 2000 and thereafter continuing to teach as a long-term substitute for another five years, until 2005. In addition to the countless students whose lives Kay influenced during her career at LaFollette, Kay also was the head of the English department from 1982 until 2000. From 1971 to 1992, she was a member of the paperback committee, which was comprised of representatives of all four Madison High Schools. The committee worked to review new books that would be recommended and available for teachers to use in their classrooms. She was a recipient of the Bassett Award for teaching excellence in 1985. Kay loved teaching, helping students appreciate all avenues of literature and writing, but loved her students most of all. She delighted in seeing her former students, now in their 30's, 40's or 50's, out in Madison and hearing what they had been doing since she had last seen them. The smile on their faces at seeing her was only outdone by the smile on her face at seeing them.
In addition to her teaching career, Kay was a member of Bethel Lutheran Church, an avid traveler and was passionate about exploring her Norwegian heritage. As a member of Bethel Lutheran Church, she participated in the life of the church through her work with the altar guild and Vacation Bible School. Kay loved to travel, enjoying experiencing the history, beauty and food of the many places she visited. She loved the preparation and organization of all her trips especially those that took her to one of her favorite places in the world, the Lake District in Northern England. Kay also took a great deal of pleasure in exploring her Norwegian family history, spending time researching and traveling to Norway to visit her relatives and learn about her Norwegian ancestors, Norwegian culture and language. She kept a running correspondence with some of her closest Norwegian relatives, visiting with them on each trip to Norway and developing great friendships and connections to them that the rest of her family benefitted from immensely.
As well as being a wonderful wife and mother, Kay was a devoted and loving Grandmother ("Nana") to her grandson Ethan, delighting in every opportunity to see him, hear his voice, read to him and play the piano with him.
Kay is survived by her husband Francis McGuire, her son Michael McGuire, daughter-in-law Cheryl (Miller) McGuire and grandson Ethan McGuire, as well as her three sisters Linda (Gordon) Teetaert, Jane (Gordon) Long and Ann Gordon.
Kay's family would like to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation to the nurses, doctors and staff at Agrace Hospice Care, in particular Kristin, Michelle, Kristine and all the members of the purple team who took such wonderful care of Kay and her family during Kay's last few weeks of life.
A visitation will be held from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at Cress Funeral Home on Friday, February 2, and funeral services will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, February 3, 2018, at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison Wi.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Agrace HospiceCare (www.agrace.org/donate) or to the Kay Gordon McGuire Memorial Scholarship Fund (www.youcaring.com/KayMcGuireScholarship) .
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Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison
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