Kathleen “Kay” Rose
Miles of desert sand;
Hot, with paltry shade for birds or lizards.
Red soil, uplifted strata, sagebrush,
Pinion pines scattered about;
Junipers twisted in alien shapes;
Dry lakes, plots of irrigated grain;
Occasionally, an eagle.
Perhaps a lonely place,
Were one not somehow attached.
This was her home.
I bring her back to all this;
The land she loved and left.
It held a cherished memory,
But she chose to put down roots elsewhere.
She spent her life in the noise and clatter
Of the city, replete with glitch and bustle.
Here it is quiet.
The wind howls and a coyote sings a dirge
To accompany her body,
Laid to rest at the foot of the mountain,
Next to her beloved mate.
Native daughter returned to native soil.
May 13, 1920 – June 13, 2014.
Born in Parowan, Utah, to Edgar and Florence Benson, Kay was one of 8 children, six of which lived to adulthood. Her father homesteaded his farm and was a cattle rancher, so Kay grew up during the Depression with some hayseed in her hair. In 1942 she married her sixth-grade sweetheart, George (Bill) Rose and they enjoyed their life together for 53 years, before Bill died in 1994.
Shortly after her marriage, Bill was stationed overseas to Northern Africa. Kay remained home in Parowan to live with her family while awaiting the birth of their only child, Lana. It was to be eighteen months before her Dad would see his new daughter.
Kay was a working mother and a pre-sixties liberated woman. She worked for Bank of America in Baldwin Park, California near West Covina, where they finally settled. She was her District’s President of the Business and Professional Women’s Club in 1967-68. She went on to work at Baldwin Park High School as secretary to the counselors and later as Assistant to the School District Principal.
Kay and Bill moved from Southern California to Las Vegas, back and forth twice. Along the way they accumulated many dear friends who stuck with them throughout their lifetimes. In the early 1990’s they built a home in Beaver, Utah near her brother. When Bill died, Lana moved Kay to Santa Barbara’s Vista del Monte Retirement Community, where she lived for her last ten years. She suffered for decades from diabetes and associated aliments, but never failed to take immaculate care of herself.
Kay was no wallflower! She was a proud and fancifully turned-out redhead until her last day, replete with beautiful jewelry. She joked that she must have been a Christmas tree in her former life. She had a special way of connecting to people and was much loved by all who knew her. Wherever she was, she gently “held court” and people were drawn to her. She supported her daughter in any ventures and relished her opportunity to participate in her life. She was particularly fond of, and loved by, her son-in-law, Curtis Solberg, who died in December, 2013.
Kathleen is survived by her daughter, Lana; her brother Joe (Gaytha) Benson and sister Utahna Smith both of whom reside in Southern Utah. She was buried in Parowan, Utah, tucked in with her life-time love, husband Bill.