In Memory

Kay Nelson (Smith-Dechenne) VIEW PROFILE

Kay Nelson (Smith-Dechenne)


Kay Smith-Duchenne was born on February 16, 1941 in Fargo, ND, the 2nd of 6 children of Roy and Lorraine Nelson.  She grew up in Minnesota & North Dakota graduating from Grand Forks Central High School and the University of North Dakota.  She moved to the Seattle/Bothell area as a young mother in 1967.

She received a BA from the University of Washington and a Teacher Assistant from Edmonds Community College in the Legal Assistant program.  Her working career began with positions at the UW School of Pharmacy and the College of Education.  As a legal assistant, she retired from the Seattle’s City Attorney’s Office. 

Kay’s most important mission in life was raising her children.  She was active in PTA and scouting. She devoted long hours to help her son, Bruce, be recognized as an Army veteran. Kay was a long-time member of Lynnwood Emblem Club where literacy was her passion.  Consequently, she spent several years tutoring and teaching ESL.   She also created porcelain antique reproduction dolls and sewed period costumes for them.  Several of her dolls won blue ribbons at the Evergreen State Fair.

After retirement, Kay began volunteer work at Helping Hands Thrift Shop in Bothell and in the Gift Shop at the Northshore Senior Center.  She was a regular participant in area Holiday Craft Shows and bazaars.  Her specialties included sports pillows, girls’ purses, ceramic gnomes and photo boards.  During the summer season, she worked several seasons with Celebrity Cruise Line. She kept busy volunteering in the Kennard Senior Living Park on many different committees. Kay was an active member of the Edmonds Doll Hobby Club.  She loved working with the members of the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church of which she was a part.

Kay’s life was devoted to serving others her entire life. We’re grateful for all the life lessons she taught each of us.  On July 31,2021 Kay left this life exactly the way she wanted to. May your heavenly greeting committee have been so sweet with so many long-awaited reunions.

She is survived by her daughter Jana Houle (Mike) Bothell, WA, a son Brent Beard (Leilani), Arlington, WA, and daughter Inge Bosman (Kevin), Spring Hill, FL, brothers, Jon Nelson, San Diego, CA, Tom Nelson, Seattle, WA and Don Nelson, Chaska, MN.  She has 8 grandchildren, 4 great-grandsons & 2 great granddaughters. She is preceded in death by her husband Joe Duchenne, her 2 younger sisters Sally Swangler, Pam Randall, her son Bruce Beard, and her granddaughter Sarene Houle.  

Click here to see Kay's last Profile entry.