Wayne Kay, 79Wayne Geddes Kay passed away suddenly at his home on Dec. 7 at the age of 79.
Wayne Geddes Kay passed away suddenly at his home on Dec. 7 at the age of 79.
Wayne was born in Chicago, Ill., on July 5, 1933. His family moved to Conover, Wis., in 1941, and then to Eagle River, Wis., in 1947. He graduated from Eagle River High School where he excelled in both academics and sports. He double majored in chemistry and physics at the University of Wisconsin - Superior, which he attended on a combination of ROTC scholarships and hard work at numerous jobs.
After graduation, Wayne attended Air Force basic training at Lackland AFB in Texas and flight training in Florida. His eventual posting was in communications where he remained for the entirety of his 28-year career. Wayne was stationed in South Korea at the cessation of hostilities. He then went to Maine and Bermuda where he commanded the base communication facilities. While in Bermuda, he met and married Mary Helen Wildman, a fellow Air Force captain; they had one son. Following a tour in the Pentagon, he was sent to Vietnam for a year where he coauthored the first complete analysis of the American forces communication network there. After returning stateside, Wayne was sent to the Air War College at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Ala., where he studied Middle Eastern politics and policy. He then took command of the Air Force Communication Electronics School at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Miss., for a year. 1975 saw a move to New York for a research fellowship at Columbia. The couple divorced in 1978 while Wayne was posted at the Defense Communications Agency in Washington, D.C. The remainder of his Air Force career was spent attached to the White House, first as the military advisor to the President's science advisor in the Office of Science and Technology Policy and in the Office of Telecommunication Policy. During this period, Wayne served on two delegations to the International Telecommunications Union conferences in Nairobi and Geneva. He also chaired several studies for the National Science Foundation. While at the White House, he met and married his beloved wife, Gilda Lee Cubbage. He retired as a full colonel from the Air Force with no regrets. Wayne worked as a private consultant for several years before taking a position with a tech company called Synetics. A driving vacation led Wayne and Gilda to Lake City where they decided to retire for good.
Wayne was a voracious reader his entire life. Nothing escaped his interest, from history to politics to philosophy to law to ad, seemingly, infinitum. He was a rich and erudite source of knowledge. From a young age, he took full advantage of the travel opportunities that work provided for him; from dam building in the west before his military service to the Great Wall of China as a consultant to the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally in his retirement. Wayne placed as high a value on experience as he did on scholarship. Close friends can well attest to his love of animals, particularly cats.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and Adeline.
He is survived by his wife, Gilda Kay; his sister, Linda Hansen of Green Bay, Wis.; his son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Betsy Kay of Huron, Ohio; three grandchildren; six step-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was honest, thorough, opinionated, humble, and a loyal friend. He was a loving son, husband, father, and grandfather. He was a good, human man, and he will be deeply missed.
A time of fellowship will be from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the Mahn Family Funeral Home, Anderson-Peterson Chapel in Lake City. Memorials preferred to the Humane Society.
Online condolences can be sent at www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com.