Kay Kinney Carlson


(Mar. 20, 2010)

Kay Kinney Carlson, 64, died March 20, 2010, at her home in Powell.

She was born in Cambridge, Idaho, on Dec. 22, 1945. Before her third birthday, her parents Glenna M. Brandt and Fred W. Kinney, and older sister Linda R. Kinney, moved to Bend, Ore.

Her younger sisters, Connie and Andrea, were born in Bend. Kay’s family later moved to Ontario, Ore., and she graduated from Ontario High School in 1964. She attended the University of Oregon and then Eastern Oregon College, graduating in 1971. Her daughter, Bethany Kay Moffit, was born in 1974.

Kay enjoyed working in Ontario at the Treasure Valley Community College Library for several years. She was the quintessential librarian, always ready to help anyone gain knowledge or information at a moment’s notice.

In 1979, she married the love of her life, Jim Carlson. They joined families and lived in Vale, Ore., where Jim continued his position as superintendent of schools and Kay was the assistant librarian at TVCC. She subsequently served in numerous different library positions.

After Bethany began her college career, Kay returned to school as a graduate student at Indiana University, obtaining her master’s degree in library science from the School of Library and Information Science in 1993.

Jim and Kay returned to the west, and Kay worked as library director at Dull Knife Memorial College in Lame Deer, Mont.

They later moved to Powell, and Kay became the library director at Northwest College. Her efforts as director included enhancing and directing the library building expansion, increasing the number of books, updating library technology and initiating the tradition of having an annual high tea to welcome visitors to the library.  She served on the College Council at Northwest College and on president and faculty search committees. “Book Woman” was an effective and beloved boss.

She was very active in civic, college, church and community organizations.   She especially liked participating in the bell choir and AAUW. Kay served on the Wyoming Council for the Humanities Board.  She served as president of the Wyoming Library Association and was recognized as Wyoming Librarian of the Year. She and Jim willingly served their community in Powell in many capacities including the First Presbyterian Church and other local organizations. She was serving her second term as treasurer of the Powell Valley Health Care Board of Directors.

Kay had a wonderful, wry sense of humor and a quiet, kind demeanor which belied her compassionate and persistent activism. She was known for her love and kindness for everyone, particularly her family.  She composed poetry and held a lifelong passion for the written word.

Together Kay and Jim have six children: Bonnie Goss (Richie), Jimmie Carlson, Nisha Carlson-Kettlehut (Chris), twins Randy Carlson (Christy) and Renee Carlson and Bethany Gaylord (Robert). They have 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Kay is also survived by her sisters, Connie Harris (Scott) and Andrea Fowers (Monty); and a sister-in-law, Marge Mead (Elvin).

A memorial service will be at First Presbyterian Church at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23, 2010. Burial will follow in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Donations to the Northwest College Student Textbook Scholarship Fund in Kay’s name would be welcomed.

Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, and online condolences may be sent to the family at www.thompsonfuneral.net.