Marilyn Kay Blas, 78, passed away on the afternoon of Sunday, July 28, 2019, in McCall, surrounded by family.
She was born March 13, 1941, to Chuck and Thersa Smittkamp, in Howell, Mich. At an early age, her mother decided that her young daughter was more fitted to her middle name, and Kay agreed.
Kay grew up in Milwaukee. As a high school student, she worked at a dentist office part-time. Her talent and hard work did not go unnoticed, and she was encouraged by the dentists she worked with to attend dental hygiene school after she completed high school. Kay graduated from Marquette Dental Hygiene school and became a dental hygienist at the same office.
At 16, Kay met her high school sweetheart, Louis Blas. In September 1962, she married Lou in Milwaukee. They were married for 57 years. During the early years, they welcomed three sons, Mark, born in 1964, and twins David and Paul, born in 1967.
In 1967, Lou, Kay and their three toddlers moved to Spokane, where Lou started his medical internship. Lou was drafted into the U.S. Army after his internship, and the family moved to Bloomington, Minn., for two years. The family then moved back to Spokane, where Lou completed his medical residency. Another move took the family to Omak, Wash., for five years, where Lou started his medical practice and Kay dedicated her time to raising their three boys.
Following their time in Omak, the family moved to Lewiston. Kay continued as a devoted mother while immersing herself in what would be a lifetime of philanthropic work and community service. She had a passion for art, and became involved with the art center in Clarkston. She painted with pastels and did decorative sewing. At this time she was an avid tennis player and golfer. After 20 years in Lewiston, Lou semi-retired, and his work locums took the couple to Australia, Hawaii, Alaska and all over the continental U.S.
In 2003, Lou and Kay moved to McCall full-time. Kay belonged to the McCall Community Church for more than 15 years. In 2009, the couple moved part-time to Sun Lakes, Ariz., where Kay consistently beat her husband at golf, which she enjoyed immensely. Her time in McCall and Sun Lakes was spent volunteering in the local community, golfing and reading mystery thrillers.
A career of volunteer work ended with the St. Luke’s McCall Auxiliary Thrift Store. She continued with art, and painted beautiful landscapes, portraits of her children, grandchildren and animals.
Together, Lou and Kay traveled the world. Her favorite place was England. Later in life, she enjoyed sharing her love of travel with her grandchildren and planned numerous trips with them throughout their young and adult lives.
Kay lived her life completely devoted to her family. She was a committed mother and doting grandmother. She loved her family fiercely and went to great lengths to participate in all of their lives. She was admired and adored by many. Even in her last days, her quick wit and humor filled a room. To know Kay was to love her.
Kay is survived by her husband, Louis R. Blas; three sons, Mark Louis Blas (Ginny), of Gainesville, Fla., David Charles Blas (Toni), of Boise, and Paul Louis Blas (Lynnette), of Hailey, Idaho; sister Barbara Mleczek; brother Chuck Smittkamp; and six grandchildren — all of whom have had a lot of luck in life, but nothing more fortunate than having Kay Blas as a wife, mother, grandmother and sister.
A private service is planned with family. The family suggests remembrances be made to St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute in Boise.