Kay Ellen Seth McCartney, 85, passed away after a brief illness on Friday, March 31, 2023, in Richmond, VA.
She was born in Butler, PA on May 27, 1937, and was raised in Leechburg, PA along with her 3 sisters. She followed her eldest sister to college in Texas and transferred to what was then Greeley College in Greeley, CO. She enjoyed being near the Rocky Mountains and graduated with a degree in elementary education.
While at Greeley, she met her husband of 25 years, Duane McCartney. Together they raised 2 children. Her family moved to various different parts of the country until settling in North Carolina in 1964. In 1986, Kay moved to Scottsdale, AZ to be closer to her mother and youngest sister. She remained there until failing health three years ago led her to move to Richmond, VA to be with her son.
While in college, Kay spent summers working in the Grand Teton National Park along with her eldest sister and two future brothers-in-law. She developed a life-long love of that area, to which she returned several times in her later life. She also loved Oak Island, NC. She and her family spent many summers there, along with her mother, sisters, and all of their families. She loved all things beach related and was known for her extensive lighthouse collection.
Kay was an elementary school teacher and spent many years teaching kindergarten, which she loved. After she moved to Arizona, she began a new career as a pharmacy tech, which she also enjoyed. She was very active in her church as well as in two different knitting groups. Kay was a woman of strong opinions which were often prefaced by the expression, “What the Sam Hill?” Her quick wit and sense of humor was much appreciated by friends and family. She had a very generous heart and expressed it in a number of ways. She enjoyed baking and brought homemade cookies every week to the knitting groups she joined after retirement. Her concern for the warmth and comfort of family living in cooler climates led her to knit a multitude of scarves for them. She often carried dog treats in her purse or walker to pass out to neighbor’s dogs as she walked. Deep in her heart, she was really a cat lover and was preceded in death by her kitties Hudspeth and Stanley. She knew the names and life stories of all the employees at the Trader Joe’s she frequented in Scottsdale. She bought them gifts for their birthdays or newborn children. She was reprimanded several times at the assisted living facilities she moved to in her later years for buying gifts for staff. It was a practice which was frowned upon, but which brought her great joy. A strong believer in dental hygiene, she made sure everyone got toothbrushes in their Christmas stockings.
She was a loving mother and extremely proud of her children and grandchildren and was over the moon thrilled at having lived to meet two great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Mary Jo Seth Noffsinger and Richard Leroy Seth; two sisters, Charlene Seth McKeithen and Sally Seth Jones; and beloved companion, Ray Locati.
She is survived by her sister, Ann Seth Doyle of Scottsdale, AZ; son, Matthew McCartney (Judith) of North Chesterfield, VA; daughter, Shauna McCartney Leinbach; four grandchildren, Rebecca, Virginia, Micah, and Joelle; two great-grandchildren, Redmond and Eleanor; as well as many friends and extended family members.
In lieu of flowers, Kay requested memorials to the charity of your choice.
A memorial service will be held at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Phoenix, AZ ( 3641 N. 56th St.) on October 6, 2023, at 1:00 p.m.