Kathleen (Kay) Croft Stevens, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend passed away from the effects of age and dementia on May 7, 2021 at the New Horizons Care Center in Lovell, Wyoming. Kay was born February 6, 1935. As the oldest living child of Winfield Scott Croft and Beth Marchant Croft, she was welcomed and loved by her parents. Kay was later followed by a brother Ed and four sisters: Ann, twin sisters Barbara and Beverly, and Linda. Beverly passed away as a young child.
Her mother was hospitalized throughout Kay’s teenage years and as the oldest child, she took responsibility for the family home and caring for her younger siblings. Times were difficult, but Kay found summer renewal at the Croft cabin on the Big Horn Mountain where she rode horses, played with cousins, fished, built houses in the forest, and climbed rocks.
Kay married Gary Abraham Stevens on May 9,1953 at the Stevens home in Byron. They were sealed for time and all eternity in the Idaho Falls Temple on June 29, 1956. Kay and Gary settled on the Stevens Dairy Farm and were blessed with eight children. Their oldest child Scott, died at age 13 in a tragic accident. This was a difficult time for the Stevens family, but they were sustained by their faith and the love of family and friends.
Farm life provided a busy and robust environment for raising a large family. Kay’s gifts and talents were manifested in all that she did as a devoted wife, mother, daughter. homemaker, business partner, volunteer, and caregiver. She established a house of order, love, and learning. Her children were taught by example and experience to work hard, to be honest, to do their best, to serve, and to share their talents.
While living in Wyoming, Kay opened her home and heart to several nieces and nephews. They loved to come and help on the farm. It was a blessing and honor to be a recipient of Aunt Kay’s hospitality--which included delicious home cooked meals, a clean bed, chores, and occasionally some gentle counsel. With the love and support of her husband, Kay also took care of her mother, Beth Croft. When Grandma Croft was confined to a nursing facility, Kay continued to oversee her mother’s care and comfort until she passed away in 1989.
Kay loved music, had a beautiful voice, and sang in multiple church choirs, the Rainbows Women’s Chorus for 13 years, and one season with the Utah Valley Choral Society. She also served in numerous church callings: Primary teacher; Young Women’s teacher, counselor, and President; Relief Society visiting teacher and President; choir director; pianist; ward librarian; and temple ordinance worker in the Provo Utah Temple.
When Gary retired from farming, they moved to Provo, Utah where Kay worked in the Sears Drapery and Home Fashions Department eight years. She appreciated her work associations and enjoyed helping customers find what they wanted. She also served as a volunteer in same-day surgery at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo.
Shortly after Gary’s passing in 2002, Kay was diagnosed with cancer and met the challenge of treatment and recovery with bravery and optimism.
Kay was forever a nurturer. Many of her grandchildren found a “place of refuge” while living in Provo and attending college. Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house provided a “home away from home” where cousins could eat a delicious, well-balanced meal, share experiences with one another, and feel Grandma’s love.
Kathleen Croft Stevens lived her life as a faithful and devoted daughter of God. She temporarily leaves behind seven children: Patti (Rayde) Mortensen of Pocatello, ID; Kary (Max) Lewis of Cowley, WY; Anthony (Tony) Croft (Rebeca) Stevens of Wilcox, AZ; Stacey (Jeff) Burkinshaw of Owasso, OK; Lori (Baltzar) Jacobson of Mapleton, UT; Julie (Ryan) Vaclaw of Bartlesville, OK; and Christopher Croft Stevens of Byron, WY; 44 grandchildren and 123 great-grandchildren.
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