Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
In 2010-2018 Iserved in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Monday, April 01, 2019

A Tribute to Kay Lee Crabtree 1930-2019

I first met Marge and Kay in 1967 when I was dating Marge's sister Judy, and I got to know them well over the next few years. Kay had a strong interest in intellectual things, Marge was warm and gracious, a “lady” in all the best senses of the word. They were very attractive people. Sometimes we babysat for them. They had a nice new house on the north edge of Calgary. The house had a large family room in the basement with many souvenirs from Kay's mission in South Africa.

The story of their engagement ring is a classic. While serving in South Africa, where diamonds were relatively inexpensive, he bought a diamond engagement ring for his girlfriend back home. After returning home, he proposed to her and offered her the diamond ring. To his dismay she turned him down. A very disappointed Kay gave the ring to his mother saying “You may as well keep it. I am not going to be needing it.” This was very concerning for his mother, since Kay was an only child and his mother hoped to be a grandmother some day. Then Kay met Marge, who had recently come to Calgary to take a business course and was staying in the same building as Kay. Somehow, they seemed to keep seeing each other more and more frequently, and any time Marge was planning on going home to Raymond for the weekend, Kay “just happened” to be planning to go home to Cardston and offered her a ride. After dating for a while, Kay asked his mother “You wouldn't happen to still have that old diamond ring I gave you, would you?” Joyfully, she gave him the ring, and soon Marge was wearing it.

Kay was a mentor to me in some ways. I followed his example in becoming a school teacher. And I remember consciously following his advice in buying life insurance, and there were undoubtedly other things I did unconsciously. After his retirement he wrote a history of the community of Woolford, and after my retirement I wrote some short histories but nothing on that scale.

I remember us watching the Apollo 11 moon landing with them on the TV in their living room.

We saw them frequently until I graduated from University of Calgary in 1970 and we moved away.

They enjoyed boating and they had a cabin on Shuswap Lake that was absolutely loved by their children. This cabin was bigger than their house in Calgary and was only accessible by boat. Kay had an interest in mechanical things, and I remember him showing us their little electrical power plant powered by a pelton wheel connected to a mountain stream. Very ingenuous!

When Kay's parents retired, he was given the opportunity to take over the family farm. He was not sure that the income from the farm would be sufficient, so he asked his friend Grant Matkin for a job teaching school. Grant's answer was basically. “Kay I would love to hire you, but as Superintendent of Schools, I can't do it. You are a school administrator with a Master's degree, and at the very top of the salary grid. I could hire two newly-graduated teachers for the salary I would have to pay you. I am sorry, but I can't do that.” So Kay stayed in Calgary until his retirement.

After retiring, Kay and Marge moved to Cardston, where they had many friends. They had a motorcycle club called the Myth Boys, and they took long road trips together, Kay had a shiny Harley Davidson with all of the bells and whistles.

Later they moved to southern Utah, where Marge died of cancer.

After some time, Kay married Kathy Bills, and they have been spending their summers in Cardston and their winters in southern Utah.

God be with you 'til we meet again my friend.


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