Kay Haen passed peacefully on July 28th at her home in Woodfords after a brave battle with cancer. She was christened Kathleen June on Mother’s Day, May 10, 1953 by her parents, Phillip and Irene Heinecke of West Bend, Wisconsin. Kay graduated from the inaugural class of West Bend High School and went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Art from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. True to her strong and independent nature, at age 20 she traveled throughout Europe with her close friend Ellen for six months on meager rations; camping in Greek Island huts and hitchhiking through communist Yugoslavia.
Kay met her future husband, Jim, at the Black Forest Inn in Three Lakes, Wisconsin. It was an entertainment oasis in the northwoods where Kay, the cocktail waitress, and Jim, the bartender, fell in love on their second date. For forty years they spent less than 100 nights apart and for the last 25 years worked side by side for the family engineering business.
They were married on Kay’s birthday in West Bend, Wisconsin in 1980 and moved to Colorado where their only son, Abe, was born. The day Abe was released from the hospital the family loaded the baby into a U-haul and relocated to Albuquerque, NM. Eventually they settled in Tahoe to be near the family of Tom Haen and to experience the epic winter of 1982-83.
Kay is survived by her husband Jim, son Abe, daughter-in-law Moné and granddaughter Sawyer. Tahoe relatives Tom, Lynn, Robert (Angie), Lisa (EJ) and their children Natalie and Dean.Her Wisconsin relatives; brother Dan, his wife Gail, their family Chad, and Kate (Gilkie).Jim’s relatives: Vic (Diane) Haen, Joanne (Lee) Schmalz, Gerald (Linda) Haen, Mary (Gene) Huss, Jenny (Jim) Dunphy and many nieces and nephews mourn her passing.
A service honoring Kay will be held August 22, 2014 at Valhalla, South Lake Tahoe from 4 to 7pm. The family suggests casual attire.
A second service will be forthcoming in Fond du Lac, WI. on October 11, 2014. In lieu of flowers donations to the Tahoe youth-oriented Optimist Club or to the Eastern Alpine Volunteer Fire Department would be appreciated.