GROUHEL – Kathleen: Passed on August 13, 2010, comfortably at Victoria General Hospital following complications from a stroke. She was predeceased by her loving husband Joe in 1990. Survived by son Brian, granddaughters Leah, Devon, and Alison and great grandchildren Dylan, Lexi and Baby Tyler, sisters Rose, Violet and Dorothy. Kathleen was born in Willingdon, Alberta on October 17, 1919 and later lived and worked in Edmonton where she met husband Joe. They were married in June 1944 and moved back to Ladysmith to run the family business. A full time mother, she also worked several part time jobs in support of the family. Teaching sewing at Night School was one. In the early 60’s Kay became involved with a zoning issue for the Town of Ladysmith and after some disagreement decided to run for Town Council. After losing the first time she became an Alderman in 1964. After one year she resigned to run for and become Mayor. She was the first woman mayor for Ladysmith, a position she held for twelve years. She also later became the first woman president of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities in the seventy year history of that organization. First among her accomplishments as Mayor was upgrading town sewers and building a treatment plant to stop the raw discharge into the harbour. She also acquired for the town the waterfront property and was instrumental in developing the much loved Transfer Beach Park. Other accomplishments include the building of the firehall and public works buildings, the city’s first new fire truck in years, the planting of the dogwood trees along the highway through town and the redesign of the sidewalks downtown to improve appearance and increase pedestrian safety. This last gave her the nickname of “Concrete Kay”. After losing the election in 1977 Kay was able to devote her full energies to her next career, selling real estate. She gave it the same determination as politics and soon became a top salesman for Block Bros. becoming a Diamond Club member with over a million dollars in sales. No easy feat in the eighties. She finished her twelve years of real estate experience with Nanaimo Realty. A good many residents of Ladysmith bought homes through her. After the death of her husband, Joe in 1990, she retired to Victoria where she had lived until now. Funeral service will be held on Thursday, August 19th, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at Telford’s Funeral Home, 112 French Street, Ladysmith, BC. Interment Ladysmith Cemetery.
Telford’s of Ladysmith/Nanaimo