Keith Kay Strate 1928 — 2019

Keith Kay Strate

Keith Kay Strate of Kamloops B.C. passed away peacefully on July 4, 2019 at 90 years of age.  Friends and family who knew Keith well, called him “Kay.”
He is survived by his loving wife Rita, his sister, June Welling of Desert Hot Springs

California, and his children from his former wife Georgina Nickolson, Doug (Monique), Karen (Ron) Irnie, Mark (Heather), Bob (Sandra).
He is also survived by his step-children, Tammy (Chad) Miller, Shane Kurki, as well as grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Keith has been a lifetime member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He served as Bishop for a period of time and gave of his time to serve in other auxiliary positions. He was always ready to serve and help those in need.

Keith was born to parents, Clarence Henry Strate and Esther Pack, on December 17, 1928, in Cardston Alberta.  His family lived in Hillspring, Alberta till he was 4 years old, then his mother wanted to join her husband, Clarence, who at the time was working in Edmonton, so, she loaded up the family and all their belongings in a 1929 Ford that belonged to Uncle Forrest and they arrived in Edmonton on October 31st, much to the delightful surprise of her husband.

Kay’s love for hockey began at the early age of 6, his passion for hockey led to a career with the Edmonton Flyers as a forward.
In his 11th year of school he began to sell insurance for Western Savings and Loan for a couple of years and then he purchased the Leach Tire Store in Lloydminster, Alberta which would be re-named a couple of years later as the Civic Tire Store.
Kay would use his entrepreneurial spirit to purchase Tire stores in Vegreville, and Wetaskiwin, Alberta and Fort St. John B.C..  In order to keep in close contact with his employees at the different Tire store locations, Kay decided to learn to fly an airplane.
Kay retired early in his life at the age of 42, he then bought the ranch property at Campbell Creek in the Dallas region of Kamloops and raised some cattle and enjoyed the farming life which was close to his heart. On trips to Alberta with his wife, Rita, he would comment on the hay fields and how he loved the farmland.

Kay enjoyed so many hobbies and was a skilled craftsman. He built a carpentry workshop where he could make numerous projects for family and friends. His love of carpentry was handed down to him from watching and helping his own father at an early age with carpentry projects.
He loved hunting and fishing trips with his father and friends which always produced plenty of food to share with everyone.
He was able to build an airplane with his sons, Mark and Bob, which was a 7 year project. Often he spoke of the 23,000 rivets that went into the structure of the plane.

Kay was a spontaneous spirit, open to new adventures and willing to try something new.
He was an avid golfer and he read many books and articles on how to improve his golf game. His step-son, Shane Kurki, named him “Coach”, as he shared tips that would help Shane improve his golf game.
Kay enjoyed his chocolate projects, his skill of chocolate making was passed down from his mother, Esther, who would make many hundreds of pounds of chocolates every year to sell, so that she could buy Christmas gifts for her family. What Kay enjoyed the most about making chocolates, was the giving of them to his friends. He loved the comments people made of the chocolates and how people’s faces lit up as he shared his love of chocolates with them.
He was also known well for his gardening skills, this too was nourished at an early age as he tended numerous family gardens. He really enjoyed a “weed free” garden. Kay was also known as the “Tomato King”, he knew the special care that growing tomatoes required.

Kay was a good dancer, he enjoyed upbeat music, laughter, jokes, playing cards, he was a tease, he gained great pleasure in serving and helping others. If someone was in need, Kay was close by to lend a helping hand.
He was also a private man, sensitive, very loving and caring, quick to apologize, and always had a happy smile, he was a positive spirit who was always ready to uplift and cheer. He will be dearly missed by everyone who knew him but lovingly remembered.

Kay was a true gentleman.

Funeral Services for Keith Kay Strate will be held at 11 a.m. in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 2165 Parkcrest Avenue, on Saturday, July 20, 2019.
A luncheon will follow the service and then the Interment will be held after and will take place at Hillside Cemetery, 750 Notre Dame Drive.

Sincere expressions of gratitude and love to the Palliative, Hospice and Community Care Nurses of Kamloops, who made every effort possible to ensure Keith’s comfort was met with gentleness and love.
Keith was so grateful to have found Dr. Malan as his family doctor, he thought of Dr. Malan as a good friend, and Dr. Malan’s watchful eye was always over Keith’s best interest. Thank-you all so very much for all that you did to help Keith.

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10 Tributes

  1. Sandy Murray
    Posted July 15, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Truly an amazing man who has touched so many lives. A beautiful tribute to him. He will be missed. My heart goes out to you all the family.

  2. Ross Hinter
    Posted July 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Kay Strate was one of the greatest men I have had the privilege of knowing in my lifetime. He was a great influence in my life and was a willing guide whenever I asked for his opinion. I served with him in the Church and cherish that time of his Leadership. He was a fine example in all aspects and made a great contribution to all in his circle of community, Church and business. I sure loved this man. My heart too is with his family. God Bless

  3. Kelly Hales
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    Such a beautiful write up for such a kind loving man. He truly was a gentleman and so very accomplished. I loved the stories of Kay and all the many projects he had you two doing. I was one of the fortunate ones to receive those amazing chocolates! It is a huge loss for anyone who knew him but especially those he held so dear. The love and laughter you two shared for those too short of years together will be cherished memories forever.

  4. Joan Uhrig
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Kay was a dear friend to my husband and I.He helped us so much with irrigation , with building honey bee fences, with staking tomatoes,weeding corn and so much more. Little songbirds are still enjoying the bird feeders he built for us. He was dependable, generous,kind and gracious. I am so grateful that he and Rita shared many happy years together.I cherish his memory.

  5. Kelly Ricketts
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Kay was one of the Finest Men and Friend that I have ever shared a kitchen table with. A Kind man with a wealth of knowledge about most things, but especially Hockey. I will miss my visits and enjoyable conversations. Kay will always be my dear Friend in this life and in the next. Loved you my Brother!

  6. Glen M. Francoeur
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I had the pleasure of knowing Kay for many years. He always made time to talk to me and chat about anything. He was more than many. I will miss him. To his family and friends, my condolences.

  7. Rena Black
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    To Kay Strate Family
    Sympathy to all, Karen, Mark, Doug and Bob from The Black family of Lloydminster. A lot has happened in our family since you all were friends .
    Rena Black

  8. Ho-Young Chung
    Posted July 19, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Kay was the most inspiring, kind-hearted, and courageous patient that I have had the honour of treating as his dentist. They say that “some people come into our lives and quickly go…some stay for a while and leave footprints in our hearts…and we are changed forever.” Kay’s spirit and zest for life is an inspiration to us all. You will be missed and always remembered.

  9. Keith Flaman
    Posted July 19, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    I was one of the many boys who were fortunate enough to have Kay as a hockey coach. Even then, I recognized him as a special person. He was respected and liked by all of us. I always regarded him as the ideal role model and I retain that image of him more than fifty years later. God rest his soul.

  10. Noel Livingston
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I am very saddened to hear that Kay has passed away. I first met Kay back in 1971 when he owned Civic Tire & Battery Service in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. At that time, my first impression was “Gee Whiz, this person is so friendly, stable and does not get mad for any reason”. That impression was very accurate and in fact, Kay surpassed that first impression. Absolutely one of the finest people that I have encountered in 50 years in the accounting profession. Over the years I came to know Kay not only in the business aspect but also to a certain extent on a personal level. We had a lot of interesting conversations and discussions over the years on a variety of matters.

    In our accounting firm, we rate clients based on a scale of A to D. Kay ranked as an A++ in my opinion. I would surmise that he was an A++ in most (if not all) areas of his life and I feel blessed having known Kay in my business as well as my personal life.

    Heartfelt condolences to the families.

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