July 29th, 1928 – August 9, 2019
With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of our beautiful Mother, Kay Woodruff Wertheimer, aged 91, on August 9, 2019 in Los Altos, California.
Kay was born in Lansing, Michigan on July 29th, 1928. She and her brother, Charles “Woody” Woodruff were the children of Frank Barnaby Woodruff and Katharine “Kay” McNamara Woodruff.
Kay graduated from The University of Michigan with honors in English and remained a spirited “Go Blue” fan.
She met her husband-to-be, Robert E. Wertheimer on a blind date in New York City and they were married after Bob graduated from Harvard Business school.
Kay and Bob eventually settled in Atherton where they raised 5 children, Charles, Thomas, Kathleen, Amy and Betsy.
Kay was involved in many volunteer activities on the Peninsula including The Cancer Society, Stanford Hospital, The Turnabout Shop and Peninsula Volunteers. She was also an active supporter of Castilleja School where her girls attended. She loved the annual “Table Setting” event and hosted one year at her home.
Kay was a supporter and Patron of the Arts and had a keen eye. Over the years she accumulated a vibrant and noteworthy collection that graced the walls of her homes. She took inspiration from Richard Gump’s book, “Good Taste Costs No More.”
She was also an active member of the Menlo Circus Club, enjoying dominos, many friends and taking riding lessons. She became an accomplished saddle seat rider and fine harness driver and competed in horse shows. Horses would remain in her life until the end.
Some of Kay’s happiest days were spent on Rubicon Bay, Lake Tahoe, surrounded by her family and adored Great Danes.
Kay left Atherton in 1987 for beautiful Carmel Valley, where her children and grandchildren spent many wonderful times. The vistas she could see out every window in her Old Carmel style house captivated her heart and gave her so much joy. She once said that the views “feed my soul”.
All who knew Kay loved her. She was extraordinarily generous, selfless, and kind-hearted, always inclined to hold her hand out to those less fortunate. She loved the satisfaction of giving people a “leg up” as she would say. Putting others before herself, she always showed such graciousness, class and humility. Her trademark red hair, infectious smile and sparkling hazel eyes drew people in. She made life-long friends whom she cared about until the very end.
Kay is survived by her 4 children and 5 grandchildren and joins beloved son and brother, Tom in Heaven.
She was the sunlight of our universe.
Donations in her memory can be made to League to Save Lake Tahoe and or The Humane Society of Monterey.
A gathering for family and friends is planned for a later date.