Kathryn (Kay) Shrake Tyrrell
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KATHRYN (KAY) SHRAKE TYRRELL
"The end is nigh," Kay Tyrrell said to her son, Patrick, upon answering his call the night before she passed. In her four and a half years "fighting" breast cancer, she never lost her dry wit, one of the many qualities we will dearly miss about her. Kay never stopped living life her own way. Shortly after she was diagnosed, she bought her first home and decorated it exactly how she had always wanted it. She worked every day in her backyard garden, even during the worst of the thick, hot Kansas summers (to the considerable vexation of her doctors). She traveled as much as she could each year, until it became simply too tiresome between treatments. Most days, Kay luxuriated at home with her cats, a Joni Mitchell or Van Morrison tune playing in the background, avidly reading Harper's, the Atlantic, or a good novel, always happy to have company and talk politics. Her compassion, her tenacity, and her keen intellect all endured throughout her life and are some of the many reasons she was so much loved by her son, parents, siblings, co-workers, friends, and all who met her.
Kay was born September 13, 1953 to Robert D. and Betty (Burton) Shrake in Topeka KS. She passed away peacefully May 5, 2014 at her home in Lawrence KS. Kay earned her bachelor's degree in English Literature from University of Kansas. She attended the American Bakery Institute in Manhattan. She earned her Master's degree in Library Science from Emporia State University. She worked as a research librarian at National Association of Insurance Commissioners in Kansas City.
She married Charles Francis Tyrrell in 1981; they later divorced. She is survived by Patrick Tyrrell of Brooklyn, NY, and his grandmother Bert Tyrrell of Topeka; three sisters, Betsy Rohleder (Ron), Mary Anne Shrake (Darrel Warren), and Peggy Hinck (Lyle), all of Topeka; two brothers, Bob Shrake (Marcelle) and James Shrake, also of Topeka; nephews and niece Matt Hinck, Todd Hinck (Kristi), Jasper Shrake and Shelly Umschied (Kevin), great nieces Mikayla Hinck and Kendra Umscheid and great nephew Miles Hinck, and a special adopted granddaughter, Natalie Cirksena, of Kansas City. Plus feline domestic companions, Eddie and Xixtli, of Lawrence.
Her family is incredibly thankful for the years of care and love that Kay received from Dr. Sharon Soule and her oncology team, Crossroads Hospice staff, Benefits of Home (Kim), skilled, rehab and other staff at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
Contributions in her honor may be made to the
, Lawrence Humane Society, or a
. No services will be held per her request. Family and friends will gather to celebrate her life at a later date.
Midwest Cremation Society assisted the family with arrangements.
Please sign this guestbook at Obituaries.LJWorld.com.
Published in Lawrence Journal-World on May 8, 2014