A warm and vibrant spirit left this Earth suddenly on Jan. 17, 2022, an inestimable loss to her family, her legion of friends, and to the worlds of kindness and empathy.
Her name is Kay Ales Yazvac, 86, born to be gentle, outgoing, and loyal to the nth degree. You could try, but a more true-blue friend, daughter, wife and mother would be hard to find.
Kay arrived on the warm fall day of Oct. 30, 1935, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to parents Ray and Ann (McGinnis) Ales, and was graduated from then Franklin High School in 1953. She attended Coe College and was graduated from the University of Iowa in 1957. Always good - and shrewd - with numbers and money, Kay worked for the railroad, then the late District Judge Edward McManus and the court system for several years, something she really enjoyed.
Low-key, low-spoken, but hard-driven, Kay was always the mixer, always the one interested in what you had to say - which went well when she began dating a new up-and-coming businessman, Tom Yazvac. Tom, an imposing 6’2” fellow of Croatian heritage, was president of the 1960s Cedar Rapids Bachelors’ Club, an organization of young eligible businessmen around town who wanted to meet young, eligible damsels around town!
You see where the story is going. Tom was not destined to remain president of the Bachelors’ Club - or to remain a bachelor. Kay and Tom were married on Oct. 8, 1966, and in 1972 became the parents of twin boys, Peter and Tom - “Tommy”. Ultimately they became grandparents of Tommy’s twin girls, Ashley and Gabrielle, who were 18 months old, and Tom, 4 months old, when Tommy died abruptly in 2006 at age 33 from a hidden heart condition.
Kay was a “do-er,” an energetic, get-it-done girl born in a bath of optimism. She soldiered on after the deaths of Tommy and then, many years later, of her beloved husband, Tom, in 2019. She spent years caring for her elderly mother, who died at age 97, and then Tom, afflicted with familial debilitating arthritis. He eventually succumbed to liver cancer. Kay was always grateful for the wonderful son-in-law Tom was to her mother.
After Cedar Rapids, Kay and Tom moved first to Barrington, Ill., for Tom’s job with Gould Corp., then with GE to Connecticut, settling in Simsbury, where Kay worked for Dr. John Bierly in the practice that was Peterson, Bierly and Sorrentino Periodontics. She loved her job and the great send-off given her upon retirement. The couple made their last move to a lovely senior community in Granby, Conn.
Kay loved people, and people loved Kay. She was a past member of Beta Sigma Phi business sorority and volunteered at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Simsbury and Bradley International Airport. She loved her numerous bridge groups, luncheons with friends, and the easy camaraderie they all enjoyed. But she never forgot her Cedar Rapids roots.
Kay Ales Yazvac is survived by her loving son, Peter, Kearney, Nebr., her daughter-in-law, Angela Huber, Odessa, Florida, and her husband, Mike Huber; her grandchildren, Ashley, Gabrielle, and Tommy Yazvac, and Michael Huber; her sister, Norma Graybill (Chuck), Hiawatha, Iowa, and sister-in-law, Jeannette, Youngstown, Ohio, and a host of friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Tom; her son, Tommy; her parents, Ray and Ann Ales, and brother, Don Ales.
A gentle heart quit beating in the stealth of the night on Jan. 17, 2022, following heart procedures. Kay died at home. She will be missed by her son, grandchildren and friends more than words can say here. There is no better legacy.
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