Kay Elaine Iles

Kay Iles

Kay Elaine Iles, 70, Overland Park, KS, passed away Thursday May 3, 2018.

Per her request, a private inurnment service will be held at Fairmont Cemetery, Blue Rapids, KS.

Mother, sister, aunt, teacher, artist…  She was known for her bright smile, deep dimples, unlimited patience, and steady perseverance.  A woman of diverse talents, she could play the piano, snare drum, and guitar, teach a severely disabled child to read, oil paint a gorgeous landscape, and even tap dance while twirling a baton!

Kay, the daughter of John and Maxine Kotapish, was born July 13, 1947 at Wichita, KS.  She grew up in Blue Rapids, attended Blue Rapids Grade School, and graduated from Marysville High School in 1965.   Kay earned a Master’s Degree in Reading, Certification in Special Education, and Minor in Art from Kansas State University.  She taught Special Education at Valley Heights Grade School 1988-95.  Kay then continued her career in Kansas City, MO, teaching disabled children for many years until her retirement from R.J. Delano School in 2011.

A gifted oil painter, Kay’s paintings often reflected the stone houses, barns, wildflowers and autumn trees of rural Kansas.  She participated in numerous juried art shows, and occasionally completed works on commission.  She signed her work “Joi”, as a nod to her dad’s lifelong nickname for her, “Jo”.

A life-long Episcopalian, Kay attended St Thomas the Apostle in Overland Park.  She was also a lifetime member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and an active volunteer for the American Stroke Foundation, where she served as an inspiration for stroke survivors.

Kay was preceded in death by her parents.  She is survived by daughters Gina (James) Johnson of Waterville, KS and Katy Jo Iles of Washington, KS, as well as sister Amy (Charles) Harvey of Overland Park.  She is also survived by grandchildren Shelby, Gage, and Landon Woodyard, Brayden Johnston, and Parker Winslow, nephew Luke (Blair) Harvey, step-grandchildren Francis, James, and Alexis Johnson, and 2 precious great-granddaughters.

In lieu of flowers, a meaningful gift in Kay’s memory would be donation to the American Stroke Foundation, 6405 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66202, 913-649-1776; https//americanstroke.org.

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