Kay Hill Genovese passed away on Friday, January 17th, 2020 after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Today there is a hole in our hearts. We have lost a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. Kay Genovese was a force to be reckoned with. She was born the middle daughter (the rebel) to Carleton and Mazie (Eaton) Hill in Hollis, Maine. Kay was a country girl who caught eels in the Saco River and then turned around, entered and won local beauty pageants. Kay graduated from Hollis High School and then moved to Portland to attend College. As soon as Kay hit Portland, the country girl was gone and the city girl came alive. Kay worked as a hat-check girl at a Portland hotel while attending college and it was at this hotel that she met the love of her life, Danny. She graduated from Westbrook College with a degree in Journalism and became the executive secretary to the Editor of the Portland Press Herald, Robert B. Beith, who founded the Bruce Roberts Fund. In 1954 Kay did the unthinkable, she brought Danny Genovese, the Italian Roman-Catholic, Coast Guard sailor from Newbury St. in Portland, home to meet the whole family in Hollis. It certainly was meant to be as they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this past October. Kay (the English/Scottish girl) became the best Italian cook this side of Boston…ask anyone!
Kay’s true love and passion was her family…and the BEACH. Anyone who knew Kay will back this up. Pine Point/Old Orchard Beach was referred to as Kay’s Beach. Kay was a summer resident of ‘her beach’ for the past 28 years and leaves many loving friends and memories there. Kay loved the beach so much that during the summer she’d haul the kids there every day and this routine even occurred during Hurricane Camille in August of 1969…”it’s just going to be a little windier” she said. (We did leave a bit early to come home). This beach has now become a tradition for all of her children and grandchildren. She was the happiest at the beach and being with her there was something special that we will all hold in our hearts forever. This will be the place we go to feel close to her.
As for her children and grandchildren, she was always there; Little league games, Brownie Troop meetings, Football boosters, dance recitals and summer-long pool parties. All of her children’s friends wanted to live at The Genovese’s house. Her son Andrew’s friends loved Kay and her cooking so much, they asked her to cater their Senior Prom dinner at our house. This presence continued with her grandchildren as well. Her kids were her pride and joy and the thought of leaving them was what bothered her the most about dying. She was not afraid to die, she just did not want her kids to be sad. She said on many occasions that her children Tracie, Andrew and Gina, her grandchildren Jaymie, Sam, Maddie and Sophia and Giana, her first great-grandchild, were her life. Well, she was ours too. None of us are prepared to live in a world without Mom/Nana/Kay.
Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying “It’s not the years in the life that matter, it’s the life in the years.” Kay’s years really mattered because they were FULL of life.
Kay is pre-deceased by her parents and her younger and beloved sister Verlie. She leaves behind her husband Daniel Genovese of Portland, her daughters Tracie Hersey and her husband Jody of Falmouth, Gina Genovese of Saco and her son Andrew Genovese and wife Katie of Windham. Grandchildren Jaymie Kay Genovese, Samuel Genovese, Madison Genovese, Sophia Kelly, and great-granddaughter Giana Dream. Kay also leaves behind her dear sister Anita Cornish and many special nieces and nephews. She had a lot of love to give and she gave it freely. We will miss you mama. I love you Kitty.
Expressions of sympathy may be made in the form of donations to; The Gosnell Memorial Hospice House 11 Hunnewell Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074.
Visiting Hours will be held on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 from 4 PM to 6 PM at A.T. Hutchins Funeral Home 660 Brighton Avenue in Portland. A Memorial Service will follow at 6 PM at the funeral home.
To send flowers to Kay's family, please visit our floral section.