In Memoriam: Spring 2020

 

Marcia Chellis Kay

Marcia KayMarcia Chellis Kay died in Palm Beach on December 27, 2019. She was 79 years old.                    

Kay was born in Boston, where she lived most of her life. She graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in communication and another in education, and from Harvard University with a master of education.

In Boston, she was a member of the Vincent Club and performed in musicals to benefit the women’s wing of Massachusetts General Hospital. She was first vice president of the Junior League of Boston, served on The Cantata Singers Board for 25 years, and was on the board of her local Harvard Club.

After teaching in Milton and Weston, Massachusetts, as a master teacher and team leader, she created, wrote, and performed on her own children’s PBS-TV series, “Imagine That…”  While raising her own children, she made recordings of stories for children and wrote curriculums for New York publishers.

After a life-changing professional experience, Kay turned her educational focus to women. She wrote books about women overcoming obstacles and became a New York Times and London Times bestselling author.

Kay’s “Living with the Kennedys: The Joan Kennedy Story” was serialized by the New York Times syndicate and the Sunday London Times, and chosen as a Literary Guild Selection. “Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives,” an inspiring book about eight women who transform their lives, was also a Literary Guild Selection. 

Her third book, “The Girls from Winnetka, tells the life stories of five women who overcome the programmed lives imposed on them.  hey wanted to and did “have it all,” leaving a legacy of choices to the next generation of young women. Her fourth book, “Love Letters in the Sand,” tells the story of a Boston portrait painter who left her society life to become a woman she never could have imagined. The story was set in Boston, Abu Dhabi, and Cyprus.

Kay has been a guest on the Today Show, the Phil Donahue Show, Evening Magazine, A.M. Los Angeles, Larry King, People are Talking, Sally Jesse Raphael, Inside Edition, Headliners and Legends, and many other national television shows. She also gave numerous radio and print interviews across the country.

After moving to Palm Beach, Kay volunteered with the American Heart Association, served on the board of The Lord’s Place for the homeless, read stories to children at the Society of the Four Arts, and was on the board of the Harvard Club of the Palm Beaches. She was a member of Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, where she served on the board of St. Mary’s Guild and the board of Episcopal Church Women.  She also served on the Flower Guild Ministry and enjoyed being a Lay Reader.

She was a member of the Authors Guild, the National League of American Pen Women, and the Palm Beach Writers Group, and was included in “Who’s Who of American Women.”