Kay Cerone loved her family, friends and the island they shared. She had a grand love for her husband Jack, limitless love for her children and grandchildren, and bestowed the same on her friends. This love was constant until she lost her battle with cancer on August 24, 2018.
Kay was born in Columbia, South Carolina, March 22, 1944 to Dr. Robert and Marian Tugwell. She would follow in her father’s footsteps to become a college professor, and continue the one hundred-year-old family tradition of visiting Pensacola Beach. She fell in love with Jack Cerone forty-seven years ago while on a date on Pensacola Beach. After marriage, Jack and Kay moved to San Francisco.
Kay completed her degree at the University of San Francisco. She first taught at private business school then in 1979 she started teaching Business classes at City College of San Francisco. She was an out-standing instructor at all the campuses. Her teaching style attracted students from many diverse backgrounds. They loved how she was well-organized, focused, and how she treated them all fairly.
In 2001, the family returned to Pensacola Beach with their five teenage children: Jason, Justin, Jeffrey, Reina and Jordan. After her "official retirement" from City College, Kay continued to commute to San Francisco to teach part-time until 2007, while Jack continued to teach at Pensacola State College. Kay and Jack lovingly parented eight adopted children with diverse backgrounds. Those challenges were no match for Kay’s love. One of Kay's greatest joys was sharing Pensacola Beach with her grandchildren-- JJ, Taima and Jack.
Kay lived on the white sands of Pensacola Beach with love and purpose. She fought the ills of cancer with tenacity and grace. She was 74-years-old.
Throughout her life Kay enjoyed traveling in Europe with her siblings, Sue & Steve. She also travelled to Central America, South America and Europe with the Captain Fun runners to see the world's grandeur. Her last tour was with her grandkids across the United States to say a final good-bye to friends and relatives.
Kay was born with a book in her hand. The beach house is still full of bookcases of her books read and unread. This is true of her arts and crafts projects too. She was the house photographer and never missed a shot.
People from all over loved to eat her cheese grits, fried mullet and turkey dressing.
Her eyes and hands were always in motion.
Kay was a great listener and second mother to her nieces and nephews in San Francisco and Knoxville. She was their source of peace and understanding without judgement. Her loving kindness will be greatly missed by all.
Kay’s personality was full of adventure, grit, curiosity, tenacity and risk. It was a paradox because her thought and actions were full of modesty and staying low profile to a fault. She felt that love would heal all wounds. Her unique personality enabled her to enjoy life to the fullest.
The family invites all to a Celebration of Kay’s Life at the Pensacola Beach Community Church on Tuesday, September 11 between 3 and 7 p.m. The time of remembrance will be at 4 with refreshments to follow.
Please no flowers. The family kindly requests donations in Kay’s honor to Pensacola Beach Elementary School, Pensacola Beach Community Church or Students Working Against Tobacco or WUWF Radio Live.
Kay & Jack's family wishes to give special thanks...
We thank the global village of family, friends, neighbors, Pensacola Beach Elementary School, medical staff, and unknown angels who have helped us through our journey from coast to coast from May to August.
Family- Sue & Rac, Bob & Cindy, Ann Marie & Steve, Phil & Lynn, and Rose
Friends- Judy, Richard, Charlene, Gleen, Patsy, Shelley, Gabriella, Inez, Robert, Matt, Karen
PBES- Jeff, Jenifer, Ginny, Shelby, Christine
Neighbors- Peg, Scott, Pat, Sally
Vitas healthcare- Connie, Anita, Sandra, Leah, Vanessa, Tosha
Sacred Heart- Brian, Kirwin, Raul
Kay’s eight children contribute to her:
Jason types, accounts and cooks the special meal
Justin fixes the computer and cooks the special meal
Jeffrey directs the future goals and cooks the special meal
Reina washes her mother’s face and cooks the special meal
Jordan plays his trumpet to Gabriel and cooks the special meal
JJ lifts his yaya and cooks the special meal
Taima washes the dishes and cooks the special meal
Jack cares for Daisy and cooks the special meal
Grandkids: JJ, Taima and Jack
Parents: Jason & Faalelei
Ivory Parents: Jordan & Debbie
Daniella, Alyssa, Ilene, Jaden Parents: Justin & Araceli
Raphael Parents: Reina & Jesus
Grayson Parents: Jordan & Melinda
Nephews & Nieces: Brad, Robert & Ashton, Andrew & Deanna, Julie & Jason, Sarah & Mathew, Katie, William, Laura & Michael, Marybeth & Brian, Josh, Felipe, Chris & Allison, Nick & Irene.