Kay Frances Pettit of New Hope, PA passed away peacefully in her home on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 with her beloved husband Karl D. Pettit, III at her side. It was their 14th wedding anniversary, and she was 76.
Kay was born and raised in Allentown, PA by her parents Florence (McNabb) and Willard Seng. In her early twenties she married her first husband, Arlyn Lichthardt and moved to Oahu, Hawaii where he taught English at the Punahou School for six years. While enjoying the island paradise, Kay taught nursery school and became the devoted mother to her three children Leilani Souders (Mark), Heidi Feigles (Neal) and Kurt Lichthardt (Kanika).
After spending brief periods living in Minneapolis, MN, New York, NY and Abington, PA, Kay and her family settled back in Allentown. During this period and after her divorce, she ultimately followed her passion and took the position of Coordinator and Chief Food Stylist at Rodale Press of Emmaus, PA. Later in the early 90’s, Kay began a new chapter in her life when she worked as the Director of the Gift Shops and Volunteers at Lehigh Valley Hospital.
Kay and Karl reacquainted in 2000 and rekindled a friendship that had begun in the 1960’s. They settled in New Hope, PA in 2003, and got married on Block Island in 2005. By that time, Kay had become the Director of Volunteer Services for the University Hospital at Princeton, NJ. There, she was responsible for managing the services of over 1,000 volunteers as well as the very popular Hospital Gift Shop.
Kay and Karl took many interesting trips together to places like the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, Hawaii, and Martha’s Vineyard. However, in 2015, she began to suffer from liver and neurological disease that soon caused limited movement and the inability to speak. During this difficult time in her life, she was embraced by a very special caregiver, Pat Simpkins, who became her best friend and supporter for the last two years of her life. In spite of her failing health, Kay was able to maintain her friendships with very special friends, and find pleasures in life despite tremendous frustration. In the end, she displayed unexpected determination and overcame many obstacles to spend several of her last days with her husband, extended family and friends on Block Island, the place she loved most.
In addition to her husband and her children, she is survived by her five grandchildren Ty and Cory Souders, Ethan Feigles, Brock and Kadan Lichthardt; her two stepchildren Pauli Pettit (Craig) Rose, and Karl D. Pettit IV, and two step grandchildren Samuel and Bexley Rose. She will be greatly missed and always remembered by those whose lives she touched so deeply.
Cremation Services were Private. A memorial service will be held in Allentown on August 25th from 10am to 2pm at the Saucon Valley Country Club.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial gift to the Doylestown Hospice would be appreciated.
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