Kay Thomas Worthington, 90, passed away at his home in Highland, Utah on July 26, 2019, having been cared for by his loving family. He was born November 20, 1928 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the only child of Clarence Ormal Worthington and Harriet Midgley Thomas Worthington.
Raised in Salt Lake City, Kay spent memorable summers visiting his mother’s hometown of Wales, Sanpete County, Utah, where he formed life-long friendships with many wonderful cousins. Kay loved horses. As a young man, he studied leatherworking and crafted an intricate leather parade saddle. Kay dressed his horse Blackie in that saddle and they rode in the Days of ’47 Parade.
Kay gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon at his mother’s knee. He felt it was a privilege to have been baptized in the Manti temple. He learned about the power of faith as a young boy when his father spent years in and out of the hospital suffering from a brain tumor. Kay knew his father was healed by the power of God as a direct result of priesthood blessings.
Kay attended East High School where he played football and loved participating in Seminary, graduating in 1946. He served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Northern States Mission from 1948-1950, where he travelled without purse or scrip. In preparation for his mission, he memorized over 500 scriptures. He continued to quote scriptures and share missionary experiences until the end of his life.
After his mission, Kay graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in History and a minor in Political Science. He then started a successful multi-state business—WJB Enterprises. He received many business awards, including national salesman of the year. He later worked as an administrator for the Boy Scouts of America.
Kay taught early-morning seminary before his mission. Following his marriage, he decided to teach the gospel as a profession and worked as a Seminary teacher for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He taught at Granite High Seminary, Cottonwood High Seminary, and was principal of Eisenhower Junior High Seminary. He loved visiting church history sites throughout the United States. He and his wife visited Israel, Egypt, and Europe as part of his professional training. This transformative time in the Holy Land strengthened Kay’s understanding that the Savior suffered and was resurrected on his behalf. Eventually, he accepted a position to work in church administration as Director of International Student Scholarships. He retired after working faithfully for 26 years in the Church Education System.
Kay married his eternal companion, the lovely Suzanne Armstrong, on November 11, 1966 in the Salt Lake Temple, where 11:11 was a treasured reminder of that wonderful moment in time. They are the parents of six children.
Kay valued hard work and always had a project underway. He taught his children to work and together they ran a successful family lawn-care business. He wanted to gain first-hand experience in everything he did and was always eager to learn new skills and prepare for the future. It is impossible to convey how much Kay loved books! He cherished learning and wanted to be constantly improving. He was a skilled penmen and calligrapher and had a fine attention to detail. He was employed as a calligrapher by the State of Utah and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He found strength and renewal in growing a vegetable garden and was spiritually and physically edified by working outside.
Kay had an exceptional ability to love people unconditionally and to see the core of who they were. Beyond his immediate family, he sincerely loved countless others. Kay and Suzanne raised their family in the Grant 2nd Ward where he served as Bishop. He was thankful to have served as a Seventy in the Salt Lake Grant Stake. He enjoyed being the Gospel Doctrine teacher. He was a gifted public speaker and bore powerful testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He loved and sustained the prophets, studied their lives, and prayed for them by name.
Kay was constantly seeking for light and truth. He had an incredible intellect and ability to comprehend the mysteries of God. He passionately immersed himself in the words of the Lord and was truly a scholar of the scriptures. To the end of his life, he relished feeling the Spirit of the Lord and cherished taking the sacrament each week and renewing his covenants. His embodiment of true principles was a source of instruction to his children and those who worked along side him.
Kay honored his parents. He and his wife cared for his mother for nine years in their home. He honored the role of women and cared for the widows in the ward, who adored him for it. He took a keen interest in the youth. He was a loving and faithful home teacher and was worthy and ready at a moment’s notice to exercise the priesthood. He made it a point to put on a white shirt and tie before giving a blessing. He loved and honored his ancestors and was passionate about recording his personal history as a legacy for his posterity.
Kay honored and magnified the opportunity to have a physical body. He was passionate about studying health and nutrition and putting into practice what he had learned. He was blessed with clarity of mind through the end of his life, and was quoting scriptures and bearing testimony of Jesus Christ until his final hours in mortality. He left this life knowing that he would be embraced in the arms of the Savior and loved ones who had passed on before.
Kay had an unbreakable commitment to his wife and even while wrenching in pain would say “I love you, sweetheart.” He honored his wife down to the very minute he died—11:11 am—which timing became his final testimony of his love, devotion, and commitment to her and the eternal family they created.
Kay is survived by his wife of 52 years, Suzanne, his children—Laura Kay Yamada, Katherine Worthington, Michelle (Joe) Halvorsen, Kenton A. Worthington, Suzanne Marie (Jacob) Ku, and Richard Worthington—and 15 grandchildren: Jacob (Camille), Luke (Emily), Isaac, Daniel, Jeremiah, Levi, Bella, Sandrine, Julia, Elise, Lily, Lenore, and Elijah.
Funeral services will be held Friday, August 2, 2019 at 11:00 AM in the Highland 19th Ward Chapel, 9621 North 6050 West, Highland. Viewings will be held Thursday from 6-8 PM at the Anderson & Sons Lone Peak Chapel, 6141 West 11000 North, Highland and Friday from 9:45-10:45 AM prior to the services at the 19th Ward Chapel. Burial will be in Vine Bluff Cemetery, Nephi, UT. Please share a memory at andersonmortuary.com
To send flowers to Kay's family, please visit our floral section.