Friends and family gathered at Clark Lake today (Saturday 9/26) to celebrate the life of Kay Vermeulen Nichols. You may have noticed water skis bun-geed to mailboxes on Eagle Point and Keast. In her skiing career, that started at Clark Lake, Kay had won 19 national championships. As family members came in from Texas, the skis were intended to welcome them back to the lake.
Around 2 pm friends and family held a paddle out–paddle boards and kayaks meeting on the water in the Eagle Point Cove. At one point the group joined hands for a moment of silence.
Then there was an exuberant “we love you Kay”. Flower petals showered the group.
While out on the lake, an eagle flew overhead. Austin, David and Kay’s son, was heard to say “that was Mom.”
Later, at another gathering, David Nichols, Kay’s husband, spoke of what Kay had meant to him. David and Kay met at Eagle Point. At one point, the two of them were riding one of the Bentley’s horses through the McKone apple orchard. Using no saddle, Kay was holding onto to his waist. He said it occurred to him at that time if he fell off, she was going with him–and she must have known that. He was amazed by her faith in him. As time went on, he realized it was the other way around. Kay was guiding him, and supporting him as they navigated life’s challenges and triumphs.
Kay’s twin sister, Linda, also told about life with Kay. During Kay’s illness, Linda wrote a poem for her sister.
I have a double, a copy of me.
She is always in my heart wherever I may be.
A voice in my head tells me there’s another,
Alike in many ways but different altogher.
We learned about life together every day,
Reading writing friendship in our own way.
Swimming and skiing were our great undertaking.
We practiced together to see what would be in the making.
We raised our kids followed our dreams,
And never forgot we were on the same team.
The sun shines bright on our later years,
Fun we will have with great cheer.
Kay’s brother, Lynn Vermeulen told what it was like growing up with twins. In the beginning, even the family had a hard time telling them apart. But that gradually changed. In commenting on her life, Lynn quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson “It is not length of life, but depth of life“. He then went on to describe her role as mother, grandmother, and 19 time national water ski champion.
Below are photos surrounding today’s event, including some on the lake today as the paddle out assembled and departed.
Kay’s life, in time, will be memorialized in the Tribute section of this website. This website welcomes others as well. If a family member wishes to memorialize a loved one in this way, please email [email protected]