Kay LaRay (Barstow) Taggart

June 2, 1937 ~ January 4, 2022 (age 84)


Kay LaRay Barstow Taggart (Strutzel), 84, of Anaconda passed away at the Copper Ridge Health and Rehabilitation Center in Butte Montana on January 4, 2022. Kay faced and overcame the challenges of Multiple Sclerosis for many years and continued to do so with the onset and advancement of dementia in last few years of her life.

Kay was born on June 2, 1937 in Redlands, California to William Barstow and Ruby Gallup (Barstow). She attended school in Ririe, Idaho, was a Homecoming Queen and graduated in 1955.

Kay was gifted with an uncommon and exceptional set of creative and artistic abilities that brought enjoyment, beauty, happiness and appreciation to many family members, friends and acquaintances. She was always working on some new painting, craft project, home improvement or gardening project. Her children and grandchildren always held a special place in her heart to which she devoted endless hours creating handmade gifts for birthdays and holidays, costumes for school plays and Halloween parades and Christmas decorations for family, friends and local organizations.

Kay had a knack for turning a house into a home. She could turn trivial items into beautiful décor and our home was always filled with paintings and decorations that she made from scratch. Old furniture was reupholstered and repurposed. Wooden chairs and tables would be re-finished and brought back to life. No home project was too big or too complicated for Kay.

Creating original home décor was not the only pastime at which Kay excelled. She could also transform a lackluster back yard into her own personal sanctuary, a playground for her children or a little of both. She enjoyed gardening and took special care to make sure her children didn’t trample her Iris’s. She spent hours painting flowers on rocks and boulders and arranging them just right. Show up at the right time and you just might find yourself helping her with her rock garden, building a gazebo or leveling steppingstones in her garden.

Kay was certainly a gifted artist and craft maker, but the greatest gift she shared was the love and care she gave her family, her children and her friends. She loved spending time with her children, grandchildren and family members. Kay was a very loving, kind-hearted, helpful and caring mother and grandmother and will be fondly remembered by her family and friends.   

Kay was proceeded in death by her parents William and Ruby (Gallup) Barstow, brother William (Bing) Barstow, sister Beverly Robison, niece Terri Thornock, nephew David Thornock, ex-husband Jon B. Strutzel and late husband Roland Taggart. She is survived by her brother Brandt (Janice) Thomas, nephew Rick Thornock, niece Gina Faber and four sons; George (Carla) Strutzel, Jon (Charlotte) Strutzel, Mike (Susan) Strutzel and Jerry (Marcia) Strutzel as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

The family would like to thank the staff members, volunteers and service providers of the Copper Ridge Health and Rehabilitation Center, both past and present, for the professional services, care and treatment they provided to Kay and her family during her stay.

Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.

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