Kay Elizabeth Adams
January 11, 1949 – October 4, 2019
Kay Adams of Marietta, GA passed away peacefully at Northside Hospital in Atlanta on October 4, 2019 after a long battle with multiple cancers.
Kay was born in Atlanta on January 11, 1949 to Oscar Leo and Katherine McClain Adams. She grew up in Atlanta and graduated from Walker High School in Dekalb County. An outstanding student, she attended the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program in 1966 and was on the Rich’s Teen Board for 2 years. She entered Georgia Tech in 1967 and remembered that there were only 20 other women in her freshman class. At Tech she was a varsity cheerleader, was a member of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority, often sang and played her guitar at Institute and Greek events, and began her lifelong love of chili dogs and onion rings from The Varsity.
After graduation, Kay took some time off then began a 40-year career as a Systems Engineer with IBM, during which time she “worked in every division of IBM except OP”. She was happiest when helping some customer solve a knotty computer problem. One of the positions she enjoyed most was her time teaching IBM new hires about IBM’s culture and ways of selling – the “paint ‘em blue” course. Had it not been for her declining health, Kay said she would probably would still be out there “helping customers”. Kay was an avid reader and lover of competitive games and challenging puzzles. A talented needleworker, her projects are in use in her church in Atlanta and a previous church in Michigan. She was an avid follower of her beloved GT Yellow Jackets, a regular at Grant Field and McCamish Pavillion and followed her Jackets to numerous bowl games, Sweet Sixteens and one Final Four.
A great lover of all creatures living, Kay had a particular fondness for cats. In addition to her own animals, she was personally responsible for rescuing, nursing back to health and finding homes for over 200 cats and kittens during her time as a member of the Cobb County Humane Society’s Cat Foster Program.
Kay was predeceased by both parents. She is survived by her older sister (and alternate mother), JoAnn Eidson of Peachtree City, her husband of 42 years, Ralph Paulk of Marietta, and her 3 beloved furkids, Java, Mollie and Munchkin.
The family would like to express special appreciation to Dr. Colleen Austin and the staff at Atlanta Cancer Care, and the Doctors and staff at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston TX, for their loving care during Kay’s 18-year journey through cancer treatment. Appreciation also goes to Dr. Dominique Bayard and the ICU staff at Northside Hospital for their care during Kay’s last two weeks.
A celebration of Kay’s life will be held at St Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, 4393 Garmon Road, Atlanta, at 2PM on Saturday October 12, 2019 with burial in the church’s Memorial Garden immediately after. A reception for guests will be held in the church Parish hall after the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Atlanta Cancer Care Foundation (www.atlantacancercarefoundation.org) or to your favorite animal rescue organization.
- A Celebration Of Kay's Life Saturday, October 12, 2019
Kay Elizabeth Adams
October 12, 2019
I joined IBM in July 1998 as a Global Techline Technical Sales Specialist. I retired in 2018. Kay was one of the first Mainframe Software Pricing and Licensing trainers outside of Techline from whom I was privileged to learn. Kay had such a grasp of the topic, I along with
numerous others were able to understand well.
I will always be grateful for her investment in my life professionally and personally. I will miss our phone calls once or twice a year since she left IBM several years ago for health reasons.
October 8, 2019
Kay was a remarkable woman who throughout her 18 years of fighting cancer showed strength and courage. Even after she was diagnosed with cancer she continued to travel throughout the world and pursue her many interests. Her husband Ralph planned the trips she wished to take and was by her side throughout the many challenges she faced during her illness. Theirs was truly an amazing relationship. Ralph, my heart goes out to you.💕