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Kay Naylor, 90, passed away on Sunday, January 22nd surrounded by his kids. Kay was born October 20, 1927 In Lewistown, Montana. He grew up on Spring Creek fishing instead of attending school! Kay received his diploma from a high school in Seattle that he never attended because he had joined the Navy. He served aboard the USS Cumberland Sound (AV17) from 1946-1948. He also served during the Korean War aboard the USS Yancey, participating in the “Operation Crossroads”. Kay witnessed the testing of atomic bombs at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
He met and married Dorothy Balas in Lewistown, MT in November 1948. Kay and his father opened Naylor Motors in Lewistown, selling and servicing Packard automobiles. Continuing his career, he worked in Lewistown Auto Parts where he started a 40 year love of selling auto parts.
In 1955, Kay and his father took a leap of faith and moved to Conrad with $5,000 in their pockets to start the first of five K’s Auto Parts (NAPA) stores. Kenneth ran the store and Kay was “out on the road” selling parts four days a week. His gregarious, happy-go-lucky attitude assisted him in making friends and customers alike. Dad never met a stranger. K’s Auto stores were located in Conrad, Choteau, Browning, Fort Benton, and Fairfield. Kay and his Dad’s legacy continues today with Kay’s sons and grandson.
Kay loved to fish with his son, Dan, and grandson, Brit, golf with Jerry, Dan and Ken on father-son golf trips. He also loved to hunt with his boys and his friends, hunting for deer, elk, sheep, antelope, and especially moose. Kay was a 49ers fan his whole life and could often be seen with his “9ers” cap on.
Kay and Dorothy, who were married 57 years, enjoyed a lifetime of travel to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, England, Mexico, Alaska, and the United States. They especially enjoyed fall foliage trips to the Northeast. Together they enjoyed supporting their family attending events and celebrations. Kay and Dorothy were members of the Pondera Valley Lutheran Church.
Kay was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy, parents, Kenneth and Sophie, sister, Betty, brother-in-law, Ken, sisters, Fern, and Florence, and daughter-in-law, Jan (Ken).
Kay is survived by his children: Judy (Doug), Jerry (Vickie), Dan (Rhonda), and Ken, grandchildren: Brooks, Cassidy, Brit, Michael, Jamie, Toby, Nicole, Katrina, Jason, Chantel, and 13 great-grandchildren.
Kay should be remembered for the tenacity with which he lived his life-on his own terms! “Make every day an adventure!” was Kay Naylor’s motto in life. And he accomplished that!
There will be a private family celebration of Dad’s life at a later date. Any memorials may be made to Pondera Valley Lutheran Church.