Martha Alice Smith Kay, 77, passed away in her Goochland, VA home on February 12, 2021, surrounded by loving family. Wife of the late Buckingham Schools Superintendent, Mercer Weldon Kay, and daughter of Charles Newell Smith and Sallie Sutton Smith of Buckingham, VA, she is survived by daughters, Ellen Hess (and husband, Fluvanna County Sheriff, Eric Hess) and Amy Millican (and husband, CDR Jeffrey Millican); and grandsons, John Cabell Neterer, Charles Ashby Neterer and Lowell Mills Neterer.
Martha Alice grew up in Manteo in her family’s historic homeplace with sisters “Baby Sallie” (Sallie Smith Carmichael) and “Sue Belle” (Irene Susie Saunders) and near her first and closest cousin, Roy Turner. She studied English at Farmville’s Longwood College before completing her Master’s Degree in Guidance and Library Science at the University of Virginia. From there, she began a teaching career in Buckingham and Fluvanna counties before assuming the post of Scottsville librarian. Self-education, curiosity and social engagement typified Martha Alice’s latter, as well as her former years.
Her pursuits proved as multifaceted as she, comprising knitting, reading, tap dancing and painting, besides attending lectures, participating in several women’s Bible studies, leading book clubs and voraciously collecting books, yarn and friends. Mrs. Kay’s surviving family remembers her as a loyal patriot, a gifted intellect, an animated conversationalist and the unremitting champion of the underdog.
A funeral service will be held for Martha Alice at the Sutton Family Cemetery in Buckingham, VA at 11 A.M. on February 20, 2021. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Buckingham County Public Library. Arrangements are being handled by Norman Funeral Chapel in Goochland, VA.