Mary Kathryn (Kay) Selby Laird

Mary Kathryn (Kay) Selby Laird, a long-time resident of Louisville, Kentucky, passed away peacefully on March 2, 2020 in Lawrence, Kansas. Daughter of Errett and Eva (Williams) Selby, of Columbus, Ohio, Mary Kathryn was born on September 18, 1923. She was raised in Columbus, graduated from North High School and attended Ohio State University where she earned bachelor’s degrees in French and Spanish Education and an M.A. in French. She taught at Denison University in Granville, Ohio for four years and began a Ph.D. in French at Ohio State. On 20 September 1952 she married Robert K. Laird in Columbus and moved to Louisville where he worked for American Standard. They raised three boys together and continued to live in Louisville the remainder of their lives except for nine years in New Jersey during the 1970s. She taught French and Spanish at junior high and high schools in Louisville and New Jersey, and at the end of her career she spent several years teaching at Walden School. She was for many years a member of Calvin Presbyterian Church, where she served as an elder. While a member of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Louisville in the 1960s, she was one of the first female elders in the state of Kentucky. She was a lifetime member of the American Association of University Women.

She was preceded in death by her husband in 2007. She is survived by three sons: Douglas (Demetria) Laird of Hopatcong, NJ; Paul (Joy) Laird of Lawrence, KS; and David (Mary Beth) Laird of Pewee Valley, KY; five grandchildren: Chris (Marie), Sarah, Caitlin, Emma, and Elijah; two great-grandchildren: Chase and Avalyn; a nephew, Tom Selby of Lakewood, OH; a niece, Patti Stiles of Pickerington, OH; and a sister-in-law, Peg Reasoner of Columbus, OH. The love, grace, and gentleness that she brought to everyone will be remembered. The Laird family thanks the loving staff of Lawrence Presbyterian Manor for the wonderful care that they gave Kay Laird from the time that she moved to Lawrence in October 2018, and also thanks the Douglas County Visiting Nurses who supervised her hospice care.

A memorial service will take place at Calvin Presbyterian Church, 2501 Rudy Lane, Louisville, KY on Friday, June 4, 2021, at 10:00 AM. The family requests that masks be worn by those attending.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Mortar Board National College Senior Honors Society, c/o Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044-3402.

8 Condolences

  1. Emma Louise Laird on March 2, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    Heaven gained a beautiful, caring soul today. Grandma Kay, thank you for the memories, the many tea parties, making my favorite cookies just for me, putting pickles on the dinner table (knowing they were my favorite), you taught me about many cultures by having me read Spanish and French literature, my love for reading comes from you, I know you’re proud of the young lady I’ve grown up to be, but I hope one day to be even half the lady you were. I know you’re watching over me and I hope to continue to make to make you proud! It couldn’t mean more to be your granddaughter! Mary Kathryn Selby Laird, you’ll be greatly missed but I’m glad you can Rest In Peace and not pain now!
    Love, Emma Louise

  2. David H. Laird on March 3, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Mom you taught me how to not judge people for any reason and I have taught my children the same lesson. You were the most loving and caring person I have ever known and you showed me to be the same way but I could never be as loving or caring as you. I never heard you say a bad word about anyone and you were the most thoughtful person I have ever known. You will be missed so much and no one can take away the wonderful memories I have of you. The Heavens have gained another Angel on March third 2020 and I will miss you so much but I know this is a much better place for you due to the extreme pain you were enduring for the past few months. This is the comfort I can have knowing you are in a better place. Rest in peace Mom . All of my love, David

  3. Shirley Hagewood on March 4, 2020 at 6:26 am

    Sympathy to all the Laird family during this time of loss ,Kay was a model of love and caring , it has carried over to her extended family wherever she happened to reside . The fragile life she lived with on earth is now full of Heavenly Strength and Vigor , may Kay -Rest In Peace , knowing she was a guiding light for so many in Ohio, Ky, NJ & KS .
    In Christian Love
    Shirley & Jim Hagewood
    Pewee Valley , KY

  4. Nancy Hawkins on March 4, 2020 at 10:56 am

    Paul, even though I never met your mother, I know she must have been an inspiration for your spectacular academic career. Please know I’m thinking of you, Joy, Caitlin and all your family during your time of transition.
    Love from Nancy Hawkins

  5. Marilyn Lane Figuieras on March 5, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    I knew Kay from my Monday night visits at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor. She was truly lovely to everyone she met. My sympathies to her family during this time.

  6. Cathy Crispino on March 6, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    Paul, Joy, and Caitlin, my aunt and I enjoyed getting to know Kay at Presbyterian Manor. Praying that you feel surrounded by the peace of God and the love of your dear Kay.

  7. Dawn Trent on April 28, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    Dawn Trent

    My mother and I met Kay at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor. I was always impressed with her beautiful smile and calm demeanor. Kay also had great eye contact and shared a smile with her eyes many times, making me feel noticed and special. God bless you and all the family with happy memories.

  8. Robin walker on June 3, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    You will be missed by all. You are a wonderful woman always had a smile to share. Since you left Brownsboro park your sweet warmth and smile has been missed dearly

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