Kay was born two miles west of Lindy, Nebraska, in October 1935. Elementary school was a one-room school south of Lindy. He went to high school at Bloomfield, Nebraska, graduating in 1953. Education continued at the University of Nebraska in Agriculture with a Bachelor of Science degree earned in 1957. Education continued one more year in agriculture graduate work. Kay served six years with the USAF as an aircraft mechanic in the 173rd Fighter-Interceptor squadron, Nebraska Air National Guard and USAF Reserve.
Kay married Shirley Halligan in August 1957. Three sons were born to the union: Bret (Bonnie, deceased) (Jan), Brian (Darlene) and Matthew (Leslie); and grandchildren Brittney Knudson, Nicole Allen (Austin) and Kallie Greenshields; and great-grandchild Asher Allen. Career work was in production and consultant agriculture until retirement in 2000. Kay was ordained an Episcopalian priest in 2005, serving the congregation at St. Peter’s In the Valley, Lexington, Nebraska.
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