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Kay’s Branch News: Sad news for our little community

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By Bonnie Strassell

When I sent in the column last week, I wrote a note to News-Herald Staff Writer Molly Haines saying I wasn’t writing this week because nothing will have happened till the weekend was over. Well, I was wrong again.
I took a notion to go car shopping on Wednesday. Ann said she could go with me Thursday morning. She was taking her car up early to be serviced at Toyota and could get off at 10 a.m. to accompany me to Bob Allen Chrysler to “just look.” Then I could take her back to Toyota to pick up her car. That sounded like a plan.
We were at the car lot for almost three hours. I had only seen one car that was any ways near what I wanted and I wasn’t really thrilled with it. When the salesman totaled up my car and the cost it was just too much for a car I wasn’t in love with, so we were getting ready to go pick up Ann’s car and try again after Labor Day when they might have more good used cars. That really didn’t set well with the young salesman so he said “Wait, let me get my manager.” In 10 minutes or so, out came this older man and said, “Take a look at the car I just parked out front and see if that won’t suit you.”
My requests were something dark, used but not too used and it must be a van with back doors that slide and seats that fold into the floor. I really wanted a car that doubled as a farm car. This was a Dodge Caravan with few bells and whistles that was a beautiful dark gray. I loved it. So we redid all the paper work and I signed my name at least 39 times and I came home in the new van.
It looks like a large black hearse, but I plan to be buried in it so it’s appropriate for my old age. I was a happy camper. I’d gotten a car that suited me at a price I could live with and enjoyed a half day with my daughter.
And then about 8:30 p.m., the phone rang. It was Lou Ann telling me that she had heard on her scanner that an ambulance was called that afternoon for a lady on Sawdridge Creek Road that had been found unconscious. It was Jean Zeitz. She said the ambulance didn’t come back by her house so they must have taken her to Markey Cancer Center.
Jean had been taking treatments for cancer there this summer.
I put in a call to Leslie Shane who works with Gray in the printing press building. I got a return call about 9:45 p.m. She had just gotten home from Lexington. I asked, “How is Jean?” She said. “She died.”  
I could not speak  for a moment.
Our beautiful, sunny, intelligent friend, neighbor and member of our church family was dead.
The last time I had seen her was at church. She was just starting her radiation. She said, “I won’t be at church for a while, but I’ll be back. I am going to beat this.”
I’d known Jean as a young woman who came to Monterey in the ‘70s with the new people, with Bettina and Kirk Summerville, her brother.
I remember when she and Gray had their first child Jessie Then along came Laural, or Kirkie, as we knew her.
Jean was a wonderful mother and grandmother. When her children were in school, she went to work for the Montessori School in Frankfort. She also did social work in Owen County. She helped Gray in the Larkspur Press. She took care of her grandchildren while Krikie finished her nursing degree. Jean was there where she was needed, always with a smile and good work. She had grown from an acquaintance, to a casual friend to a dearly beloved friend over the years. My heart grieves for my own loss and I can only imagine the grief of her family.
She made the request that her body be donated to the UK Medical Center. A memorial service will be held at the Monterey Christian Church on Friday afternoon, Sept. 6, from 1-3  and a reception afterwards at their home on Sawdridge Creek Road. These plans were made on Friday, Aug. 30, so some adjustment might be made. Just call any member of the Monterey Church if you need further information. We will have it nailed down by Sunday.
From elation to despair in a matter of hours. Tell someone for whom you care that you love them. We do not know when God will call us home.