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Linda Kay Caisse, a long-time resident of Albuquerque, went to be with her Lord and Savior on February 3, 2023, after a long, hard fought battle with dementia.
Kay, as most people called her, was born to Sam and Sara Cummins in Columbia, Tennessee on October 23, 1942. After settling in Albuquerque, Kay attended and graduated from Sandia High School where she excelled academically and in music, both with the clarinet and voice.
Kay was the definition of a “survivor.” After enduring 28 years of domestic abuse from one of her previous husbands, she was courageous enough to get out of that relationship. Despite being left physically handicapped for the rest of her life, she never let her disabilities stop her from helping others and enjoying the blessings God gave her. Kay’s faith in Christ was her guiding light and she often credited that faith for her fiercely positive attitude and resilience.
Kay began a late career as a government service employee, first at the Forest Service and later at the KAFB clinic, where most called her “Miss Kay.” Her bright smile and obvious friendliness were a welcoming sight for many walking through those clinic doors. She was also an avid cook and baker, selling many of her original recipes to magazines and winning countless ribbons at the New Mexico State Fair for her jams, jellies, and fudge. Kay loved selling Avon and made many friendships with her customers as she earned numerous awards from the company.
God blessed Kay with two wonderful husbands: Denver G. Strause, to whom she was married from July 1993 to his passing in June 1994 and her current husband, Alfred (Al) B. Caisse. Kay and Al were blessed with almost 23 years of marriage. During those years, they enjoyed wonderful times traveling around the US (Hawaii, being their favorite destination), entertaining friends and family, and volunteering with both the IPPC and the Weems Art Fest. Al graciously and unselfishly cared for Kay throughout all of those years, loving her with all of his heart.
Kay is survived by her loving husband, Al Caisse and her four children: R. Ken Harrell Jr. (Rosemary) of Arvada, CO, John K. Harrell and Joe Shively of Surprise, AZ, James Harrell (Becci) of Redding, CA, and Katrina Wright (Rich) of Colorado Springs, CO. Kay is also survived by eight grandchildren: Christy Harrell Johnson, Jessica Harrell Kerns (Chris), Gavin Harrell, Payton Harrell, Parker Harrell, Maddie Harrell, Lane Wright (Neli), and Lene Wright. She is also survived by 5 great grandchildren, two sisters-in-law: Paula Cummins and Lorraine Fernandez and several nieces and nephews. Kay was preceded in death by her husband, Denver G Strause, her parents, Samuel Martin Cummins and Sara McSorely, her sister and brother-in-law, Marty and Bob Jenkins, her brother Sam Cummins, and her brother-in-law Bernardo Fernandez.
Kay’s family would like to thank the care givers at Avista Senior Living and Roadrunner Hospice for their help in caring for Kay over the last few years.
Kay will be interred at the Santa Fe National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
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