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April 22, 2019

4/20/2018 1:20:00 PM
Mass of Christian Burial for Kay Walczak (Griffin) April 27

Kathleen "Kay" Walczak (Griffin), 74, of Valrico, Fla., passed away on Monday, April 2, 2018, at Tampa General Hospital in Tampa Bay, Fla. Kay fought valiantly against a rare and aggressive cancer for almost eight years with grace, dignity, and unfaltering courage. The medical team, who took such loving care of her, were amazed by her resilience and determination and as her doctor often stated, "Kay is one tough lady!"
Kathleen Marie Griffin was born on Jan. 26, 1944 in Rochester, to Walter and Agnes (Halloran) Griffin. She grew up on the family farm, attended rural and Rochester schools, graduating from Lourdes High School in 1962. She was employed at Mayo Clinic as a medical secretary for a few years, before moving to Washington D.C. where she was employed with the FBI doing clerical work for one year and at the University of Michigan Periodic Health Care Unit in Ann Arbor, Mich. for one year.
Kay was married on Sept. 14, 1968 at St. Bridget's Catholic Church in rural Simpson to Aloysius L. Walczak. Following their marriage, the couple lived in Roseville, Mich., where Kay was employed at St. Joseph's Hospital in Mt. Clement, Mich. Following the birth of their children, she was a stay at home Mom. Al and Kay moved to Valrico, Fla. in 1980 following Al's IBM job transfer. After the kids were grown, Kay was employed as an occasional retail merchandiser for Hallmark Gold Crown stores in Florida, travelling all over the state. She liked the job and the new people she met while doing it. Kay was a past member of St. Bridget's Catholic Church and was an active member of Nativity Catholic Church in Brandon, Fla., and helped with church fundraisers that involved the sport of bowling, which she and Al enjoyed in various leagues through the years.
Kay's children and grandchildren were her most precious legacy. Her greatest joy came from their happiness - cuddling, playing games, scrapbooking, crafting, and baking were just a few of the joys she shared with them. She began a scrapbook for each grandchild, which covered significant events in their lives starting from birth. She also put a lot of love and care into hand-making all of their cards, which are treasured keepsakes. One of her favorite places to spend time with family was Sanibel Island. Memories spent enjoying nature and searching for special seashells together will be held dear. Another special place for Kay was the Griffin family farm in Minnesota. She and Al made the 24-30 hour trek up north every year. It brought her immense joy to share that part of her life with her children, and eventually grandchildren. Reuniting with family, exploring the farm, and enjoying the family potlucks, bonfires, shopping excursions, and exciting card games of 500 and 31. Kay was genuine, caring, encouraging, supportive, and had the most beautiful smile. Al has said, "She is the most forgiving person I have ever known." We will miss her and love her always.
Survivors include her loving husband of 49 1/2 years, Al of Florida; son, Sean Walter (Rebecca) of Florida, and daughter, Kerry Lynn (Steve) Bal of North Caroline; five grandchildren, Katherine, David, Anna Marie, Genevieve, and Kaitlin; her father, Walter Griffin of rural Rochester; three sisters, Mary Francis (John) Gillich of Stewartville, Sheila Griffin of rural Rochester, and Roseann (Chuck) Melby of Rochester; three brothers, Patrick (Bridget) Griffin of Rochester, Daniel (Faye) Griffin of rural Rochester, and Timothy Griffin of Minneapolis, and a bountiful cornucopia of nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her mother, Agnes, and brother, William "Billy" Griffin.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 27, 2018, at St Bridget's Catholic Church in Simpson, with Rev. John Wilmot officiating. Inurnment will follow in St. Bridget's Cemetery.
A time of visitation for family and friends will take place one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday morning. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Kay's name to: Nativity Catholic Church Food Pantry, 705 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511, or a charity of your choice.
Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville is assisting the family.

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