Kay L. Pickens, 82, of Deshler, Ohio, passed away on Friday, June 9, 2023 at the home she kept filled with love for over 50 years. She had faced her terminal heart diagnosis with bravery, strength and faith; with her thoughts and concerns focused on the loved ones she would leave behind.
She was born on June 7, 1941 to Ronald and Rita (Rothman) Thatcher, in Deshler, Ohio. They preceded her in death, joined by her sister, Theresa Snyder, and Kay’s daughter, Denise. Grieving the great loss of Kay’s smile are her husband, Richard Pickens; children Jeniene (Mike) Hohl, Bradley (Jennis) Pickens, Angela (Tim) Moses, Steven (Michelle) Pickens, Christine (Scott) Best, and Kathleen Pickens; siblings Ronald (Terri) Thatcher, Diane Brubaker, William Thatcher, and Bryan (Sue) Thatcher; 14 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren; 6 godchildren; and countless dear friends.
Kay was a 1959 graduate of Deshler High School and remained an avid reader and passionate learner throughout her life. She married Richard Pickens on July 22, 1961 in Hamler, Ohio and would spend the next six decades as a devoted, loving wife. Kay lived her faith and did so without the intention of recognition; she was as humble as she was giving. She led the prayer chain at Immaculate Conception Church for decades, but also gave comfort and support to those in need via a drive to chemotherapy, a pie for the grieving, a dinner for the houseless, a card in the mail, and so much more. Her compassion inspired many and rippled to touch immeasurable lives.
She worked outside the home at various points through the years, putting her strong writing skills, organization expertise, and impeccable style on display at Marathon Oil Company, Thatcher Insurance, and Brimley Law in Findlay, Ohio. She also managed all of the tedious duties for Pickens Farms & Transfer, while Richard supplied the labor. Kay somehow managed to juggle it all while raising six active and ornery children, making time to attend every athletic event, school recognition, and church function.
When people remember Kay, her extraordinary cooking and baking skills come to mind quickly. Caring for others gave her joy, and food was one way to share her love. Laughter was another, and her quick wit and humor continued throughout her illness. She was our rock during times of uncertainty and grief—the first to hold your hand, embrace you in a hug, and to just sit quietly when silence was needed.
It will be difficult to make it through our grief without her to lean on, but she hoped that we would take care of each other with love and support.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 from 5-7:00 p.m. at Feehan-Rodenberger Funeral Home, 133 East Maple Street, Deshler, OH 43516 followed by a rosary service. On Thursday, June 15, 2023 at 10:00 a.m., friends are invited to join the family at the funeral home for a few brief prayers and the procession. A Catholic Funeral Mass will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 230 Allendale Avenue in Deshler, with Father Art Niewiadomski presiding. Burial will immediately follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, after which friends and family are invited to return to the church for a luncheon.
Kay loved and appreciated God’s gifts and it is fitting that she held onto life until the fields were planted and the flowers were blooming. She also supported many Catholic ministries and other organizations that assist the underserved. The family welcomes friends to celebrate Kay; whether sending flowers, donating to a charity of choice, or thinking of her when helping someone else in need.
Messages of comfort may be left for Kay’s family by visiting www.feehanrodenbergerfuneralhome.com and clicking on the, “Tribute Wall.”