No Regrets: I’ve Done it All
Kay Thompson Brunetti Walker, died on Sunday, March 7, 2021 at Knickerbocker Villa, Clearfield.
Born November 1, 1930 in Curwensville, a daughter of the late Howard and Catherine Pifer Thompson, Kay was a graduate of Curwensville High School, Class of 1948. Even in her school days she displayed a distinctive style. A trend-setter, Kay was always a step ahead in her wardrobe, not because of purchasing power, but because of her creativity-including the daring off-the-shoulder prom gown with its bright yellow top and plaid taffeta skirt and, two-years later, her self-designed pink organdy and lace wedding dress made by Mrs. Buterbaugh, its matching picture hat purchased in Atlantic City, and the pink shoes dyed by adding coloring to white shoe polish.
Following graduation at 17, Kay, an exceptionally talented dancer, auditioned as a walk-on and was immediately signed as a stage chorus line dancer at the now-historic Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia and later was invited to join the premier troupe in Atlantic City.
Kay returned home and married Albert Brunetti. The couple was married August 26, 1950 in the Curwensville Methodist Church, filled with invited guests and viewed by townspeople sitting on the steps and lawn of the high school. The onlookers applauded as the couple exited the church and were escorted into a convertible to take part in the tradition of driving through the town as newlyweds.
In 1958, Kay, a Scorpio, described as “having persistence and determination to reach goals,” headed for the West Coast where she joined the premiere Trans World Airlines as a promotions manager which provided her entre into the movie industry in joint ventures with TWA, ranging from renting a prop plane for a movie scene to planning TWA’s sponsorship of the Golden Globe Awards. This position also gained her admission to the 1970 Academy Awards ceremony. As she later noted, “This was one of the most thrilling nights of my life. We had been to other premieres to which I had been invited by studio heads, but this topped anything else.”
A world traveler during her lifetime, Kay visited all seven continents and sailed on all five oceans of the globe. She visited all seven of the Natural Wonders of the World: Mount Everest, Great Barrier Reef, Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, Paricutin Volcano, and the Northern Lights in the Arctic.
She also visited the seven Ancient Wonders of the World: Pyramids of Gaza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Temple of Artemis, Statue of Zeus at Olympia; Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes, and the Pharaohs of Alexandria, Egypt.
Further, she traveled to the seven Wonders of the Medieval World: Stonehenge, Roman Coliseum, Catacombs of Kom el Shokafa, Great Wall of China, Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, China; Hagia Sophia, Turkey; and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy; along with the seven Wonders of the Modern World: Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building, Itaipu Dam, C.N. Tower, Panama Canal, Chunnel Tunnel, and the North Sea Protection Works.
In addition, she visited the Hawaii Islands 40 times; sailed the Caribbean 8 times; visited Europe 7 times; Asia 6 times; Africa 4 times; South America 3 times; as well as Alaska, Iceland, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, and the Antarctica.
She likely set a local record for cruises, including the Rhine River, Greece, Alaska, Norway, Canary Islands, Suez Canal and Middle East, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, Hawaii, Mediterranean, Catalina Island, and the Northern Isles.
In addition to her numerous “first place” ribbons in dancing competitions, in 1993 Kay was crowned “Ms. Senior Pennsylvania and Ms. Senior America; and in 1999 was awarded the title of Ms. Classic American Woman.
The daughter of Catherine Pifer Thompson and Howard V. Thompson, Kay was preceded in death by her first husband, Albert R. Brunetti and by Robert A. Walker, her second husband. She is survived by her daughter, Kim Brunetti Richards of Palm Springs and her three sisters, Dr. Judith Witmer and E. Nan Edmunds, both of the Hershey area and Jo Ellen Lorenz of the Washington, DC area.
At Kay’s request, there will be no public visitation. A Committal Service will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery, followed by interment next to husband and love, “Bobby Walker.”
Beardsley Funeral Home and Crematory, Curwensville is in charge of arrangements.
To sign the online guestbook, visit www.beardsleyfuneralhome.com