Cover photo for Helen (Kay) Omernik (Spafford)'s Obituary
1931 Helen 2021

Helen (Kay) Omernik (Spafford)

January 15, 1931 — January 22, 2021

Helen “Kay” Omernik


Helen “Kay” (Spafford) Omernik passed away with loved ones by her side Jan. 22, 2021.

Kay was born Feb. 15, 1931, in Northern Wisconsin to Frank and Agnes Spafford. Agnes died in childbirth with Kay; she and her four surviving siblings were raised by their maternal grandparents, Andrew and Agnes Kennedy of Shell Lake, Wisc.

Kay married Anthony Eugene “Gene” Omernik June 23, 1951. They were blessed with six children and celebrated 59 years of marriage before Gene’s passing in 2011.

Kay’s many nieces and nephews who still live up north visited Kay and her family dozens of times over the nearly 50 years she lived in Montrose. Whether Kay lived in Wisconsin; Minnesota; Missouri; Washington, D.C.; or Colorado, when company visited, she would take them to see the sights, feed them, and set them up with pillows and blankets for however long they wanted to stay. They all share our grief at losing her exuberant spirit, her Irish sparkle and her generosity.

Kay lived for her family. Her grand and great-grandchildren were the focal point of her life. She spoiled them with a well-stocked candy cupboard, a backyard swimming pool and a nearly endless supply of soda pop. She taught every grandchild how to play “King’s Corner” and “Crazy Eights” card games. One of her great grandchildren said no truer words:  “Everybody’s going to miss her.”

Kay’s laugh, despite the hardships of losing her beloved husband of nearly 60 years, a son, three beloved sisters and brother, warmed all our hearts. She was a strong woman from a long line of them and had a strong faith. Even though we have lost a big piece of our family, she is now reunited with her deceased loved ones.

Kay was one of the first volunteers when Heirlooms for Hospice opened in Montrose; she worked there for many years. Since she received such enjoyment working with the organization, the family respectfully requests in lieu of flowers consider making a contribution to HopeWest, 725 S. 4th St., Montrose, CO 81401.

Kay is survived by five of her children:  Marc Omernik of Reno, Nev.; Sue Petranek of Durango, Colo.; Mary (Steve) Mathis, Tom (Marian) Omernik, and Stephen Omernik; all of Montrose, Colo. Her husband, Gene, and son, David, preceded Kay in death. She leaves 14 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. It was a blessing to share a lifetime with her as she was so special to so many.

A family memorial service will take place at a later date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen (Kay) Omernik (Spafford), please visit our flower store.


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