Kate Hay Guest

Friday, February 22, 2019

LEBANON, NH — Kate Hay Guest, 100, died peacefully at her Harvest Hill apartment in Lebanon, N.H. on February 20, 2019, surrounded by her family.

She was born on December 18, 1918, in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, the daughter of Willis and Mildred (Dewey) Hay. She graduated from Waynflete School in Portland, Maine and then attended Smith College and graduated in 1940. She worked at the Portland shipyard during the war, and then as a librarian in Portland, where she met her future husband, Bob Guest.

After marrying in 1942, they lived in Georgia and then in Newport RI, where Bob was an officer in the Navy. After the war, they lived in Milford CT, and while Bob was doing research at Yale, Kate was not only raising their four sons, but became a Cub Scout Den Mother and took many of the underprivileged neighborhood kids under her wing. The family moved to Hanover, N.H. in 1960 when Bob became a professor at the Dartmouth Tuck School of Business. Wherever they lived, they welcomed visitors to their home, from their sons’ friends, people they had met in their travels or places they had lived, to presidential candidates.

Kate was a remarkable athlete. She loved to be outdoors, hiking in the woods, skiing or playing golf. She was a founding member of the “Granite Grannies” who had fun hiking all over New Hampshire, and she climbed all of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot mountains except the aptly-named Mount Isolation. Kate was an excellent golfer and was the Hanover Country Club Champion for many years in the 1960’s and 70’s, often beating much younger athletes. She also won the New Hampshire Senior Championship several times.

Even more incredible than her golf career was her skiing; Kate skied for 85 years! There may be skiers who remained active at an older age, but it is doubtful anyone still alive today in North America started so early. When she started to ski in the 1920’s, the sport was only practiced by a very few brave souls, mostly immigrants from Europe. There were no lifts, no bindings, no ski boots, and not even any turning. She just skied straight downhill. She adapted to every new change in the sport and was an active instructor and organizer in the Ford Sayre Ski Association. As a young woman, she skied several times down the famous Headwall at Tuckerman’s Ravine on Mount Washington. This was in the 1940’s when that feat was only attempted by the best and bravest skiers.

She was very active her whole life and loved by many, including the 70 or so who recently attended her 100th birthday celebration. She was a generous, warm-hearted person and was known for her gentleness, modesty, and quiet grace. In addition to her outdoor pursuits, she enjoyed gardening, reading, and playing bridge.

Kate was predeceased by her husband, Bob; her sister Dorothy Jensen; brother Will Hay; son Greg and grandson Adam. She is survived by her sons Jake, John and Peter; daughters-in-law Liz, Mary Beth, Day and Arlene; her 8 grandchildren Joe Guest, Ruth Guest Heerdt, Jill Guest Remick, Annie Guest, Ben Guest, Dan Guest, Carol Guest, and Brian Guest; and 3 great grandchildren Natalie Remick, Harlow and Beck Heerdt.

In lieu of flowers, please give to a charity of your choice and keep Kate’s wishes alive by voting in the next election.