Newport, NH - Katherine “Kay” Blake Sanborn, 89, a longtime area resident, passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 9, 2023, to join her love of 70 years, Harry, who passed away three weeks earlier.
Kay was the daughter of Harry Clement and Martha (Gillingham) Blake, born in Bradford, NH on September 5th , 1933. She was raised in South Newbury and graduated from Simonds Free High School in Warner, NH. Kay continued her studies at nursing school at Mary Hitchcock Hospital.
She married the love of her life, Harry Madison Sanborn, Sr., on June 28, 1953, at the South Newbury Union Church. They lived in South Newbury for a brief period prior to moving to Newport, where they built their family home, and raised their children, Harry Jr., Bill and Joanne.
Soon after Kay and Harry were married, she worked at Dorr Woolen and later became the bookkeeper for Sanborn’s Express as she and Harry ran their trucking company together. Over the years she also volunteered as a Cub Scout den mother, Brownie’s and Girl Scouts leader, librarian at Richard’s Elementary School, and taught Sunday School at the South Church. She also volunteered at the South Newbury Historical Society and the Newport Thrift Store. She worked for many years in the Newport School System as a para-educator and loved helping the students and working alongside the teachers. She later found one of her biggest loves in their blueberry business, and spent many summers in “The Blueberry Patch”. If you heard Beethoven or Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture playing while you were picking, you knew Kay was in the patch. She spent time with the patrons, listening to their stories, and remembering those stories from year to year. She so dearly cared for her “pickers”. Many people have missed her these past several years as her declining health prevented her presence in the patch, but she was always still present in spirit.
Kay was a loving, devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. More than anything, she loved her family. She loved to bake for them and share fun stories with much laughter and lots, and lots of Grammie hugs. Grandchildren were the light of her life. She had multiple talents and passionately enjoyed music, reading, sewing, quilting, baking, word puzzles, sudoku, and playing card games with her grandchildren. She carried a tradition of Sunday dinners for decades. If she was outside puttering, she always carried her handsaw and pruners to work on trimming the branches. She had a passion for genealogy and enjoyed this historical research for over 40 years.
She is predeceased by her husband, Harry Madison Sanborn Sr. who passed peacefully on January 15, 2023. She is also predeceased by her parents, her sisters June Merrill, Patricia Chambers and Shirley Blake.
Surviving family members include her children, Harry Sanborn Jr. (Diane), William Sanborn Sr. (Susan) and Joanne Miller. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Kate, Harry III and Andrew Sanborn, Jessica Lane, William Jr. and Matthew Sanborn, and Jackson and Madison Miller. She is survived by great- grandchildren Viola, Aidan, Brayden, Cameron, Tyler and Cooper. She is also survived by her sister Marion DeRoche.
She also leaves behind her Woodlawn Care Family. This family helped her through the few years when she was unable to be at home. The transition of not being at home was challenging for her, and the caring staff and residents supported her greatly. We will be forever grateful to each of you for taking such great care of our loving Mother and Grandmother, especially during COVID when visits were limited.
Calling hours will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2023 from 11 AM until 1 PM at Newton Bartlett Funeral Home, 42 Main Street, Newport with a service at 1:00. Burial will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Katherine’s name may be made to one of the following organizations: Richard’s Free Library, Newport, NH, Newport Historical Society or the Newport Service Organization.
To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.