Kay Hays – Member profile

Hometown:  Knoxville, Tennessee

Birthday:  November 1, 1946

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip…. No, you’re not going to hear the tale of Gilligan’s Island.  You are about to hear the story of one young lady and her migration around the United States.  Meet Kay Lynn Bounds Hays.


Kay Hays, front view

Kay’s humble beginnings did not foretell the many miles or the many milestones that her   career would hold.  She was born in “Downtown Burlington” and attended East High School, just down the street from her childhood home.  Little did she know at that time that she would eventually meet another East High Mountaineer and become his bride.

Kay’s husband, Tom, attended East High just a few short years before she did.  Although they did not know each other in high school, they soon connected (on a blind date) and were married in 1965.  It was soon after their marriage that our opening song came in to play.  Tom probably said something like, “I’ve got this great job opportunity.  It is out of state, but we probably won’t be gone long (“a three hour tour…”).

Kay and Tom soon began their quest to see how many states they could call home. Tom said Kay thought “Burlington” was a state until he dragged her to St. Louis, Missouri in 1965!  After spending 4 years there, they returned to Knoxville so that Tom could finish his education at the University of Tennessee.

After Tom got his degree in Forestry, the moving van was packed again.  It was off to Pascagoula, Mississippi to work for International Paper Company.  About the time Kay learned to spell Pascagoula, it was time to pack the bags again.  This time they were off to Mobile, Alabama.  Finally it was time to return to the great state of Tennessee when they moved back to Columbia.

During this migration, Kay had proved herself to be a valuable asset to several businesses along the way.  Soon after her return to Knoxville, in 1992 she secured a job with Bush Brothers & Company where she served as the Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the company.  You might have seen her picture in the paper recently with the former Presidents of Executive Women International.  She served as the President of this organization in 2001.

When she was asked about her “15 minutes of fame,” she replied, “It was more like 5 seconds, and I missed it.”  She was referring to the night that Martina McBride came to sing at the Tennessee Theatre to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bush Brothers & Company in 2008.  When it came time for them to recognize Kay as a member of the team that organized the extravaganza, she didn’t know that the camera was in the back of the room.  Therefore her “moment in the sun” was actually just a real nice look at the back of her head!  It looked nice on that big screen, though.

As Kay finds time to unwind during her retirement years, you can probably find her curled up with a good book, playing with her dogs, or visiting her favorite vacation spot, the beautiful Smoky Mountains.  She also finds time to volunteer with the Friends of the Library as a book sorter, and is an integral part of the famous group known as Eastminster on Tour.  Without Kay’s enthusiasm and organizational skills, this group wouldn’t have nearly as much fun.

Look for Kay during church holding down her regular spot on the less populated west side of the sanctuary.  She laid claim to this spot shortly after joining Eastminster in January of 2011.  Be sure to ask her about her “5 seconds of fame.”  Those of you sitting behind her might even recognize her.  Introduce yourself to Kay Bounds Hays, a wonderful Christian example to all of those around her.

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