Residence: St. Paul, MN
Deceased: April 12, 2010
Alumni survivors: Kenneth E. Dawkins ’59 (Sibling), Abby Dawkins ’60 (Sibling-in-law)
Kathleen Dawkins Gray “Katy” lived a very full life after Carleton but it was cut short at age 67.
Katy left Carleton after completing almost three years to marry Peter Goldman, a classmate. After earning her BA at the University of Minnesota, Katy taught high school science until her children began arriving. When Peter received his Ph.D. from Minnesota, the family moved to Kirksville, Missouri where Peter took a position at what is now Truman State University teaching Ornithology.
Katy and Peter had three children, Peggy, Andrew, and Heidi. Katy and Peter divorced in the early seventies and Katy moved to St Paul with the children.
Katy met and in 1978 married Bill Gray. Bill came with two children and Katy and Bill had two together so their family was comprised of seven young children. The kids are well adjusted and contributing members of the St Paul community, no small feat for a family of that size.
Katy lived in a large home in the Cathedral Hill district of St Paul and when the children had finished high school and left home, Katy remodeled the home to turn it into a Bed and Breakfast.
The successful business continues today and is the only multi room B and B in St Paul. Katy took full advantage of her homemaking skills plus her extroverted nature to make a tough business look easy. Guests made reservations months in advance to ensure a bed in their favorite room.
Katy died of breast cancer in 2010, first diagnosed at age 60 but then despite excellent medical care, she died after giving a good fight. At Katy’s memorial service, the minister warned me there would probably be small attendance because “people just do not show up in big numbers”.
How wrong he was as about six hundred people showed up to support the family and the sanctuary only holds about 350 so it was standing room only for many.
I would say her legacy is her seven children, of course, and her ability to show us all how to live a full and meaningful life while contributing to society at the same time. At her last Thanksgiving Katy offered thanks for her cancer as it brought her closer to so many people.