The University of Arizona
QUICK LINKS:


KATHERINE CLARA AMANDA SIGMAN NEWALL

  Printable Version
 
Birth Date: 1920
Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan
Passed Away: 2001

Honored By

Donor names:   Carol Newall Powers
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Brick Paver - small
Location on plaza map:
 
Kay was born June 21st, 1920, to Alma Long Sigman and Roy Sigman in Detroit, Michigan. The oldest of five children, she helped raise her four younger siblings (June, Marie, Delores and Roy, Jr.). The children, born during the "Roaring 20s," enjoyed a comfortable childhood until a year after Roy, Jr., was born in 1928; the Great Depression hit Detroit with a vengeance in 1929.

Surviving the Depression with five small children on a laborer’s salary was difficult. Photos of the family during this time show thin children in threadbare clothing and an exhausted mother. Kay watched the children so her mother could clean houses for extra money. Kay entered the workforce at age 16, working in stores and small businesses, and also at Burrough’s Corporation.

Socially, Kay was very busy. She was a beautiful young woman, often compared to Elizabeth Taylor. She had many suitors. Kay married a handsome army soldier, Glenn Edward Newall, during World War II. They settled in Livonia, a suburb of Detroit.

Kay and Glenn Newall had two children, Carol and Robert (Bob).

During her adult life, Kay enjoyed being a mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend to a close circle of women in Livonia. She belonged to a card club, "The Has-Beens," during the 1960s and 70s, and these women met to play pinochle with three other couples regularly.

Kay’s daughter Carol married Marvin Powers, had three children (Dan, Kimberly and Jason), and resides in the San Diego area. Retired Nacy, the Powers family has also lived in Yokosuka in Japan, and Hawaii. They have four grandchildren.

Kay’s son Bob served with the Army during the Vietnam War, stationed in Okinawa, Japan. After returning home, he married Nancy Manfredi. They reside in Wartrace, Tennessee.

Kay enjoyed decorating her home, rummaging through yard sales and bargain stores, and keeping up with fashion trends. She was always "in style" and was acknowledged by her sisters as the "fashion plate" of the four of them. Her flair for style and decoration were remarkable. For employment, Kay worked cleaning other women’s homes (and getting decorating ideas from these houses), and in the service industries. Her full-time career was wife and mother.

Kay’s relationship with her sisters, June, Marie and Delores, was close and often turbulent as these relationships can be. They spoke to each other daily, in an era when phone calls were special, and had weekly get-togethers at one another’s homes while the children were growing up.

In her later years, Kay began to have health and memory problems. Over time, these problems progressed to self-care problems. Glenn managed to care for her in their home of many years until 2000, when it became necessary to place Kay in a nearby nursing home. Kay died from complications associated with Alzheimer’s disease in February 2001. She leaves behind her husband, two children, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.