In loving memory

Helena Kathleen “Kay” (MacIssac) Houston was born September 21, 1943, to Fintan and Marie (Doucette) MacIsaac in Newfoundland, Canada. She was one of nine children. Kay passed peacefully on September 19, 2023 in Tacoma, Washington.

Military marriage brought Kay to the United States at 18 years of age. It was in Tacoma, Washington, where she settled and raised her five children, but she never let you forget that she was a “Newfie”.

Kay was kind, loving, compassionate, giving, hard-working, and a spitfire with a great sense of humor. She was a fierce warrior for her children and those she loved.
Throughout her life, Kay’s employment was always service-based, in one form or another. From working at St. Joseph’s Hospital, to COPES, to private home care, to finishing her career at Franke Tobey Jones Retirement Community, Kay found joy and purpose in “looking after” others. Her open door and open arms were a tremendous comfort to so many throughout her life, especially her children and grandchildren.  In her past time, Kay was an avid reader, who loved food, thrifting, talking on the phone with one arm crossed, and having her grandchildren over.  Anyone who was a part of Kay’s life knew that she had a passionate “green thumb” and enjoyed her social gatherings, cooking and cleaning her home, and ironing everything. She cared for everyone’s children. She would tuck them in good and tight with five minutes of goodnight adages followed by Kay’s unforgettable goodnight kiss. Kay struggled the last two years with the onset of Alzheimer’s and living the reality that she knew, but she never forgot the love she had for her family and friends.

Kay is preceded in death by her parents, Fintan and Marie MacIsaac, her sister, Patricia “Tish”, and her brothers, Tom, Pat, and Frankie MacIsaac.
She is also preceded in death by her daughter, Mary Elizabeth Houston. Sons, François Houston and Bernard Houston. And her best friend of 52 years, Erika “Vogi” Smith.
She is survived by her sisters, Clare McIsaac and Ursula Herrit, Her brothers, Ted and Randy MacIsaac, all of Newfoundland Canada. As well as a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins, all of whom she adored.

Kay is also survived by her children: her son Lee Houston, JR., of Florida; Leslie Burt (Larenzo, Sr.); and Bernadine Houston, both of Tacoma, Washington.
She is also survived by her most beloved grandchildren: François Gross (Madalyn), Denisha Barber, Martiauna Alexander, Marteja Alexander, Jessica Sanders, Zonea Burt, and Larenzo Burt, Jr., Taylor Crawford, and Connor Behan.
As well as her 8 great-grandchildren she cherished: Jaelah, Caleb, Zeona, Jaxson, Sofia, Jade, Ava, and Christian.

“Good night, God bless you. Sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite! I love you.”

The family would like to express gratitude with a special “Thank you” to Integrity Adult Family Home for the care provided to our mom and grandma. We know that she was loved and well cared for by Mary, James, Mary “2”, Jane, and Shamarie.

I also extend gratitude to all who helped me with Mom and for the prayers, calls, visits, and kindness during Mom’s last days.

Kay has touched many hearts and will be missed by all.

  1. Chy says:

    Rest peacefully Grandma Kay. Blessed to have spent some time with you and receive a sweet peck on the cheek before you went to bed, as you unknowingly prepare for your last moments with us. Thank you for Auntie Leslie and the strength and provider that you instilled in her. I will cherish her forever! Until we meet again. <3

  2. Denise Jackson says:

    Prayers and love to the family (my brother, sisters, nieces & nephews). I met Kay when I was 12 years old & from that day forward she was ‘Momma Kay’ and I was her ‘Tinkerbell or Tinker’. She was loving and compassionate but a force to be reckoned with. I admired her strength and courage during difficult times. You never had to wonder what she was thinking or how she felt about life because she would most definitely tell you. I will cherish the memories we made over the years and keep you in my heart always.
    Love you forever Momma Kay!
    ❤️ Denise

  3. Misty Blue Harris says:

    My prayers to Leslie and family. I will always remember your beautiful mother for her smile and laughter. I encourage you all to live every day to its fullest in remembrance of her and honoring her Legacy. On her birthday celebrate her. On Holidays, make her favorite dish. Her spirit is still very present. And she is forever with you all …. always. God bless.

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