Kathleen (Kay) Palmdahl, age 95, died on May 22, 2019. She was born on January 6, 1924 in Cranston, Rhode Island to the late Albert and Alice McGowan Cappelli.
Kay was born in Cranston, Rhode Island in 1924. When she was five years old her mother died. Because her dad was a rural mail carrier, with very little family support, she and her two sisters attended a Catholic all-girls boarding school during the week. Kay often spoke of the things she learned from the nuns who taught her and her and her sisters during their formative years. On weekends they returned home with their father.
As a young girl she became an accomplished violin and piano player, and she enjoyed singing as well. By necessity she also learned sewing and knitting.
She met her husband Fred while he was serving in the Navy in Rhode Island. They married on February 23 in 1952. Their marriage of 67 years started in the midst of a major snowstorm. When Fred came to pick her up for the wedding, his car became stuck in the snow. Fortunately, Kay lived next door to the church, so they just had a short, but snowy walk to the altar.
During Fred’s time in the Navy, he became involved in some of the first computer systems. Upon his military discharge, he took a job with IBM. For the next 7 years Fred developed his computer skills, working for IBM and Sperry Rand. Kay had worked as a payroll clerk during this time. She also continued to sew and knit clothing and other useful household and personal items. In 1959, Kay and Fred moved to Chapel Hill, where Fred became one of the first employees of UNC’s Computer Department.
Kay is survived by her husband Fred. They were a devoted couple and truly “soul mates” for 67 years.
A funeral mass will be held on May 29, 2019 at St. Thomas More Church at 10AM. A reception will follow the services. Internment will follow at Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery.
The Palmdahl family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service.