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Resident Spotlight: Kay R.

Spunky and energetic with great sense of humor, Kathryn R. is one of the funniest people you will meet at Kensington Park. A true New Yorker, Kathryn was born in October of 1928 and lived in Troy all through her teenage years. In 1946, she graduated from Catholic High School and moved to New York City with the hopes of becoming a model.

While pursuing her modeling career, Kathryn lived in a “young ladies hotel.” These hotels were special living quarters for young women who came to New York City for professional opportunities, but still wanted a “safe retreat” that felt like the family home. Admission to most of these homes was restricted to those young women who were self-supporting and considered to be of “good moral character.”
Starting out as a showroom model, Kathryn worked for Bill Blass while he was just an assistant in a design house. Additionally, Kathryn signed with the Russell-Stewart modeling agency and had a successful modeling career for 9 years. It was during that time she met her first husband Fred; the two wed in 1949. Once married, Kathryn and Fred moved to Long Island where they spent most of their lives. The couple had a great life, often went boating and considered themselves “swingers” – dancers, that is! They loved dancing and often did so to the popular swing music of their time.

In 1954, Kathryn’s model career ended when she had her daughter Carrie. Two years later their son Eric arrived, and the growing family then relocated to Kathryn’s hometown of Troy, NY. The Rabe family stayed in a duplex with Kathryn’s parents. During their years in Troy, Kathryn worked in retail, first at the local department store Denby’s and then in various departments like clothing, cosmetics, and gift wares in other well know retailers such as Macy’s and Neiman Marcus.

During the summer, the family would vacation on Babcock Lake in Grafton, NY in a cabin Fred built. In 1972, Fred passed, and Kathryn moved to the Atlanta area for a fresh start. It was tough at first and eventually she ended up in the Miami Beach Area. It was there she met a movie theater operator by the name of Douglas, a dapper Brit who shared her love of movies. The two were married in 1994 and so happy together. They would watch movies and travel to Europe, something Kathryn really loved. Eventually the two settled in La Hoya, CA until Douglas died in 2004.

A year after Doug’s passing Kathryn moved back East and settled in Annapolis, MD until she came to be a part of our Kensington Park family in July of 2017. These days you can find Kathryn completely engrossed in activities; she is a trivia wiz and enjoys meditative art, craft, music and of course, a good movie. We are so glad you’re with us, Kathryn!