The funeral is to take place Monday from Central Christian Church at 11 a.m. Visiting hours are Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at MacLean Funeral Home Swan Chapel.
Reynolds fought for the rights of the disabled since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1949.
She was instrumental in the formation of the P.E.I. Council of the Disabled and the first Island Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and had long supported the work of Pat and the Elephant, the specialized transportation service utilized by Islanders with disabilities.
She served as a member of that service’s board of directors and continually fought for funding to help preserve it.
For her work, she was named Islander of the Year, an award sponsored by The Evening Patriot.
Reynolds was born in Dartmouth, Oct. 11, 1923, was educated at Prince of Wales College, and graduated from the P.E.I. Hospital School of Nursing in 1945.
Reynolds was a young mother and professional nurse when she was first diagnosed with MS.
She was able to continue working professionally for five years after the diagnosis, but her deteriorating health forced her to leave her job and that’s when she began helping people in a different way.
Reynolds loved nursing, particularly working in the maternity ward so caring for others came naturally to her and she continued to do it.
She taught home nursing for St. John Ambulance and ran the nurses’ registry until an hour before she moved from her home to the Dr. Eric Found Centre. She later moved into the Prince Edward Home to live but remained active in various charitable organizations until just recently.
A Guardian story on Reynolds which ran prior to a 2000 fund-raising dinner in her honour for Pat and the Elephant stated:
“When Kay took on the challenge, there was no Council of the Disabled, no Multiple Sclerosis Society on the Island, virtually no wheelchair ramps, no automatic doors, disabled parking spaces, access to jobs, independent-living facilities, powered wheelchairs and scooters, no Pat and the Elephant transportation service . . . no recognition that those with challenges have an equal right to live a full life on their own terms.”
There have been many positive changes in the years Reynolds has fought for the rights of the disabled and in 1993 her contributions were recognized when an independent living centre in Charlottetown was named in her honour.
Her involvement and positive influence continue. She sat in the provincial legislature as part of a very vocal and successful lobby to obtain provincial government funding for the first drugs available to treat multiple sclerosis.
Reynolds says the growth of Pat and the Elephant is one thing that gave her a sense of great satisfaction. It means she and many others have their independence and can contribute to their community.
She served until just recently on the board of Pat and the Elephant, the Council of the Disabled, Kay Reynolds Centre and the Quality Control Council for the Beach Grove and Prince Edward homes.
Reynolds insists she is simply one of many doing this work but she inspired many to get involved and to see their abilities, not their disabilities.