Eight Bells: Kay Gillette North

Published on September 19th, 2021

Kay North

Kay Gillette North, 88, died peacefully at home on September 5 in San Diego, CA. She is survived by son Danny, daughters Holly and Julie, and grandson Finn Sinclair.

Kay made friends easily and was fiercely loving and supportive of those friends. Her love of adventure would find her skiing, sailing, tennis, windsurfing, bodysurfing, and trekking across the globe.

In 1958, Kay co-founded North Sails with her then husband Lowell North which marked the beginning of years of international travel as North Sails was expanding around the world. By the end of her life, Kay had made good friends everywhere in the world.

With diligence and careful attention, she served as foreman on the San Diego County Grand Jury (1983-1984), president of the Wednesday Club (1998-1999), chair of the (now Rady) Children’s Hospital Charity Ball (1994), and chair of the America’s Cup Ball (1988). She also served on the Board of Directors of Outward Bound. She was a founding member of the Point Loma Association (2016) and president of the Friends of the UCSD Libraries (2006-2008).

Kay was a Scuttlebutt Sailing News reader, keeping up on the sport that had been such an important part of her life, and appreciating the Eight Bells tributes for the people she called friends. Scuttlebutt is pleased to extend this tribute to a person we called a friend.

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