Honoring a Burr Oaks Alumni – Kay Ross Geller
Kay Ross Geller, a 2nd generation Burr Oaks camper, originally from Clarksdale, MS spent 6 summers on the shores of Lake Beulah. Because of her passion for camp and sailing, her Burr Oaks friends and husband, Mike, have donated a brand new sailboat to camp to honor her memory.
A Passion for Sailing
Mike Geller, Kay’s husband, let us know that Kay loved sailing at camp. She always talked passionately about sailing and her other camp experiences. Some other Burr Oaks memories that Mike recalled were camping on the sand bars on the Wisconsin River, playing tennis, singing camp songs around the campfires and the camaraderie, especially with the Great 8.
The Great Eight
And who were the Great 8? Burr Oaks alum, Cindy Brownstein Munn and 2nd cousin to Kay, explained who were the Great 8. When you were around 16 at camp, you lived in Bug House and that year was called the junior scholarship year. You didn’t live in a cabin with campers but you helped out with campers. Typically, just 2-3 were around for this, but in 1968, there were 8 and that’s how the name the Great 8 came about.
Cindy also recalled a fond sailing memory she had with Kay. A big tradition at Burr Oaks was Team Week. There was the Orange and Blue team always competing against each other. It was 1967 and Cindy was Blue and Kay was Orange. There was a sailing race which was a big point getter and a big deal. Kay won and never let Cindy forget about it.
Kay Ross Geller met her husband Mike at a Jewish singles party in Memphis. They hit it off right away. They were married for 37 years. Kay was a great mother to 2 sons, Clay in Milwaukee and Phillip in Memphis.
Kay was a writer by profession, and worked for a Mississippi congressman in Washington. She also worked for Honeywell doing employee communication and corporate material. Kay loved going to the Memphis Grizzlies games, and she would always bring chocolate and eat it in the 4th quarter as a good luck charm.
Introducing “The Kay”
Summer 2022 will be the inaugural year of “The Kay” sailboat and Beber campers will be honored to sail away on Lake Beulah, Kay Ross Geller’s happy place.