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Blood drive to honor murder victim

Kay Read’s giving nature lives on with your help
Posted at 5:52 PM, Feb 08, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — When a handicapped Sunday School teacher disappeared, the case gripped the Tucson area. Kay Read was never found. Now the spirit of Kay Read is still alive urging others to adopt her giving nature.

Before she was murdered Kay Read made St. Paul’s United Methodist Church just part of her wide world of giving. Now it will be a place you can give life in her memory.

Kay Read’s sister Mary Seagle says she was a giver on everything. And since a killer took her from the world, her family and friends have worked to help her giving spirit live on.

One way has been an annual blood drive in her name. This year it’s Sunday from 1 to 6 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church on Broadway just East of Pantano.

Kay Read was a Sunday School teacher and a volunteer in a long list of community organizations.

Her case of polio did not slow her down. She strapped on leg braces and kept going.

Those braces were a chilling discovery when Mary Seagle went to her sister’s home after she called and Kay did not pick up.

She says, “Both braces were at the house. Her crutches were at the house. She had been carried out of the house and that people just touched them that it could happen to any of us.”

Kay’s van was found abandoned and burned. Her remains were never found.

Almost seven years after Kay Read disappeared Tucson Police arrested Luis Vargas for kidnapping and murder.

Police said they believed Vargas is the man surveillance caught trying to use Kay Read’s ATM card.

A jury found Vargas guilty.

Mary Seagle says, “He's in prison for the rest of his life. She's in heaven. We know where she's at. And someday we'll find her remains but she's up there with a whole body. She's up there with a smile and dancing. Just she's in a better place.”

And Mary says we can learn lessons from her sister even now.

“If you have a heart that is struggling, try and reach out and do something for somebody else.”

And one way could be to work on approaching Kay Read’s record of giving more than nine gallons of blood while she lived.

Here’s a reminder of the time and place for the Kay Read Blood Drive

It’s Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at St Paul’s United Methodist Church, 8051 East Broadway. That’s just east of Pantano. To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS.

Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 40 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.