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Kay Kwok: ‘Living life as an act of worship’

DELAWARE, Ohio (BP)–Kay Kwok, the late wife of Jack Kwok, executive director-treasurer of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio, is being remembered as a woman who lived life as an act of worship in spite of the challenges posed by numerous illnesses.

Kwok died Saturday, June 27, in Owensboro, Ky., where her family was preparing for the June 28 ordination of their eldest son, J.P. Kwok, at Bellevue Baptist Church where he serves as worship pastor. She and her husband were accompanied by their other son, Edward.

News of Mrs. Kwok’s unexpected death hit hard at Bellevue, senior pastor Greg Faulls said.

“It was such a shock when we discovered that Mrs. Kwok had suddenly passed away,” Faulls told Baptist Press. “We were all just devastated by the news. She was a fine Christian wife and mother. She had raised her boys to love and serve Christ with a worshipful authenticity and passion. Each and every Sunday at our church, her example of living life as an act of worship will continue to live on in her son as he leads our people to the throne of God’s grace in our services of worship. She will be greatly missed by her family, friends and so many fellow Southern Baptists.”

Mrs. Kwok’s perseverance in the face of numerous illnesses was a powerful testimony to those who knew her, said Travis Smalley, pastor Lakota Hills Baptist Church in West Chester, Ohio, and president of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio

“Ohio Southern Baptist hearts are heavy with the passing of one of the Lord’s great saints, Kay Kwok,” Smalley said. “Miss Kay was a devoted Christian, wife, mother and grandmother who persevered through physical struggles with great grace and dignity. She will be dearly missed. However, we rejoice in the certainty that she is in the presence of Jesus Christ and we anticipate the day of our reunion in heaven. We pray that Dr. Kwok, Edward and J.P. will find comfort in God’s Holy Spirit and in the presence of the saints of God. Our hearts and our prayers are with them.”

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Kwok was a registered nurse and gifted musician. After illnesses prevented her from singing and playing, she focused on other ministries: public speaking, writing and intercessory prayer. One of her stories, “Sugar,” uses the biblical account of Sarah and Abraham to talk about trusting God’s plan for one’s life.

A eulogy prepared by her family emphasized the importance that trusting God played in Kwok’s life.

“Kay went to sleep June 27, 2009, and woke up in heaven. She had just witnessed her older son, J.P., provide music at the Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville, Ky., and had traveled to Owensboro, Ky., from her home in Delaware, Ohio, to witness his ordination to the Gospel ministry,” the obituary read. “Kay’s greatest strength was her complete trust in God’s love and plan for her life. Now she is discovering all the previous unknowns to her about God’s plan for her life.”

Born Aug. 9, 1950, to Walter and Sally Smith McClure, Kwok grew up in Mallory Heights Baptist Church in Memphis. She was a graduate of the St. Louis (Mo.) Conservatory of Music, the Methodist School of Nursing in Memphis, Southern Baptist College (now Williams Baptist College) in Walnut Ridge, Ark., Park College in Parkville, Mo., and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis. She and her husband were the first married couple to graduate together from Mid-America.

The Kwoks were married June 2, 1972. She worked as a wedding planner, registered nurse and director of nursing in nursing homes. She served alongside her husband as a pastor’s wife for 18 years, a Southern Baptist home missionary for eight years and an executive director’s wife for 13 years.

Kwok was preceded in death by a daughter, Sallykay Lavern Kwok, six unborn children, and her parents, Walter and Sally McClure. In addition to her husband and two sons, she is survived by one grandson.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Holly Springs Funeral Home, 1160 Highway 311, Holly Springs, Miss. The service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, July 3, at Waterford Methodist Church, about eight miles south of Holly Springs. An additional memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 7, at Genoa Baptist Church, 7562 Lewis Center Road, Westerville, Ohio.
Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Mark Kelly.

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