Kathryn Worsley Pratt

Husband:
LeGrand B. Pratt
Children:
James F. Pratt
John P. Pratt
Father: Fred H. Worsley
Mother: Eva Price
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Kathryn Worsley was a poetess all of her life. Recently dying at age 98, she has maintained a web site with her poetry under her pen-name Kathryn Kay. After her successful career in Los Angeles, she and her husband Lee Pratt raised two children in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she is known as Kathryn W. Pratt. She has been a driving force to promote poetry in Utah, from the high school to the professional society level.

Kathryn Worsley was born on Oct. 21, 1906 and grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. In elementary school she read all of the books in the children's section of the Salt Lake Library, and read the entire dictionary to learn all the words in it. She is a natural gifted poet and remembers being surprised at a very young age that her words "came out even." Her early poetry, written in elementary school, revealed her gift and was published in the Salt Lake Telegram. After graduating from high school at the L.D.S. University in 1925, she attended the University of Utah for a little more than a year. Then, while she was visiting Los Angeles, she was offered the job of being the hostess of the nationally known "Midnight Frolic" show on KFI Radio. Radio and movies with sound were just becoming popular and many movie stars wanted to be heard, and she hosted many celebrities on what became something like an early radio forerunner to the "Tonight Show." There she received her pen-name Kathryn Kay, and continued her education at U.C.L.A. Her heart was really in writing, so at age 23 she left KFI to be Assistant Book Buyer and later Party Adviser at the Broadway department store.

After the 1933 earthquake, while managing the Catalina Casino Orchestra, she was appointed to be personal representative for P. K. Wrigley, of chewing gum fame, who owned Catalina Island. Later she became supervisor of a group of writers at the Municipal Reference Library at City Hall in Los Angeles. There she took the name Karel Lynn and served as Publication Manager for the City Employee Magazine. She then became the Associate Editor of Parade Magazine before it became a Sunday supplement.

Kay's sister JoAnn moved to L.A. to get married. Because money was tight in those years, the three of them decided to live together. Kay wanted a baby but was not looking even close to marriage and JoAnn wanted Kay to write a book of poetry, so they agreed that JoAnn would have Kay's baby if Kay would write JoAnn's book. Kay began writing With Tongue in Cheek, including only the poems that JoAnn liked best. When the book was ready to be published, JoAnn's baby was ready to be born. Then tragedy struck: JoAnn died after giving birth leaving Kay with her baby. Kay shared caring for her new nephew until JoAnn's husband remarried. She added two last poems to the book. The first, "To Me," is written to comfort herself, and the second, "To Jo," is written to comfort her departed sister. The book was published on Sept. 14, 1938, exactly one year after JoAnn's death.

Kay then married and opened up a little shop in Hollywood. Her second book, If the Shoe Fits was published in 1941 and was involved in some amazing incidents, giving new hope to many who were in despair. Her third and last hard bound book, Practically Apparent was published in 1944. It is mostly light verse summarizing her experience expecting her first baby.

Upon moving back to Salt Lake City after World War II ended, Kay was hailed as a successful career woman returning home. There she worked in the early days of live television. She continued with more work in poetry, writing a column in the Salt Lake Tribune.

She was a member of the Art Barn Poets, the League of Utah Writers, and the Utah Press Women. With Cameron Johns, she was instrumental in founding the Utah State Poetry Society, and served two terms as President. She also helped him to establish the Junior Creative Writing Program, one of the first high school poetry contests in the nation. She was appointed by Nicholas P. Morgan and Paul L. Pehrson to be the Permanent Coordinator of the Utah State Poet of the Year Publication Contest, publishing eighteen annual volumes of poetry.

Kay is also well known by her married name, Kathryn W. Pratt, the wife of LeGrand B. Pratt and mother of Jim and John Pratt. She has just passed away on Feb. 22, 2005, being as sharp witted as ever, and having lived nearly 21 years after her husband Lee's death. She has her own web site, and corrected this page to be accurate, so she clearly tries to keep up with our fast-paced world. Many have commented that she is the most unforgettable person they have ever known.