Obituaries: Keith and Audrey Dubay

Audrey Joyce Helming Dubay, 87 died in the home she has lived in since 1956 on July 5,2018. Audrey leaves her husband of 68 years, Keith Dubay. They were married on April 15th in Bristol CT in a dress she had made. Unable to conceive early in their marriage and unable to adopt due to their mixed marriage (she was Lutheran and he was Catholic) they became foster parents – hosting dozens of children in their home. Together they had five children Keith Jr, Kevin, Keryl, Kiernan, and Kristin. Their youngest was adopted in 1970, across racial lines and Audrey was often unaccepting of the small-mindedness of people who were confused by their family photos.  Audrey graduated from Bristol High School in 1949 and St Joseph College in 1990. Her thirst for and drive to continue her education was never-ending.  Audrey worked in a Credit Union in Bristol (Hildreth Press which became City Graphics) where she worked way up from Teller to Manager.  She was known to walk to the office in the snow when roads were closed so that shift workers could access their checks. In 1981 she left to run the Teachers Credit Union for Hartford, West Hartford and Bloomfield Schools. Under her leadership that credit Union (now known as Franklin Trust Federal Credit Union) grew from $4.5million to $34.5 million. At the request of the National Credit Union Administration, she saved many other credit unions in danger of failure by merging with them including Colt Firearms and Atco Thread. At Franklin Trust, she began the internship program there that brought hundreds of high school students for work experience to her offices and assisted in the launch of an entirely student-run branch in Hartford at Bulkeley school. She believed that financial institutions should serve those most in-need – rather than shareholders and served the Credit Union movement for more than 43 years. Her son, Kiernan is President and CEO of Franklin Trust today. The mission she established to be a community centered organization was realized when the Credit Union became a “community” rather than employed based organization. Today more than 8200 people are provided financial services from this low-cost, high-quality organization. Each of her children took roles that serve those less fortunate through law, financial services, nursing and public health.  Audrey travelled the world with her husband Keith – largely on cruise ships and with her closest friends Dixie and Gordon Losey and Arthur and Esther Gatzuras. She visited all seven continents. Among her favorite trips were to the South of France, Africa, and a family trip to Italy where all 25 of her immediate family members spent two weeks in a villa outside of Florence.   Audrey supported dozens of charities including her church of 65 years – St Andrew Lutheran Church in Bristol, CT – Southern Poverty Law Center, American Diabetes Association, NAACP, Urban League, Planned Parenthood, and their beloved UCONN. She was an avid baker and knitter, always happy to brighten someone’s day who was struggling with a personal challenge or celebrating the birth of a child. She sent more than 120 baby hats to warm the tiny heads of newborns in Africa as part of a knitters movement to encourage President Bush to continue funding vaccination campaigns abroad.  Audrey taught those around her by example – and those who came in contact with her learned from her keen financial management skills. One nurse’s aide wrote to her years after leaving them to let her know that she had indeed opened an account at a credit union and saved for her wedding – rather than charging it. Audrey shared all she had. Audrey’s 1949 Yearbook (The Torch) stated that she was a “shining streak of vim and vitality” and that was true until her final days. Her bright blue eyes and wide smile were present as her children and grandchildren visited her and she thanked every nurse who tended her.  In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to Southern Poverty Law Center – to continue her life-long mission of helping those in need and toward social justice for all. There will be no wake or funeral – but a celebration of life will be held at her home, 62 Hardwick Rd, Bristol, CT on August 4, 2018 from 3pm-6pm. as she requested a dance floor and amazing food and the opportunity to celebrate her life with others who knew and loved her.

 

Keith Edward Dubay, died in his home – mad as hell because he wasn’t ready – the afternoon of July 9, 2018.  (Keith insisted that that sentence open his obituary).  Keith passed away four days

after his wife of 68 years, Audrey Joyce Helming Dubay. Keith graduated from Bristol High School in 1945. Keith and Audrey had five children, Keith Jr, Kevin, Keryl, Kiernan and Kristin. Keith was a grandfather to eight grandchildren: Andrew Santaniello, Liz Vaughn, Patience (Mackey) Dubay, Savannah Dubay, Grace Dubay, Clara Horton, Katherine Horton, and Charlotte Horton, and three great-grandchildren CJ, Madison and Ethan Vaughn.  Keith led a life of public service – enlisting in the Navy during World War II – because he had heard there were snakes (he detested snakes) in the foxholes of Europe. He was a gedunk tender  – which meant he ran an ice cream shop aboard ship and that he made sandwiches during active fire drills.  Keith was always a pacifist. Upon returning from the war, Keith enrolled at UCONN utilizing the benefits provided under the G.I.Bill.  He graduated from UCONN in 1951 and became a Certified Life Underwriter in 1962.  Keith was head of young Democrats in CT, served as first selectman from 1953-1955 and as State Representative from 1955-57 and 1959-1961. Perhaps most importantly to him, he served as Chairman of the Bristol Board of Education from 1976-1979 where he championed gifted and talented programs in public schools. Always a modest man, he was slightly embarrassed when a Bristol Press Editorial at the termination of his Board of Education service referred to him as “his brother’s keeper.” Keith was an avid supported of sensible gun legislation and from 1975-2000 he cut every gun death from the paper and copied them at the local library or post office with a stack of dimes. Keith sent copies to every state representative and senator who did not yet support sensible limits to gun ownership. He worked as a volunteer lobbyist for Bread for the World – working tirelessly for the passage of WIC and the school breakfast program. Keith believed that adequate food was a basic human right.  Keith worked at RJ Vicino Agency selling insurance from 1958 to 1992. Keith also served as a Justice of the Peace – marrying people all over Bristol. Upon his retirement Keith divided his time equally between world travel and volunteerism. Keith was a mentor to children in Bristol Public Schools, a worker for Hartford Habitat for Humanity with his closest friend Arthur Gatzuras, and supported  his beloved UCONN huskies. Even when in the far East or Caribbean he would find a local bar to catch games.  He and Audrey always felt that they had been incredibly blessed. They in turn were a blessing to all fortunate enough to know and love them. Per their wishes there will be no calling hours and a private internment. Donations in Keith’s memory may be made to Foodshare , Habitat for Humanity or to the organization of the donor’s choice.A celebration of their life at their home at 62 Hardwick Rd, Bristol, CT 06010 will be held on August the 4th from 3pm-6pm. Stop by to raise a glass in thanksgiving for the grace they shared. All are welcome. On-line guestbook available at www.FunkFuneralHome