Louis Kays made a living as a merchantman, but earned a lasting reputation as a true gentleman.
Kays died on Christmas Day at the age of 78.
He worked for many years with his brothers Paul, George, Babe and Manny at Kays Brothers Wholesale in Charlottetown selling goods ranging from sundries to restaurant supplies. Peter Kays was the only brother not involved in the business that closed in 2007.
Louis outlived all his brothers, including George, who died earlier this year.
Virginia Kays says the life of a merchant was more simply a job than a passion for her husband Louis.
“Working with his brothers like that, some days were good, some days were not,’’ she says.
“A few times he threw his keys at Paul and the next day he would be back.’’
Louis certainly embraced life away from the daily business grind.
While far from a top-notch golfer, he loved the game.
He was a member of the Belvedere Golf Club in Charlottetown for roughly half a century.
In 2005, he received the A.G. (Toby) MacMillan Award in recognition of outstanding individual contribution to Island men’s golf.
Kays served as chair of a number of committees at Belvedere and worked with the New Brunswick-P.E.I. Golf Association in an executive role.
He also worked on the organizing committees for many events.
Virginia says her husband relished his job as manager of the Gentleman’s Club in Charlottetown for the past 20 or so years.
But it is the character of the man that friends and family members are most likely to hold up as his legacy, suggests Virginia.
“Oh he was a gentle man,’’ she says.
“He was very, very even tempered. He never got riled up about anything…He was a friend to all.’’
Virginia started dating Kays when she was 14. She would go on to enjoy a loving marriage of 56 years.
“We had little tiffs over the years,’’ she adds.
“I’d get mad at him but he never got mad at me.’’
Virginia is also quick to note Kays was a “wonderful, wonderful father’’ to the couple’s daughter Judith Sooley and son Richard.
Visitation is at Belvedere Funeral Home in Charlottetown Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
The funeral is Thursday at 1 p.m. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Charlottetown.