Last July Kay Ryan learned she had been chosen the newest U.S. Poet Laureate by the Librarian of Congress. At the time Ryan and her partner, Carol Adair, were busy arranging a civil marriage, the California Supreme Court having just acknowledged the injustice of preventing same-sex couples from marrying.
A profile of Kay Ryan appears at the Library of Congress site. The profile mentions Carol Adair in its first paragraph:
Ryan was born in 1945 in San Jose, Calif., and grew up in the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert. Her father was an oil well driller and sometime-prospector. She received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. Since 1971, Ryan has lived in Marin County. Her partner of 30 years is Carol Adair.
Not six months since Adair & Ryan legally married, Carol Adair has died.
Carol Adair Born on January 16th, 1942. She died of cancer on January 3rd, 2009. She was 66 years old.
... [For more than 20 years she taught] English as a Second Language and English Skills. Until her recent retirement in December of 2008, she remained committed to the rich potential of College of Marin, as head or member of untold committees and projects.
She met her life partner, Kay Ryan, in 1977 while both were working in the academics department at San Quentin. Carol was a teacher by nature. Teaching was her consuming art and genius. She understood how to bring out the best in her students and in all who knew her.
... Carol leaves behind her spouse of 30 years, Kay Ryan; her daughters, Peggy Southerland of Clearlake, CA, and Jeanne Garson of Petaluma, CA ...
One of Carol's driving passions was to help women with children go to school to improve their chances in the working world. She knew that a woman's earning capacity increases by $10,000 per year for each year of college completed. To this end a Scholarship Fund has been established in her name at College of Marin. In lieu of flowers you can send your tax-deductible donation to: College of Marin Foundation PO Box 446 Kentfield, CA 94914. Make checks payable to: The Carol Adair Scholarship Fund. Questions about the scholarship can be directed to Margaret Elliot at (415) 485-9382.
The above paragraphs are excerpted from SFGate.
Carol Adair and Kay Ryan were devoted to each other for 30 years. The state recognized that only recently. Two months ago California voters chose for Prop 8, choosing against honoring the love of these two women, choosing against protecting anyone's marriage, choosing not to accept and embrace and include.