The ‘sweet’ tale of why this Utah woman’s headstone has gone viral

The treat Kay Andrews made regularly and delivered around her community was just one of her many accomplishments.

But years after she chose to include her recipe on her headstone in the Logan Cemetery, her story went viral as social media buzzed over the weekend about "Kay's Fudge."

"She was giving, she was caring. She was also an organizer, she was always involved helping with parties and associations," said Steve Andrews, Kay's son.

"My dad was a worker bee, so that left her with time to organize things. She was involved in women's organizations as well as national and local women's organizations," he said. "And more often than not, people would eat at those functions, so she was making food or fudge or different things. She loved making the fudge — that's why she put it on her gravestone."

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He recalled her making fudge on a marble slab. As children, Andrews and his four siblings “would try and sneak our share, and she would tell us it's for the party or event or neighbors, or somebody, but as kids, we'd get our share,” he said.

Kay Andrews attained a college degree before it became common for women to do so. She met her husband Wade Andrews, an Army pilot, during World War II in New York City at a function of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, while she was studying fashion design and he was “flying through” on a three-day layover in the city. They went on their first dinner date the next day at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Andrews said.

Soon after, Wade Andrews named his plane after her — the “Salt Lake Katie” — short for her full name, Kathryn.

“They wrote each other letters, he had his mom buy a diamond ring, and when he got home — it was seven or eight months later — he picked her up and said, ‘Where do you get engaged around here?’” Andrews said.

She told him the Utah Capitol.

“He'd never even seen her in daylight. Eighteen days later, they were married,” Andrews said.

They remained happily married for 55 years until he passed away in 2000.

The couple wanted to include things that were important to them on their headstone. A horse to represent Wade Andrews’ time as a cowboy; a B-24 bomber plane for his service in the war (which he survived despite numerous dangerous missions in Germany); a professor's cap, as he later taught sociology at Utah State University; and a meetinghouse design he helped create for the church as he served as a branch president in Ohio.

Andrews said his mom often worked part time but always put her children first. She grew up during the Depression and knew how to make good food on a low budget, keeping her four sons and daughter well-fed. As a grandmother, Andrews said his mom always had a smile on her face and a Tootsie Roll in her purse.

“So she was a worker bee as well as a great mom, you always knew she cared about you, and her neighbors always knew she cared about them as well. She made a ton of fudge, she did,” he said.

So when the family discussed what they should engrave on the couple's headstone, she said: “‘You know what I want? I want my fudge recipe on there.’ She had a sense of humor that was infectious,” Andrews recalled.

That's why the headstone also says, “Wherever she goes, there's laughter,” according to her son.

“She wanted her fudge recipe on there because she was kind of known for her fudge and feeding people,” he said.

The gravestone became popular even before Kay Andrews’ death, leading some to refer to the area where it resides in the Logan Cemetery as “Kay's Fudge.” When she was still alive, one of her sons would take her to the cemetery and introduce her to workers there.

“She got a kick out of the fact that people were enjoying her fudge,” Andrews said.

When the recipe was first engraved, it included a mistake that called for one tablespoon of vanilla instead of one teaspoon. But the family had that corrected after she passed away in 2019 at age 97.

Now that the headstone, and Kay Andrews, have received internet fame, her son said it’s a special way for the family to keep her memory alive.

He believes her story has resonated with so many because “people tend to look for the positive in life, overall.”

“We look for positive things and influences, and appreciate, people always say the most attractive people are the people who have a smile on their face. And I think we're always looking for a smile. We seek out things that make us happy,” Andrews said.

While visiting his parents' gravesite for Memorial Day, Andrews said a couple walked up and took a picture at the headstone and asked to hear her story.

“It kind of helps her live on,” he said. “She liked to put smiles on people's faces, and she learned that handing them a piece of fudge or candy or something was a pretty good icebreaker and put a smile on people's faces.

“She left something sweet for all of us.”