Khamla “Kay” Kongmanivong Martin

February 16, 1971 - March 30, 2024


Khamla “Kay” Kongmanivong Martin, of Tumwater, passed away Saturday, March 30, 2024, at the age of 53, at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia. She was born on February 16, 1971, in Pakse, Laos, to Nounethong and Khamvone Kongmanivong. She was the seventh of nine children.  

Kay and her family immigrated from Laos to the United States as refugees in 1980. Upon arrival to the U.S her family initially settled in Olympia, WA and later moved to Centralia, WA. Kay graduated from Centralia High School in 1991. Afterward, she attended college around Puget Sound. She relocated to Virginia, followed by Texas, and then settled in Columbia, South Carolina, where she resided for over ten years. Washington State was always home in her heart, and Kay moved back to the Olympia area to be with her family. 

Kay was a devoted and loving mother, daughter, sister, and aunt. She was an outdoor enthusiast who enjoyed adventures and attending sporting events. She had a thirst for knowledge, she was a great coach and teacher, and she helped others be the best they could be. She treated everyone with love, respect, and kindness. Those who know her remember her cheerful, bright, infectious personality and love for selfies. 

Kay’s warmth radiated any room that she was in. She was passionate about helping others. She devoted herself to a career in human services, and her jobs included working as a nurse and community workforce liaison. Her most recent job was as a peer counselor and domestic violence advocate with Capital Recovery Center in Olympia. She recently joined the Housing Authority of Thurston County as a board commissioner.

Kay was an active member of the Lao-American community. She participated in many community events over the years, including Lao Community Service Center’s Lao School, and was a member of the Lao Women’s Association of Washington.  

Our hearts are broken over Kay’s sudden loss. May her legacy live on through those who love and cherish her. 

Kay was preceded in death by her father, Nounethong Kongmanivong. She is survived by her mother, Khamvone Kongmanivong; three children, Brandon Braden, Jasmine Braden, and Dylan Martin; and eight siblings: Fong Kongmanivong, Malia Vongkhamchanh, Phoutmany Kongmanivong, Latana Thienmanivong, Sing Kongmanivong, Nicole Ngonevolalath, Santi Kongmanivong, Noi Kongmanivong, and many nieces and nephews.