Gay C. Kitson was president of NCFR from 2003-2005. She was a professor of Sociology at the University of Akron since 1989. Prior to that she was an associate professor at Case Western Reserve inn the departments of Sociology and Anthropology and Family Medicine and Psychiatry in the School of Medicine. In the late 1980's, Kitson received a $620,000 grant from the National Institute on Aging to conduct the study among Greater Cleveland wives and children who were victims of violent crimes. She received grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, where she conducted research on other projects. She also wrote, or participated, in 26 papers in journals, 12 book chapters, and made more than 50 presentations to various groups around the country. She served on the editorial boards of several journals and as the editor of Sociological Focus, a publication of the North Central Sociological Association. She was past chairman of the Family Section of the American Sociological Association. Born in Chicago and raised in Libertyville, IL., she received a journalism degree from Northwestern University, and masters and doctorate degrees in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Kitson had a life-long interest in the British Royal Family. In 2003 she went to London for the 50th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Kitson enjoyed traveling and made a point to tour areas when she visited a city for a convention or meeting. She and her husband, James, traveled to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, Africa, as well as most of North America. She and her husband lived in Shaker Heights Ohio. She passed away on July 8, 2008 of multiple myeloma.