Kay, an attorney, was previously a contestant on season 17 of the CBS reality series in 2008, and lasted for 21 days before being voted off the island.
According to an obituary posted to Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory’s website, Kay “died unexpectedly” on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) with no official cause of death cited. Police reportedly do not suspect foul play.
“Dan had a smile that could light up a room. His desire to be challenged and his quest for adventure lead to his participation on the reality show, Survivor,” the obituary read. “He also successfully skied Tuckerman’s Ravine and completed his first half marathon.”
It continued, “More than anything, Dan cherished the time he spent with his two young children, Reese Elizabeth Kay and Jackson ‘Jax’ Russell-Reid Kay. Those who knew Dan best, would agree he was a child at heart. Although the time he had with his children was cut much too short, he leaves them with numerous memories of times filled with fun and laughter, including those enjoyed at his favorite place, Sawyer Lake in Gilmanton, NH. He was a man who truly believed, ‘the secret to having it all is knowing you already do.'”
Survivor host Jeff Probst took to Twitter on Tuesday (Jan. 3) to share his condolences on the “very sad news,” saying, “The Survivor family sends our love to Dan’s family.”
Along with his two children, Kay is survived by his mother Jean Ann, his sister Andrea, two nieces, and his girlfriend Jennifer DePietro. A memorial service for the fallen reality star will be held on Saturday (Jan. 7) in Manchester, New Hampshire. ~Shelby Morton
Check out Kay’s introduction video for his season of Survivor below: