Mary Kate Wendler Kelley

Portrait of Mary Kate Wendler Kelley Headstone Photograph

Full Name: Mary Kate Wendler Kelley
Location: Section:Statesman's Meadow, Section 1 (E)
Row:W  Number:35
Reason for Eligibility: Wife of Sam Lynn Kelley 
Birth Date: August 16, 1935 
Died: September 6, 2021 
Burial Date: September 10, 2021 

KELLEY, MARY KATE WENDLER (1935 ~ 2021). The following is an obituary for Mary Kate Kelley, spouse of Sam Kelley. Sam Kelley was interred at the Texas State Cemetery by way of a Senate Concurrent Resolution. The obituary was published in the September 7, 2021 edition of the Austin American Statesman.

Mary Kate Kelley

Mary Kate Kelley passed away peacefully on September 6, 2021. She was born on August 16, 1935, in San Antonio, Texas, the daughter of Kenneth and Katheryn Tynan Wendler and sister to Kenneth and Edward Wendler. When Mary Kate was a young child, her family moved to Austin, where she grew up, graduated from Austin High School, and attended the University of Texas.

While at U.T., Mary Kate met her brother Ed's law school classmate, Sam Kelley, whom she married on November 15, 1958. They had six children – three boys and three girls, who added to the family sons- and daughters-in-law: Sam and Gaylia Kelley; Kerry and Doug Neil; Karen Kelley and Merritt Clements; Tim and Manda Kelley; Michelle and Michael Shuler; and Mike Kelley. Mary Kate was a devoted mother to them and a devoted grandmother to ten grandchildren, Samantha, Katheryn, Hannah, Emma, Mia, Lewis, Augustus, Reid, Lila, and Roxane, and two great-grandsons, Will and Ethan.

Quiet, patient, understanding, Mary Kate put the needs of others above her own. She rarely called attention to herself – except when she occasionally joined a front yard softball game and screamed with delight upon hitting the ball and taking off for first, or screamed even more loudly at not infrequent garden snake sightings. But, in her quiet way, Mary Kate drew people to her. She was a second mother figure to many of her children's friends, to whom she gave countless rides home from school and events.

She was interested in and held informed opinions about politics and current events and was involved in the local community. She was also an advocate for slowing down and taking it easy. Her grandkids loved a day of board games on pallets at Grandma's. Mary Kate's favorite times were gatherings of the whole family – holidays, pre-Capitol 10,000 carbo-loading spaghetti dinners, beach trips to South Padre and Port Aransas. She knit together the closest of families.

A burial service will be held 2:00 PM Friday, September 10, at the Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota St., Austin, Texas. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Meals on Wheels Central Texas, to the Hemisfair Conservancy for the preservation of the Tynan-Sweeney house, or to a charity of your choice.

Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 2620 S. Congress, Austin, TX 512/442-1446.

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