OBITUARY

Kathryn Keough

September 18, 1929May 6, 2021
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Kathryn Keough (née Alice Kathryn Sonntag) was born in Waco, Texas, September 18, 1929, and died in her sleep in Dallas, Texas, on May 6, 2021. She was the only child of John Harrington Sonntag, Jr. and Dorothy Mae (Owen) Sonntag. Kathryn graduated from Sunset High School in Oak Cliff and attended Texas State College for Women, where she took great pleasure in being part of the modern dance group. She also developed an early interest in art through classes in oil and watercolor painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. We can still find her cubist still-life of fruit hanging over her dining table. For an after-school job she colorized black and white studio portraits for a local photographer.

Kathryn married Lacy Rhea Keele, Jr., brother of her best friend Miriam Keele, at the age of 20. While raising their two children consumed much of her energy, she still found time to help Rhea professionally by indulging in her artistic inclinations and drawing new house plot plans for his homebuilding company. Kathryn returned to university for more practical business administration classes after her marriage came to an end. Having been raised in a principled and progressive family, she chose to work in a sector that focused on improving and expanding the lives of women. Kathryn worked for non-profit women’s organizations for most of her working career and on a volunteer basis during retirement. She was a founder and executive director of the Oak Cliff branch of the YWCA. She spent many years as Dallas executive director and then Midwest director of the Girls Clubs of America. During this time she became increasingly involved in the feminist movement and Texas politics. She was a delegate to the 1977 National Women’s Conference and spent many hours volunteering for Ann Richard’s political campaigns. Even with her work and volunteer activities, Kathryn loved nothing more than spending time with her grandchildren. She treasured their visits and enjoyed sharing Dallas with them through her favorite restaurants, the State Fair and, of course, Fletcher’s Corny Dogs. She endeavored to broaden and expand their perspectives and cherished her two trips with them through Europe.

Throughout the latter half of her life, she maintained an active and fulfilling social life. Her dear friends in Dallas provided her constant companionship and undoubtedly helped her stay young and energetic. She also focused her attention on her beloved Siamese cat, Misha, and later her rescue sheltie, Wellie. Kathryn is survived by her daughter Karen Keele Rose and son Kyle Keele, her five grandchildren Kevin Rose, Fletcher Rose, Luke Keele, Zachary Keele and Elizabeth Keele Park, and five great-grandchildren.

In memory of Kathryn Keough, there will be a gathering on Saturday, May 29, 2021, from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm at Sparkman Hillcrest Funeral Home at 7405 West Northwest Highway, Dallas, Texas. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Lone Star Sheltie Rescue or Planned Parenthood.

Services

  • Gathering of Remembrance

    Saturday, May 29, 2021

Memories

Kathryn Keough

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Terry Callaway

May 28, 2021

When I went for a job interview in 1994, I had no idea how much my life would be influenced and enlightened by the woman who would soon be my boss. Even though our time together in customer service was short lived, my friendship with Kathryn Keough would last over 25 years.

Kathryn supported and encouraged my activism for women’s rights and my participation in clubs, campaigns, marches and in life. She would tell me stories of her youth and her lifelong fight for the same rights women still fight for today. She was so proud of the trip she took with Fletch to the march in Washington D.C. She was deeply concerned about the world that her grandchildren and great grandchildren would grow up in. Her tears reflected her compassion for equality and peace for everyone - people of color, LGBTQ, the disabled and especially women. When the women’s march of 2020 came around, I rented her a wheelchair and off we went to the Fort Worth women’s march. It was such a joy to see the happiness on her face as we strolled through downtown Ft Worth - she was the oldest marcher there at 90.

I would love to meet Kathryn’s family and learn more about the people she so fondly spoke of. I’d love to see Fletch again - the first time I met him was in her office when he was 6 years old! But in Kathryn’s honor, I will be marching (again) to let the Texas Governor and Legislature know that we will continue the fight for women’s health care choices - we are not going away. I know this is what Kathryn would want me to do.

Karen Kilpatrick Toone

May 27, 2021

Karen,
I saw this notice of your mom's passing. I am so sorry for your loss. You may not remember me from elementary school. I was Karen Kilpatrick then. I have many fond memories of playing with you at your apartment, and your mom was always so sweet. I have often spoken about those times, and what a good friend you were to me. My mom passed away in 2014 at age 100. Life goes by quickly.
Deepest Sympathy,

Karen

Julie Simpson

May 24, 2021

My sweet neighbor, I already miss you so much. I remember our chats and watching the snow fall. I enjoyed singing for you. It gave me great joy to see that smile on your face! Thank you for being that welcoming face when I moved in to the condo next door. I am happy you are now at peace. I find comfort in picturing you as my sweet little angel watching over all of us. Thank you for being you and just know how much you were and always will be loved by all of us, your neighbor and friend, Julie Simpson.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Picking Bluebonnets with Mom and Grandpa

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Picking Bluebonnets with Mom and Grandpa

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