Kathryn Tillman Peyton
November 20, 1942 – July 22, 2021
Kathryn Tillman Peyton November 20, 1942 – July 22, 2021 Celebration of Life at Keller Old Town Funeral Home 220 Keller Parkway, Keller, TX 76248 Friday, July 30, 2021, 2 pm
Kay Peyton was born on November 20, 1942, in El Paso, Texas to Lucile Ponsford Tillman and James Harold Tillman. She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Norman C. Peyton; daughters, Karen Kay Peyton, and Lisa Anne Peyton Demers; and grandsons, Benjamin Peyton Demers and Jaxon Reid Demers. Kay’s sister, Sara Tillman, preceded her in death. Kay attended Austin High School and graduated with honors from Texas Western College (UTEP). She was an outstanding teacher for 30 years, and a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a teacher’s honor society. Kay was loved by her students at Rusk Elementary, as well as Mesita Elementary School. She was a member of the Junior League of El Paso. Kay enjoyed her 50-plus years of membership in the P.E.O. Sisterhood, making her the only Golden Girl of Chapter BP.
She and Norman were active members of Trinity United Methodist Church from childhood until their move to the Houston area where he practiced law. This transition allowed her to be close to Lisa and grandsons, Ben and Jaxon. They later relocated to be near Karen in North Richland Hills, Texas. Kay loved El Paso and the role that generations of her family played in its history. Family was at the center of Kay’s life. Most occasions were marked by a family dinner followed by board games, which she took very seriously. She was known as the Queen of Scrabble. She loved holidays and celebrated the Fourth of July with abundant enthusiasm.
She loved the beauty in things, whether it was wrapping a package or arranging dishes for a special occasion. She elevated any gathering with her beautiful presence and presentation. Trips with extended family brought her joy and happiness. She got a particular thrill from extreme rollercoasters and always insisted others share that experience with her. Her delight was evident by her special grin on those rides. By far, Kay’s favorite destination throughout her life, was the Hawaiian islands, which she dreamed to visit once more. Other favorite destinations included vacation spots in southern California, Fall in New England, and Canada – particularly Christmas at Banff and Lake Louise. Among her passions was gardening. She loved to work with the soil, especially with her prize Irises, Amaryllis, and mint for her iced tea.
Kay had a positive approach to challenges and was quick to analyze, accept and adapt. She navigated her motorized scooter with the same skills she used to drive over Scenic Drive in El Paso to teach each day. Her sense of humor was legend among family and friends Kay was a wonderful friend and conversationalist. She always took a keen interest in the lives of those close to her, and she cherished her many friends. We will miss your love, humor and beautiful smile. We know and are thankful that your suffering has ended and you are in the comforting care of our Lord. You are deeply loved for the constant and tireless guidance you gave so freely to your husband and daughters. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to: American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF)
Celebration of Life
Friday, July 30, 2021
Kathryn Tillman Peyton
July 29, 2021
I was the last of three siblings to have Mrs. Peyton as our teacher; for several years, all I heard were wonderful stories of this amazing woman and how much fun it was to be in her class. I was so excited for it to finally be my turn; third grade was magical with Mrs. Peyton. Every day was a new adventure filled with challenges, excitement, and the kind of atmosphere that can only be created by someone who truly cares for her students. I learned so much that year, including the values of fairness and working hard for what you wanted (I really, really wanted those big candy bars). For the remaining years at Mesita, I was a frequent visitor to Mrs. Peyton’s classroom just to say hello, and perhaps to recapture the magic that was always found in her room. She genuinely cared and emanated a warm and cozy feeling; simply being around her made you happy. It has been 35 years, and I can still see her amazing smile as clearly today as I did then. As I grew up, Mrs. Peyton remained a part of my life, sharing in my successes and offering support when needed. I am now an educator, and her methods still guide me as I try to inspire and mentor others in an attempt to make a difference in their lives, much like she did for her students daily. Mrs. Peyton was my third-grade teacher, but that title does not really do justice to the impact she had in my life. My life is better for having known her.
Ronnye Vargas Stidvent
July 28, 2021
Mrs. Peyton was an amazing teacher and an inspiring person. I remember seeing her for the first time as a child – this beautiful tall woman with delightfully tall hair and a dazzling smile that matched the twinkle in her eyes. Her warm laugh was so reassuring.
Kay Peyton was everything good about teachers. She believed in her students, seeing more in them than they saw in themselves. She was a bright light herself, but she was also a spark, setting fires inside her students, helping them light up, too. I was a student in her third grade class, but she always remained my teacher. She gifted me a subscription to Ideals magazine, and poems and photos of fall foliage remind me of her. She cheered me on at my high school graduation, celebrated my wedding, and smiled her wonderful smile at a Texas Exes award ceremony.
She inspired, encouraged, and challenged all of her students to meet her expectations. How could you not want to make her proud? Decades after I was in her class, I taught my own children multiplication using her cinnamon bear method. And every year, when I sent her my Christmas card, I had to write carefully, remembering her perfect cursive loops and hoping she wouldn’t notice the decline in my penmanship.
If anyone were to wonder if there is good in this world, if teachers make a difference, if one person can change lives, they have only to remember Kay Peyton and imagine a resounding, vivacious yes said with a wide smile.
Pat & Victor Vargas
July 28, 2021
Our young family was Blessed to first meet Mrs. Peyton when our son, Victor, was placed in her 3rd grade class at Mesita Elementary in El Paso. The love for her was instant and only grew when our daughters, Ronnye and Tiffanye, were also Blessed to have her as a 3rd grade teacher. She became Family! The kids always wanted her invited their special events--graduation, weddings, etc. We even flew her in to Ronnye's wedding in Austin. Kay was always there with her bright smile and gentle ways. God makes very few like Kay Peyton & we were Blessed to have her in our lives for over 4 decades. May she Rest In Peace!
Victor & Pat
July 24, 2021
I will always hear her laughter when I think of her. I was truly blessed to have her as one of my dearest friends. We could talk for hours and end up laughing at silly things. We shared stories, worries, the good and the bad and that's what made our friendship so special. She will truly be missed. There is a hurt that will take time to heal. Kay would tell me to count my blessings and move on with what God has planed for me. Laughter was a gift God gave her and she shared it with all of us. I will be forever thankful she came into my life and made it better.