Catherine "Kay" (Rose) Stargel Profile Photo
1922 Catherine "Kay" 2024

Catherine "Kay" (Rose) Stargel

December 17, 1922 — April 17, 2024


Catherine “Kay” (Rose) Stargel, 101 years old, of Amarillo, Texas, died Wednesday, April 17, 2024, of natural causes. 

A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held at 2 PM on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church, 1100 South Harrison St., Amarillo, TX 79101. Officiating will be Howard Griffin and Murray Gossett. Interment at Llano Cemetery will precede the memorial service, with arrangements conducted by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd., Amarillo, TX.

Born Catherine Marie Rose on December 17, 1922, to parents Della Belle (Lahr) and Fred Chancy Rose, her delivery occurred in a rural farmhouse in Dickinson County, Kansas (near Detroit, Kansas), a few miles east of Abilene.  Her early childhood was spent in that home until the family moved to their lifelong Homestead south of Abilene in order to expand their acreage and continue their life as wheat farmers. She did not recall any specific hardships suffered while living there during the Depression since garden crops supplied vegetables, and livestock for meat were readily available. Following graduation from Abilene High School at age 17, she attended Normal Training school in Chapman, Kansas, acquiring her teaching certificate. She taught grades 1-8 in various one room rural schoolhouses located in surrounding counties for approximately four years. 

Shortly after the U.S. entry into World War II, in September 1942, at age 19, she met 31-year-old Roy Stargel from Memphis, Texas while attending a USO-sponsored picnic with her mother in Abilene. Roy, a newly enlisted trainee of the US Army Air Corps, was spending his weekend leave in Abilene, having recently arrived, and stationed in nearby Fort Riley preparing for eventual service duty in the Pacific Theatre. After a two-year courtship, Catherine married Roy in the Presbyterian Church in Abilene on August 5, 1944, taking the Stargel surname, and from then forward being known as “Kay” (Roy’s chosen nickname for her). Shortly thereafter, Roy left for his 11-month tour of duty in Iwo Jima. Following Roy’s discharge near the end of the war, he returned to Kansas, and the couple traveled to Amarillo in late 1945, moving into their newly built house on W. 13th St.  in January 1946, where they welcomed the first of two children: a son, Michael Don, in early August 1946, followed 15 months later by a daughter, Nancy Kay, in late October 1947. Kay became actively involved in her children’s school lives, serving as PTA president at Avondale Elementary school and a Girl Scout leader as well. Roy passed away in May 1998, after 53 years of marriage. Kay stayed in the family home for a few more years, before selling the house and moving to Park Place Tower, where she rented an independent- living apartment, remaining there for the rest of her life. Although active and vibrant initially following the move, she eventually succumbed to the unavoidable natural physical deterioration brought on by advanced age.

Kay was a stay-at-home wife and mother throughout her children’s formative years, then worked for about 15 years in the Potter County Clerk’s office during the 1960s and 1970s. She cherished the subsequent. arrival of 4 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, all of whom she dearly loved, embracing them as often as she could, even though separated from them by long distances. She loved Amarillo and its people, only complaining occasionally about the prevalent wind and episodes of winter snowfall common to the Texas Panhandle. She could never be persuaded by her children to move out of Amarillo to join either Michael in Atlanta or Nancy in Houston. Throughout her life, she was known by all who came in contact with her as a kind, warm, and pleasant lady, adept in the social graces. She made friends easily and nurtured these friendships throughout the many generations that followed hers. She developed a wide and loyal group of friends, particularly enjoying regular outings with book club and birthday club buddies. She eventually outlived almost all the peers in her age group, she but made it a point to continue to develop new relationships with younger friends throughout her life. Her greatest lifelong love was her faithful relationship with her spiritual savior Jesus Christ. She cherished her First Presbyterian church family, followed closely in importance by her own immediate family members and her adopted family of close friends. Many in the church congregation came to expect to see her each Sunday morning with her neatly coiffed silver-gray hair (sitting next to Roy during his lifetime, of course) and she was always located in the same spot in the same pew near the front of the sanctuary. She generously devoted her time and efforts to the support of the numerous functions sponsored by the church, repeatedly finding it difficult to say “No” to any new request for her involvement. She was honored to be elected church Elder and regularly attended her weekly adult Sunday school class. She enjoyed reading the Bible on her own, and in more structured Bible study groups. She also devoted time to both personal and corporate prayerful communication with God.

Sadly, she had to begin to limit her enjoyment of most of her social activities, as her vision and hearing declined, especially during the last two or three years of life. Family and friends are now relieved that the Lord has released her spirit to cross over the mortal divide, escaping the trials and tribulations of this world. We trust that she is now experiencing the promised joyous existence in the glorious heavenly presence of God, resting in Eternal Peace forevermore.

Kay was preceded in death by her parents Fred and Della Belle Rose, her husband Roy  Stargel; and her two brothers,  Chester (Helen) Rose of Abilene, Kansas, and Keith [Gladys) Rose of Neosho, Missouri.

Survivors include her two children, Michael D. (Lynda) Stargel of Alpharetta, Georgia, and Nancy K. (Joe, deceased) Hablinski of Houston, Texas; four grandchildren, Jared M. Stargel of Cumming, Georgia, Megan N.(Gregory) Hall of Americus, Georgia, Reed J. (Lauren) Hablinski of Houston, Texas, and Ross J. (Allison ) Hablinski of Houston, Texas; her 11 great-grandchildren, Kariss Stargel, Sophia Stargel, Harper Stargel of Cumming, Georgia.
Ezekiel Hall, Adalynn Hall, Lily Faith Hall, Esther Hall , all of Americus, Georgia, Colton Hablinski, Cameron Hablinski of Houston, Texas, and Roy Hablinski, Birdie Hablinski of Houston Texas.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial in Catherine’s name, to First Presbyterian Church, Amarillo, Texas.


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