Edith Lonnelle Kenady passed away peacefully in her home in Amarillo, Texas surrounded by her family on October 25, 2023.
Memorial service will be at 1:00 PM, Saturday, November 11, 2023 at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel, 2800 Paramount. Interment will be in Wheeler Cemetery. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors.
Lonnelle was born August 29, 1937, in Wheeler, Texas to Lonnie and Lillian Lee. Her sister, Shari Gale, was born two years later.
Lonnelle and her sister worked together in the family business, City Drug Store, tending to the soda fountain and other jobs around the store. When she was 16, her father passed away leaving Lillian and the girls to continue to run the store.
She was an outstanding basketball player; however, her true love was horses. She even rode her favorite one into the living room. After graduating from Wheeler High School, she attended Texas Women’s University in Denton. After two years in Denton, she transferred to West Texas State. She and Arden began dating and were married September 5, 1958 at the First Methodist Church in Wheeler. To cover expenses in married student housing, she and Arden worked in Amarillo. She worked in the credit department at Sears and Arden at The Hub in downtown Amarillo
Upon graduation from WTSU, the two set off to live in Germany while Arden was serving in the Army. While in Germany, Lonnelle experienced several firsts: first airplane flight, first time to drive a manual transmission car, first time to drink Schnapps, first time to visit foreign countries – which lead to many more in the future. Their small off-post apartment, which was above the local bar, quicky became home for the next three years. After Arden’s discharge from the Army, he was hired by Wyeth Laboratories for the El Paso territory 1962. There were more firsts for Lonnelle in El Paso: first time to Mexico, first time to own their own house and first daughter, Kimbra, was born in 1963. Jill was also born in El Paso in 1965. In 1966, Wyeth transferred Arden and Lonnelle to Amarillo.
Amarillo is where Arden & Lonnelle would spend the next 57 years. They made live long friends through St. Stephen and Polk Street Methodist churches. Lonnelle volunteered with many organizations throughout Amarillo – hospice care, Stephens Ministries, school lunch programs and reading competitions. It was the reading competitions that helped her stay connected to her educational roots in substitute teaching. She worked with Amarillo Independent School district as a substitute teacher for over 30 years focusing on junior high classes. While she loved all her assignments, she was particularly partial to Crockett Junior high.
Even through Arden and Lonnelle traveled all over the world, she would tell you her favorite place was the cabin in South Fork, Colorado. It was a great place to relax, have friends in and make new friends in the neighborhood. In the late ‘70’s, Lonnelle and Arden bought land in South Fork, Colorado and built a cabin. She also experienced more first in South Fork: first time to snow ski (which she grew to love), first time to hike the Rocky Mountains, including a “fourteener” and first time to raft the Rio Grande. She loved taking mountain drives looking for the elusive moose.
Lonnelle was an incredible cook, hostess and seamstress. She even had a room in their home specifically dedicated for her sewing projects. She loved to host parties and cook, never cater for them. Much to the pleasure of her family, she was still making biscuits from scratch until recently, never having resorted to the store-bought ones. Lonnelle was an avid reader and was a member of several book clubs over the years. She was well versed in many subjects and enjoyed all types of literature which she passed along to her daughters and grandchildren.
Lonnelle, known as “Gee”, was very involved in her grandchildren’s lives. They would often take the kids for several weeks in the Summer where they would go to Colorado or other interesting places. Lonnelle and Arden also made many trips to Oklahoma City for grandchildren birthdays, sports and school events.
For their 50th Wedding Anniversary, Arden and Lonnelle and their daughters families traveled to Scandinavia to celebrate the big event. This trip remains one of the highlights since every mode of transportation was used: planes, trains, boats, and automobiles. Arden and Lonnelle loved the adventure of traveling across the US, Canada and Europe. Each trip brought new friends and new experiences.
Following Arden’s passing in 2017, Lonnelle remained in Amarillo. In early 2023, she moved into an independent living facility in Edmond, OK where she quickly made new friends and new activities such as tai chi exercising.
Lonnelle was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Arden, her parents Lonnie and Lillian Lee and her sister, Shari Gale Porter. She is survived by daughters Kimbra Countryman and husband Mark and Jill Norman and husband Jeff and their children Jack (Cheraden) and Sidney.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Cal Farley’s Boy’s Ranch or Heal the City Free Clinic in Amarillo. The family would like to give special thanks to all the friends in Amarillo and specifically Mary Troxell, Lindy and Joanne Hopper, Karen and Dewayne Ripperger and John and Lisa Wilson who have done so much to help Lonnelle over the past several years.