My Mom's Obituary: Mary Lou Kaltenbach
Mary Lou Kaltenbach, 78, of Plano, TX, went to be with the Lord on February 4, 2023.
Mary Lou (Carpenter) Kaltenbach was born on December 25, 1944, in Seneca, KS, to Herbert and Berniece Carpenter. After graduating from Seneca High School, she enrolled at Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS, where she received a B.A. in English. While in college, Mary Lou joined Sigma Phi Omega, played in the band, and was on staff with the student newspaper, among other activities.
Following her college graduation, earned an M.A. in English from Emporia State University in Emporia, KS, and completed some doctoral coursework at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
She taught English and Literature for several years at Emporia State University, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and other schools. She also served as a department manager and researcher for several organizations, including the Ellis Fischel State Cancer Research Center in Columbia, MO, the Assessment department of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the Unity Foundation in Kansas City, MO.
While living in Emporia, Mary Lou married Carey Wilds Kaltenbach of Mullinville, KS. During the couple’s marriage, she gave birth to one child, Caleb Wilds Kaltenbach. Following the couple’s divorce, Mary Lou met her life partner, Vera Jean (McCoy) Elleson of Minocqua, WI. After Vera received her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia, they moved to Kansas City, MO where they resided for 22 years until Vera passed away from cancer. Several years later, Mary Lou relocated to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to be near family, as few things were more important to her than family and friends.
During her life, Mary Lou was an outspoken advocate of human rights. A fan of the Kansas City Chiefs, she was thrilled to see them win Super Bowl LIV. Writing came naturally to her, as was evident in the many articles, poems, and short stories that she authored. In addition, she was a connoisseur of movies, the theater, classic literature, comedy, true crime stories, mystery novels & movies, political conversations, and Coca-Cola. She also enjoyed visiting Wisconsion and traveling to new places. Eventually, faith in Jesus Christ became a significant aspect of Mary Lou’s life. As she was able, she regularly attended the Penn Valley Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends in Kansas City, MO, Valley View Christian Church in Dallas, TX, and other church services and Bible studies as she was able.
Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents, Herbert and Berniece; brother, Larry Carl Carpenter; former husband, Carey; life partner, Vera; and sister-in-law, Martha Carpenter. She is survived by her son, Caleb; daughter-in-law, Amy; grandchildren, Joel and Rachel; nieces, Erin Richardson and Emily Crockett; family members Jim & Kay Elleson, Lia Joy Sparks, and Liz Calvert; as well as cousins, nephews-in-law, grandnieces, grandnephews, extended family, and friends.