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Carolyn "Kelly" Pettyjohn
April 29, 1946 ~ January 14, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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Kelly was born on April 29, 1946 to her parents Ruth and Fred Lee Back in Rosenberg, Texas. She was followed in short order by her brother Freddy, who went by “Bud”, her sisters Frances and Stephanie and finally her youngest brother Vance. Her father’s jobs kept the family moving and there were summers spent with her mother’s parents George and Frances Sims. He was a ranch and farm foreman in the Sugarland area and she has vivid memories of working the fields, riding on crop wagons and even picking cotton with the classic tie around the head bonnet and cotton tow sack. She was the apple of her grandfather’s eye, though. She always said she could coax him in to buying popsicles when they went to town. Kelly and her sister Stephanie became close during their school years. They often went to a new school every fall and their friendship as well as their kinship provided comfort, support and continuity in those years when friendships, if made at all, only lasted a year. Kelly was always personable, and became a cheerleader and played in the band at Orchard High School. She graduated from San Jacinto High School in Houston then went to cosmetology school in Rosenberg.
After graduating, she undertook her first career as a hair dresser and salon owner in Corpus Christi. After 20 years, she undertook her second 20 year career in the hospitality industry as an event manager at an Oceanside hotel in Corpus Christi and, later, a conference planner. It was late during this period that she met her future husband Jack, as she arranged his training sessions at her hotel. After her husband passed away, she moved to El Paso to start afresh in a new setting. She became the banquet and events manager of the historic El Camino Real Hotel. The relationship between Kelly and Jack had kindled by then, and he convinced her to do something she swore she’d never do; move back to Houston. She began her third career then as part of the dynamic duo purchasing team of a local engineering and construction firm with Beth “007” Stanley. She worked there until her retirement. On April the 29th, 2006 on her 60th birthday, she and Jack married. Jack doubled his chances of remembering the important dates by combining her birthday and anniversary, but she said she still expected two presents. They would have celebrated their 18th anniversary this April.
Kelly is survived by her sister Stephanie, her brother Vance, her beloved dog Scooter, her “adopted as an adult” daughter Angela, her husband Jack and her many friends. Of special importance to her are the many friends she has come to know and love in her church. She rejoined the Church about 3 years ago after an absence and found the spiritual nurturance she’d been missing in years past. She also made a fine a group of close friends like Lyn, Jill, Nicky, Carmen and Maria and the bishops who have been enormously supportive of her in these last difficult months as her health failed. She drew on their strength during those difficult days.
She used to enjoy telling Jack she was the best thing that ever happened to him. He would happily agree with that; he was lucky to have her as a wife and a friend. All who knew her as their friend would have similar affection for her.
Funeral Service will be held 11:00 AM Saturday, January 27, 2024 in the chapel Bishop Ken Dinszale officiating. Private interment at Grandview Cemetery.