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Alta Bell Bilbo Kay

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Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2019 1:32 pm | Updated: 1:34 pm, Wed May 22, 2019.

Alta Bell Bilbo Kay, 96. of Alpine, Texas and Waco, Texas, passed peacefully to her heavenly home with her children by her side on May 15, 2019, just two weeks short of her 97 birthday.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 25, at the First United Methodist Church in Robert Lee, Texas. Visitations will be Tuesday, May 21 at the Lake Shore Funeral Home in Waco from 5-7 p.m. and at the United Methodist Church in Robert Lee on Saturday, May 25, one hour prior to the service.

The Rev. Jane Vaughn, former pastor of Alpine First United Methodist Church and close personal friend, will prepare the funeral message presented by Rev. Cynthia Weidner, pastor of First United Methodist Church of Robert Lee, who will officiate the service. Burial will follow at the Robert Lee Cemetery. Arrangements were made by Lake Shore Funeral Home, Waco and Shaffer Funeral Home, Robert Lee/San Angelo.

Alta Bell Kay was born June 3, 1922 in Robert Lee, where she lived until high school graduation. She attended Sul Ross State University in Alpine, and taught for several years before returning to Sul Ross to complete a master’s degree.

After World War II, she met Lamar Kay, who returned from serving in the 36th Division of the U.S. Army to attend Sul Ross. They were married August 24, 1947 in Robert Lee First United Methodist Church, and created a lifetime of love and laughter for 53 years. Upon graduation, Lamar went to work for the USDA Soil Conservation Office, and the couple lived in Childress, Texas, Lubbock, Texas and Van Horn, Texas before moving back to Alpine in 1952.

Alta Bell worked in the college business office before starting her career as a professor of business where she taught rigorous courses in accounting and supervised student teachers.

In 1969, Alpine ISD recruited her to start a vocational office education program at Alpine High School. As with any task she accepted, the program was exemplary, with students going on to be well-trained accountants, business owners, teachers, a university vice president, and a U.S. Representative to name a few. Her students accumulated many awards during her tenure, all the way to national competitions. She truly loved teaching. After her retirement, she and Lamar traveled extensively to many countries, and she enjoyed hosting her grandchildren every summer for well-planned adventures.

In 2016, A.B., as many called her, moved to Waco to Stillwell Retirement Center where she made many, many friends who treated her like the special person she was. She enjoyed sing-a-longs, sending birthday cards to other residents, and the wonderful meals.

Alta Bell was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Alpine for over 70 years, the United Methodist Women’s Association, the Texas Retired Teachers Association, a past member of Eastern Star, and a member of the Beta Iota Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma for over 60 years where she held many offices, including yearbook chairman, treasurer, and president. She loved to dance, and is no doubt dancing down the golden streets!

Mrs. Kay was preceded in death by her parents, Alley and Alta Bilbo; three sisters, Ferrell Jean Bilbo, Jamie Boren, and Peggy Gilmore; and her husband, Omar Lamar Kay.

She is survived by one daughter and son-in-law, Jan and Bobby Hungate of Waco; one son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Judy Kay of Andrews, Texas; one granddaughter, Kara Knight of Waco; two grandsons, Nicholas Kay of Andrews and Kayce Hungate of Waco; and three great grandchildren, Maci Knight, Kaylyn Kay, and Phoenix Harwell. She is also survived by sisters, Janet Rathmell of Mérida, Yucatan, Jo Ann Littlefield of Grove, Oklahoma, and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.


Pallbearers will be nephews Tom Boren of Lubbock, John Boren of Snyder, Texas, Jerry  Littlefield, of Grove, Sandy Evans of Arlington, Texas, Steve Evans of Mérida, Bill Havens of Pleasanton, Texas, and great nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Stillwell Retirement Center, 5400 Laurel Lake Drive, Waco 76710; Providence Hospice, 6700 Sanger Avenue, Waco 76710; and First United Methodist Church of Alpine, 208 E Sul Ross, Alpine 79830.

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Buck 7-on-7 advances to Sonora

Senior Julian Cano snags a pass in the 7-on-7 tournament finals against Crane on June 9 at Buck Stadium. Alpine won 33-14, and qualified for the State finals in College Station at the end of this month. 

Updated: 10:58 am | See more