Kathryn Rodgers
By Wise Funeral Home
Mar 28, 2019
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 Bonham, Texas -- Funeral Services for Kathryn Rodgers, 94, of Bonham, Texas, will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 31, 2019 at Wise Funeral Home Chapel in Bonham, Texas. Officiating will be Bro. Rick Edwards. A private interment will follow. Kathryn passed away on Monday, March 25, 2019. A visitation will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday, March 30, 2019 at Wise Funeral Home.

Kathyrn Beatrice Kuehne was born September 28, 1924 in Dallas Texas to Herman Rudolph and Gayle Theodora Cone Kuehne.  She was an only child but had several close cousins.  She was smart and was double promoted in grade school but often said she wasn’t as good at fractions as she might have been since that was the year she skipped.  Her family on both sides were educated and many were teachers and professors.

Her mother was a teacher and principal.  Her dad never finished his Ph.D. after stopping for WWI.  Her paternal uncle was a professor of physics at UT Austin and the Kuehne Physics, Astronomy, and Math Library at the university is named after him.  Her parents lived several places in Dallas and at one of them she met Albert Seawell who was the cute boy down the block. 

Kathryn attended SMU for two years on a full scholarship since her father, H. R. Kuehne, was instrumental in moving a night class from the YMCA to the SMU campus.  This eventually became the Law school.

Albert went to Pensacola for flight training at the end of WWII.  Kathryn quit college so that she and Albert could be married there in 1944 since he was about to be deployed as a Navy Pilot.  Albert was in Hong Kong when their first child, Elizabeth Anne Seawell was born in December of 1945. 

Albert returned to Dallas and worked for the FHA as an inspector.  Alan Randolf Seawell was born in 1947.  Albert volunteered for the Korean Conflict and the family moved to La Jolla, CA.  Philip Lee Seawell was born there in 1953 and again Albert was in Hong Kong, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross.

After Korea, Albert was employed as a test pilot for McDonald Douglas and the family moved to a St. Louis, Missouri suburb.  Albert was going to college to become an architect and had plans for the family to live in Hawaii since he had fallen in love with the island during his Navy service.  Those plans never happened when Albert died in a plane crash in July of 1955.  This was not a test flight and he was in a plane that would later be deemed not reliable and was only to maintain a minimum number of flight hours.

Kathryn and the children returned to Dallas and she purchased a house across the street from her parents and her Aunt Elma.  She became close friends with the next-door neighbors and the husband attended naval reserve meetings with a nice gentleman from Bonham, Texas.  Kathryn Seawell was introduced to the nice gentleman and soon married James Andrew Rodgers in December of 1961.

The children first visited Bonham for the funeral of Sam Rayburn and got to see up close all of the dignitaries, Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Vice-President Johnson who attended the funeral.  The children moved to Bonham at the semester break in 1962 and all three children graduated from Bonham High School.

James worked for the Bonham Pump Company as Comptroller until his retirement.  James and Kathryn had many friends in the community while attending the First Christian Church and other functions such as the supper clubs at the golf course.  James was on the school board and a member of the Lions Club.

Kathryn was a docent at the Rayburn house and a president of the historical society.  They were part of a group that took golf vacations and wore funny hats at New Year’s gatherings.
Kathryn was fashionable and elegant but also wore loud colorful socks and loved gardening.  She once asked for and received a post hole digger for Christmas.  She composted way before it became mainstream and all of her grandchildren remember earth worms.

Beth Seawell married Edwin Sloan and they have one child Kelley Marie Sloan born in 1964.

Alan married Nancy Huckabee and they have one child Christina Renee born in 1972.  Alan moved home in 1979 and was cared for by his mother until his death from cancer in 1981.
Philip married Debbie Fitzwater and they have three children.  Kathryn Elizabeth born in 1978, Sarah Ellen born in 1981, and Lydia Claire in 1985.

Philip married Velma after Debbie’s death and has a stepson, Michael.  Velma and Philip divorced but he is still close to Velma and to Michael.

The grandchildren have wonderful memories of times at Mom’s and Jim’s house.  Kathryn’s grandmother name, Mom, came from the oldest grandchild Kelley.  Her father was in a serious auto accident when she was eighteen months old and Kelley stayed in Bonham.  Philip called his mother Mom and Kelley did too.  Mom could be strict about manners and hand washing but those were good things to learn.  She spent lots of time reading to her grandchildren and singing numerous songs.  Everyone has a favorite of her songs and can hear singing or humming in their memories.  We also have fond memories of what we deemed the “quirky stuff.”  She had a definite plan for loading the dishwasher and made endless adjustments to the car’s ventilation system. 

Kathryn loved to work crossword puzzles and was often able to finish the difficult one from the New York Times.  She used an ink pen but did occasionally use erasable ink.  She decided to finish her college degree and major in speech at East Texas State University and attended at the same time as Philip.  She had always read the National Geographic for a few minutes at night before sleep.  She once related that the habit was keeping her from studying history since she was accustomed to reading a few pages and then drifting off to sleep.  She quit college to care for her father who passed away in 1975 and she never finished her degree.

Kathryn took wonderful care of James until his death at ninety-four in 2009.  Kathryn continue to go to church, the golf club, and to support local group such as the Creative Arts Center.

Her house is full of pictures she purchased to support local artists.  She was part of a country and western line dancing group until she fell doing a complex step at the age of eighty-two.

Kathryn enjoyed news and pictures of all of her great grandchildren.  She became proficient at holding a smart phone and scrolling.  They are Maxwell Stevenson, Sloan Stevenson, Lily Stevenson, Aaron Harty, Emily Harty, Rachel Cocker, Sadie Cocker, Gabriel Rojo, Blake Champie, Caleb Champie, Hunter Gray, and Easton Gray.

Kathryn fell and broke her hip on her eighty-ninth birthday while preparing for the family to visit.  She had two surgeries and several serious falls in the next five years.  Although in declining health, she did have good times such as a big ninetieth birthday party and having a margarita at her party for ninety-four.  She experienced virtual reality playing Fruit Ninja at Thanksgiving 2018.

Kathryn Kuehne Seawell Rodgers was a strong brave woman who informed the family that she would not be able to continue and that we would be missed.  She also wryly stated that her party was over and one of her granddaughters remembers that manners instructions included that a lady always knew when to leave the party.   She passed away four days later on March 25, 2019.  She will always be missed by her family and not forgotten by anyone who knew her.

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