Mrs. Doolin was a very active church supporter. She helped build the Big Wells Methodist Church in South Texas. In Dallas, she funded the building of King of Glory Lutheran Church on LBJ Freeway, and she donated their pipe organ. She later helped relocate a small congregation to the Unity Church of Christianity on Greenville Ave. She helped finance the ground acquisition and building of the Unity Church of Dallas, near her home on Forest Lane.
Kitty Doolin was born to John Wesley Coleman and Anna Elizabeth Crisp Coleman on August 22, 1919, in Floresville, Texas. Her mother died just seven years later in 1927. After her mother’s passing, Kitty and her two younger sisters, Pauline and Ruby Lea, lived with their grandparents, James Henry and Katie Mamie Coleman, on a small farm in Fairview, Texas. Meanwhile, their father operated a bakery in Three Rivers, Texas to help support the family.
The three sisters attended the Fairview School near their grandparent’s farm. Because of Katie Mamie’s blindness, Kitty was in charge of taking care of her two sisters, Polly and Ruby. She often told stories about the hardships of growing up poor. One of her favorites was about hauling her youngest sister Ruby on top of her cotton sack as she picked cotton, hauling it through the rows of the field during the harvest.
When their father established a good livelihood on Rio Vista Farms in Big Wells, Texas, she and her sisters moved back with him and his second wife, Ferne Brown Coleman. All three girls finished school at Big Wells High School. Kitty attended Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College, where she majored in Home Economics and graduated in 1939. After graduation with a Teacher’s Certificate, she taught briefly in a one-room schoolhouse near her grandparents’ home in Fairview.
Kitty often stayed in San Antonio with Daisy Dean Doolin, the mother of C.E. (Charles Elmer) Doolin. She helped “Mother” Doolin with sewing and correspondence, and is also credited with submitting a winning recipe to the Frito Company in one of their contests. Kitty and C.E. soon married on June 9, 1941, when she was 22 years old.
Kitty and C.E. honeymooned in Los Angeles, California where the Frito Company was opening their first West Coast manufacturing plant. It was Kitty’s first trip outside of Texas. Another of her favorite stories was about helping her husband figure out store-door delivery routes by stringing yarn along a map of pins stuck into the carpet of their temporary home in Los Angeles.
Kitty also supported the company by entertaining executive and employees at her home, where she loved to show off her vast flower and vegetable gardens. Over the years, she cultivated more than 110 varieties of irises, which she shared generously. She composted organic waste from food preparation, and grew much of her own organic food. She was also an artist, who worked in pastels, oils and the hand tinting of photographs.
Family was always her primary focus, be it immediate or extended. She traveled extensively to stay in touch with them all. In 1962, she took her five children on a yearlong trip around the world and forever impressed them with the spirit of adventure.
Kitty was the President of the Frito Women’s Forum in the 1950’s. In the 60’s and 70’s, her Book Review Club and the Lazy Susan Garden Club met frequently at her house. For 47 years, she was a member of the Zonta Club of Dallas, a classified business and professional women’s club, a chapter of Zonta International. In recent years, she hosted the Ten at Ten Writer’s Group and Zonta Club of Dallas board of directors and fellowship meetings.
After the death of C.E. Doolin in 1959, she remarried and divorced twice.
Her second husband was Leonard Robert Streit (deceased) and her third husband was Judson Veazey (deceased). Kitty is survived by her children, Charles Wesley Doolin and his wife Rosemary; Earl Leslie Doolin and his wife Barbara; Kaleta Ann Doolin and her husband Alan Govenar; and Willadean (Willa) Doolin. Her grandchildren are Demian LaPlante, Noam LaPlante, Eric Ryan Doolin, Laura Kathryn Doolin, Worth A. Nelson III, Joseph Wesley Doolin, and Alexander Doolin Govenar. Her surviving stepson is Ronald Elmer Doolin, and her only Doolin niece is Colleen Jane Doolin Skinner. Her youngest son, Patrick Daniel Doolin was killed in an automobile accident in Dallas County on November 3, 1980.
Mary Kathryn is also survived by sisters Ruby Lea Lindsey, Pauline Ackerman, Daisy Elizabeth Hayley, Alma Ferne Colston, Jackie Marburger, and brothers Wesley Brown Coleman, and John Coleman. She also has many nieces and nephews on the Coleman side of her extended family.
Memorials in lieu of flowers may be made to the Zonta Club of Dallas or Audubon Texas. Contributions should be mailed to Zonta Club of Dallas, 9806 Ravensway Drive, Dallas, Texas 75238. Audubon Texas donations should be sent to 2904 Swiss Ave., Dallas, Texas 75204.
The viewing was held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, June 26, 2009, at Restland Funeral Home, 13005 Greenville Avenue and Restland Road, Dallas, Texas 75243, and the telephone number for Restland is 972-238-7111.
The Funeral Service was at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 27, 2009, at St. Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church, 8011 Douglas Avenue and Colgate, Dallas, Texas 75225, and the telephone number for the church is 214-363-5471. Following the funeral, there was a brief Internment Service at The Abbey at Restland Funeral Home.
A reception was held at the Doolin home, 6723 Forest Lane, Dallas, Texas 75230, located on the north side of Forest Lane, between Hillcrest and the Unity Church of Dallas. Please RSVP to Rosemary Doolin at 214-202-9098.