Cover photo for Kathryn  Keathley's Obituary
Kathryn  Keathley Profile Photo
1936 Kathryn 2022

Kathryn Keathley

1936 — October 1, 2022

Ann Kathryn Esse Keathley passed from this life October 1st, 2022 at home with loved ones present and close to her. Kathryn lived 86 dynamic and inspiring years. 

Kathryn, “Nani”, will be deeply missed by her children, Bryan Keathley and wife, Michelle, Karyn Covelli and husband, Frank, Lauren Read and husband, Jeff, John Keathley and husband, Randy; and her nine grandchildren Daniel, John and Scott Covelli; Austin, Travis, Bryan and Caroline Read; Nicholas and Robert Keathley, and two great-grandchildren Caroline and Leo Covelli.

She is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 40 years, Bryan O. Keathley, her parents, Lillian Meyer and Otto Esse, and her sisters, Jeanette Esse Bilbrey and Carol Esse Timmons.

Kathryn was born February 4, 1936 in Fashing, Texas. After her father’s early death, she lived with her mother and sisters in Seguin. Kathryn graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Business. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, and enjoyed writing letters of recommendations for young women of Abilene.

She lived life with a passion for family, art, activity and adventure. Kathryn was an elder and long-time member of First Central Presbyterian Church. She was active and held leadership roles in many civic organizations including the Abilene Junior League, Pensadores Study Club, The Grace Museum, and the Center for Contemporary Arts. 

Kathryn and Bryan loved to snow ski. They were private pilots, and early in their marriage made numerous long flights together. They were avid sailors and founding members of the Abilene Sailing Association. They shared their love of wind and water with their children and friends at their cabin on Lake Fort Phantom. Kathryn and Bryan hosted an annual July 4th celebration at their cabin that is fondly remembered by many.

She took great pleasure in being involved for many years in her four children’s activities in high school and college. Kathryn was proud of her four Eagle Scouts – her two sons and grandsons, Nicholas and Robert. She enjoyed being included in the activities of her grandchildren. “Nani” was always ready to drive the long Texas highways to be with family for their special occasions.

Kathryn loved her home of contemporary design. Studying religious thought and inspirational material was of great appeal to Kathryn. She and her husband hosted study, meditation and prayer groups in their home for many years.

Visitation will be 4:00 to 6:00 PM Sunday, October 9th at Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road. 

Funeral services will begin at 10:30 AM Monday, October 10th at First Central Prebyterian Church, 400 Orange Street, with Pastor Cliff Stewart officiating. A private family committal will follow at Elmwood Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be her eight grandsons.

For those desiring, contributions in memory of Kathryn may be made to The Grace Museum in Abilene.

The family of Kathryn wishes to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the staff of Wesley Court Senior Living, Kindred at Home, and Nelda Sessler for their outstanding service and heart-felt care.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kathryn Keathley, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, October 9, 2022

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

The Hamil Family Funeral Home

6449 Buffalo Gap Rd, Abilene, TX 79606

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Funeral Service

Monday, October 10, 2022

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

First Central Presbyterian Church

400 Orange St, Abilene, TX 79601

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