Marian “Kay” Medlen, 72, was born on July 16, 1948 in Gainesville, Texas and passed away on August 19, 2020 in Houston, Texas.
Throughout her life, Kay treasured family, valued education and loved travel. Kay attended Nocona High School, Texas Tech University and the University of Houston. She was the first in her family to graduate from college. During her senior year in high school she had a chance encounter with Mac Medlen, then a college freshman visiting home for the semester, who would become the love of her life. Kay and Mac married on January 10, 1970 in Nocona, Texas and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with close friends and family earlier this year.
A born educator, Kay began teaching Head Start in West Texas after college. She held several elementary school positions over the years and further committed to her own development by completing a master’s degree in instructional technology at the University of Houston. Kay’s career spanned over 30 years and she retired after teaching high school for 15 years at The Kinkaid School.
While she was a native Texan proud of her heritage, Kay was always intrigued by cultures and places foreign to her small town beginnings. When the chance came for a job transfer to Chicago, Illinois in the early-1970s, Kay and Mac relished the opportunity. The five years spent in Chicago were magical and garnered friendships and experiences that lasted a lifetime. Throughout her life, Kay had the opportunity to travel to many destinations. Her favorites included France, Belgium and Spain.
Being a mother was one of the most important hallmarks of Kay’s life. Perhaps ahead of her time, she modeled the importance and balance of motherhood and career. Had she not been a teacher, Kay’s calling could have been nursing. When sick, there was no one better to care for you; when there was good news to share, she was the first one you called.
In retirement, Kay experienced many of her greatest joys through her weekly bridge group, book club, pilates, volunteerism as a docent at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the birth of her four precious grandchildren who knew her as “Kackie.” It was also during this time that Kay and Mac realized their lifelong dream of owning a home in Maine where she spent time tending to her beautiful garden, playing the piano, visiting with special friends from the porch and walking her corgi, Daisy, on the beach. It was in this setting that Kay also enjoyed riding her signature colorful bike around the island and kayaking in the Casco Bay.
Our family is extremely grateful to the staff, administrators and friends that we have met at Silverado and through the Elder Advisory Group during the last years of Kay’s life. We are also thankful for the many friends and family members that have walked the difficult path of caring for a family member with dementia. We appreciate you letting us into your lives and for being an important part of our journey.
Kay is preceded in death by her parents Bill and Ruth Thomas and sisters Janice Bicsak and Sue Thomas. Kay is survived by her husband, Mac, children Paige Schulz (Chris) and Katie Goodwin (Scott), sister Patti Moore and sister in law Julia Wallis. She is also survived by her beloved grandchildren Mary Katherine Schulz, Lillian Schulz, Elizabeth Goodwin and Allan Goodwin.
As we are unable to gather at this time, a private family celebration is planned. In lieu of flowers or customary remembrances, please consider a gift in Kay's memory to support Alzheimer’s Research through the Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital (http://tchos.convio.net/goto/KayMedlen) or the charity of your choice.