Mary Leach Profile Photo
1931 Mary 2021

Mary Leach

September 1, 1931 — April 26, 2021

On Monday, April 26, 2021, long-time Kerr County resident, Mary Louise Leach passed away at her home surrounded by her family. Mary Louise was 89 years old. Mary Louise was born on September 1, 1931, in Houston, Texas, to Edna Jacobson and George Frank Stelzer, Sr. At the age of 14, and still in high school, Mary Louise got her first job as a sales clerk at Sears, Roebuck & Company. Following graduation from Pasadena High school at the age of 16, she worked for a short time as secretary to the curator at the San Jacinto Monument and then secretary to the chief engineer at Crown Central Petroleum Company's Pasadena refinery offices. During her four years of employment at Crown Central, Mary Louise was promoted several times and eventually became secretary to the vice-president. While still in high school Mary Louise began to apply and interview for the position of flight attendant with several airlines. She was rejected several times because she didn't meet the airline's 5'2" minimum height requirement. Apparently 5'1-½" was close enough for Eastern Airlines and she was accepted to flight attendant school in the summer of 1952. However, she was engaged to be married by then and never reported for training. After marriage, Mary Louise worked for two years for successful Houston oilman Jim Abercrombie. In September 1956 she moved to Waller, Texas, where she served as office manager for the family-owned livestock auction until the business sold in 1970. Mary Louise's first school experience came two months later when she accepted a position as a clerk in the Waller ISDs superintendent's office, eventually becoming the business manager for the district. Mary Louise moved to Kerrville, Texas, in 1979 and began working as the business manager for the newly-formed Ingram Independent School District. Near the end of her career, Mary Louise served over a year as Interim Superintendent of Schools. She retired at the age of 69, following 22 years of service to Ingram ISD. Mary Louise served many years on the board of the Ingram Friends and Faculty Scholarship Committee. She was extremely honored and humbled to have the Ingram Elementary Library named after her. After retirement, she was also instrumental in creating the Ingram Sports Hall of Honor - a permanent display recognizing Ingram Tom Moore's athletic state champions. Mary Louise's favorite activities included traveling and spending time with family. She especially loved watching her five grandchildren participate in sports and band concerts, and never missed a high school or college graduation. Following retirement, Mary Louise spent many years volunteering in various capacities at Zion Lutheran Church and at Christian Assistance Ministry in Kerrville. Mary Louise was preceded in death by her father, George Frank Stelzer, her mother, Edna Jacobson Stelzer Yeary, step-father, W.R. "Tex" Yeary, husband Harold Bode, and husband Jim Leach. She is survived by her two sons and their wives, Dale and Linda Bode of Kerrville, and Chris and Lori Bode of Katy, five grandchildren: Brandi Bode of San Antonio, Brad Bode and wife Allison of Prosper, Brent Bode of Kerrville, Ryan Bode of Linthicum Heights, Maryland, and Matthew Bode of Hockley. She is survived by three great-grandchildren, Callie, Chloe, and Camryn. She is also survived by her sister, Frances Bond of Kerrville, niece Alexis Phillips of Wimberley, great-niece Kelsey Phillips, and great-nephew Alister Kai Phillips. A memorial service will be held Friday, April 30, at Zion Lutheran Church on Sidney Baker Street at 10:00 a.m. There will be a private family graveside service at Garden of Memories Cemetery in Kerrville. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to West Kerr Community Scholarship Fund, c/o Ingram ISD, 400 College Street, Ingram, TX 78025, or to a charity of your choice.
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