Kathryn Brand (1923 - 2012)

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Brand, Kathryn "Kay" Wiggins McAllen: Kathryn "Kay" Wiggins Brand passed away peacefully on April 22, 2012 after a lengthy illness since January. She was accompanied by children. Kay was a devoted Christian and her family is comforted by the knowledge that she has passed through death into life eternal. Kay Brand has four children who will cherish her memory, Marjorie Lynn Ferrell, Karyn Sue Purvis, O. E. Brand Jr and Cynthia Lee Brand. She has 10 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and one " grand " dog. She is also survived by her brother, Don Wiggins, his wife Patricia and her sister, Clara Herrick, her sisters-in-law Elnora Wiggins, Carolyn Jackson and numerous much loved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her beloved Othal E. Brand, her parents, Marguerite and Arthur Wiggins, her sister, Virginia Guthrie and husband Earl Wiggins, brothers John Wiggins and Ray Wiggins and brother-in-law Jack Herrick. Kay was born in Coshocton, Ohio on August 7, 1923. She was the second of six children born to Marguerite and Arthur Wiggins. Her father was a railroad engineer until the Great Depression when he became a share cropper. Farming during that era included planting with a mule and harvesting with your hands. Her formative years forged the bonds of a closely knit family which endured through their lifetimes. Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, three of Kay's brothers joined the Armed Forces. She overcame her father's objections and joined the Women Marines in 1943. While working in transportation services refueling tanks, she met Marine Master Sergeant, Othal E. Brand. He was a southern Georgia boy and on R & R from Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Her eyes would twinkle when recalling how they met. They were married for 64 years until his death in 2009. After marrying, the couple moved to Atlanta, Georgia where Othal worked with his brothers in a booming post war business, Brand Brothers Produce. The years in produce included many car travels for the Brand family throughout the states while following the crops for nine years. McAllen, Texas became their choice location to settle down. They rented a home, bought a piano and a set of encyclopedias. Othal bought acreage to build a home when Harvey Drive was the northern boundary for the city limits of McAllen,Texas. Their home became a gathering place for a newly formed church, Calvary Baptist, which was meeting in the cafeteria of David Crockett school. Kay with her gift for warm hospitality was the willing hostess and diligent worker whenever the home and pool were used for Bible study, baptisms and/or fellowships. She and Othal remained active in their Lord's service. She sang in the choir, taught Vacation Bible School and enthusiastically supported Youth and Children's activities. The Brands' home was a haven for visiting ministers & traveling choirs who were welcomed with food and a "place to stay". Her children and friends use adjectives such as loving, patient, enduring, kind and hard working to describe her. She was a giver and a doer who liked to slip in quietly and without fanfare. She gave in a selfless fashion to others of both her time, knowledge and talents but found it so difficult to receive. Because of these qualities, late in life Kay was honored as a recipient of the American Heart Award and included for special recognition at the McAllen War Memorial. The family memorial there aptly reads "Service in War and Peace" Kay was much involved in the community with the Boys and Girls clubs. Her community activities included working with Girl Scouts. She was a Brownie troop leader in Atlanta and until her death was a staunch supporter of WINGS (Women in Girl Scouts). Being actively involved with her son's Boy Scout troop had been another joy for her. She served tirelessly for many years on the McAllen Public Library Board. Kay was active and supportive of Othal's local political career which spanned over 30 years, and his involvement in state and national politics, charities and church organization. Kay Brand was her husband's biggest supporter and privately his frankest critic. They both believed strongly in educational opportunities through scholarships being offered and available to many children who wanted further education. Her smile always made others feel special. Her gracious ways, calm demeanor and genuine Christian faith were evident whether during a campaign, washing dirty dishes in the kitchen of a bereaved neighbor or receiving honors and accolades as the wife of a McAllen mayor. Kay was a loving servant to her family, church, community, country and to her Lord. Visitation will be from 5:30 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 25 at Calvary Baptist Church. The funeral service will be at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, April 26 at Calvary Baptist Church. Entombment will follow at Rose-lawn Mausoleum. Memorial contributions may be made to "Kay Brand memorial" at Calvary Baptist Church, 1600 Harvey Dr., Mc-Allen, TX 78501, Brand Christian Youth Camp, P.O. Box 4408, McAllen,TX 78502, McAllen boys & Girls Club, P.O. Box 577, McAllen,TX 78505, or donate blood in her memory at United Blood Services. KreidlerFuneral home.com Kreidler Funeral Home, Inc. 956-686-0234

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Published in Dallas Morning News on Apr. 25, 2012
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