SPEIR, Margaret Karen (Kalinowsky)|
Margaret Karen Kalinowsky Speir, 65, of Austin, passed away Thursday, February 6, 2014. She was born in Houston, Texas, the second child of John Kalinowsky and Margaret June Jeffrey Kalinowsky on September 27, 1948. She graduated from Spring Branch High School in Houston with the class of 1966, attended Southwestern University in Georgetown and graduated from the University of Houston.
On May 31, 1975, she married George K. Speir in Houston, and they immediately moved to Austin to operate a Kwik-Kopy Printing Center. After moving to Austin; she never looked back, she became a proud supporter of all things Austin. Among the organizations she was a member of and supported were the Austin Pilot Club, the Austin Jr. Forum where she chaired the Christmas at Caswell fund raiser one year, Austin Republican Women, her college sorority alum group, Phi Mu, the Lake Travis Thrift Shop, The Women at the Well bible study at Lake Travis United Methodist Church and she spent the last 10 years of her life as a loyal member of the Lakeway Jazzercise Club.
After selling their print shop, Karen decided to go back to school and become a teacher. After receiving her teacher's certificate she became what could be called a professional substitute teacher. She enjoyed substituting in the Eanes, Dripping Springs and Lake Travis School districts. Then one summer she was called by the principal of the Del Valle Opportunity Center to teach English, grades 9 - 12, in the district's alternative high school. After the first week, she said, "I will stick this out till the end of the school year, but then, I am gone." But as the year went on, she fell in love with the school, her fellow teachers, and the idea of helping at risk students graduate from high school. She stayed at Del Valle for 10 years and received numerous letters from former students thanking her for having faith in them and pushing them to graduate.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by two loving sons, Christopher Bradley Speir and Gregory Kyle Speir both of Austin, one brother, John Kelly Kalinowsky of Houston, two sisters, Karol Ann Potter of Kerrville and Kathy Marie Wied of Katy. She is also survived by one niece, Annisa Reagor of Leakey, two nephews, Ross Potter of Center Point and Travis Wied of Katy and numerous grand nieces and nephews that she loved greatly. She was preceded in death by her parents and her beloved grandparents, Carl and Sue Nack.
Services will be 2:00PM, Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at the Lake Travis United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends from 6PM till 8PM Monday, February 10, 2014 at the Weed-Corley-Fish Chapel in Lakeway.
The family would also like to express their thanks and gratitude to all the doctors, nurses, aides and therapists at St. David's Medical Center, Texas Neuro Rehabilitation Center, The Summit Skilled Nursing Center at Lakeway and Heart to Heart Hospice for the loving care Karen received throughout her ordeal.
Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to Lake Travis United Methodist Church, 1502 N. RM 620, Austin, TX 78734, the International Rett Syndrome Foundation, P.O. Box 706143, Cincinnati, OH 45270 or The National Stroke Association, 9707 Easter Lane, Suite B, Centennial, CO 80112.
Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Feb. 9 to Feb. 10, 2014