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Kitty Ruth Secrest

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Beloved mother, grandmother, business owner
Kitty Ruth Secrest, 84, longtime Alamogordo resident, passed away Sept. 20, 2008, at home surrounded by her family. She was born Sept. 5, 1924, in Cunningham, Texas, to George and Oma Mae Pomroy Bishop. Her father, George, died when she was 5 years of age, and later she was blessed with a loving stepfather, Lloyd Marshall.
Kitty met John R. Secrest, her husband of 62 years, at a basketball game in 1940. He was a star basketball player on the team from Pattonville, Texas, and she was the band majorette of the rival team. It was love at first sight. They were married March 25, 1942, and lived in Paris, Texas. Three children were born from this union, Shelia Kay, John R. Jr. and Marsha Ruth.
Kitty moved temporarily away from Paris to work as a purchase clerk at an aircraft facility in Seattle, Wash., while John served in the European Theater in the Army Air Corps flying B-17s. Upon John's return from overseas, Kitty and John opened and operated Secrest Market in Paris, Texas, until 1956. The family then moved to Carlsbad to be closer to Kitty's mother and the Pomroy family. John worked at the U.S. Borax mine until it closed, and Kitty was a cashier at a local grocery.
John and Kitty moved to Alamogordo in 1968, where they bought the local Tom's distributorship. Kitty ran the first vending machine route in Alamogordo, and was the first woman in the Tom's organization nationwide to operate a Tom's route. They retired in 1993 and son John Jr. continues the business. Their retirement years were spent with large family birthday and holiday gatherings, Pomroy and Secrest reunions and enjoying life together. 
Kitty accompanied her husband John for 30 years while he played piano in a country band in Otero County and enjoyed being with friends and dancing at the VFW, Elks, Moose, Eagles and Older American Center. Kitty was a generous, hard working and loving wife, mother and grandmother. 
Kitty was preceded in death by her husband, John R. Secrest; her parents, George Bishop, stepfather Lloyd and Oma Mae Marshall; her brother Ray Bishop; and her daughter Shelia Kay Secrest. She is survived by her son John R. Secrest Jr. and his wife, Olga, and a daughter, Marsha R. Griffin, all of Alamogordo; eight grandchildren, Rick Parkison, Darryl Parkison, Angela Secrest, Toni Clark, Leisha Rider, Marissa Parker, John R. Secrest III and Claire Secrest; seven great-grandchildren, Tim Parkison, Melissa Parkison, Katrina Parkison, Dustin Parkison, Alena Clark, Mitchell Clark and Amelia Secrest; and one great-great-grandson, Diego Ortega.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008, at the Alamogordo Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Tom Richardson officiating. Kitty will be interred next to her husband, John R., and daughter Shelia Kay Secrest at Monte Vista Cemetery.
Pallbearers include John R. Secrest III, Rick Parkison, Tim Parkison, Rick Bell, Neil McCowan and John Van Dam. Jacky Webb, Bear Smith, Rosemary Crain and Val Gomez, close friends, will serve as honorary pallbearers.
The family asks that memorial donations be made to the Alamogordo Hospice, P.O. Drawer 29, Alamogordo, NM 88311.
The Secrest family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home to direct the funeral services. 

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Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Sept. 24 to Sept. 26, 2008
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