Mary Lou Kahl’s life will be celebrated by family, friends, fellow educators and former students on Saturday, October 15, 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, in Oakdale. She lived a wonderful life, always giving her all to her family of four children, grandchildren, her husband and countless students, always saying that her decisions were based on “what’s best for kids.”
A mass of Christian burial is being celebrated by Fr. Richard Morse who has been a family friend for many years and headed Central Catholic High School as its principal when three of her four children attended there, later becoming pastor of St. Anthony’s Church in Manteca.
She regarded her children as her fondest blessings. Steve, of Los Gatos, Scott of Mansfield, Texas; Sharon of Morgan Hill and Tim now living in San Diego. She also leaves six grandchildren: Krista and Justin Kahl, Megan, Conner and Ryan Noyes and Andy Kahl. Her two younger sisters are Patricia Roth of Chula Vista and Denise Johnson of British Columbia. One brother Edward passed away earlier. Mary Lou would never let a birthday or smallest holiday go by without sending all of them a greeting card with a loving note.
She relished the fact they all graduated from college and went into their own vocations. Steve is a high school English teacher in Mountain View, Scott an assistant superintendent of schools in Arlington, Texas; Sharon teaches fourth grade in San Jose and Tim is a police sergeant in the city of Chula Vista near San Diego.
Mary Lou began her teaching career two months after she and her husband Glenn were marriedin1960 in Chula Vista, just south of San Diego, accepting a second grade assignment at Manteca’s Lincoln Elementary School from then superintendent Neil Hafley. The Kahl’s recently marked their 59 years together, having lived in Ripon for the past some 45 years. The rest of her teaching and administrative career took place in Ripon where she first taught first grade at Ripona School for more than 20 years.
She served on the Doctors Hospital Board of Directors and the board of Give Every Child a Chance tutoring program based in Manteca and serving students in an after school program.
Returning to college while teaching, she earned her master’s degree and administrative credential to become principal of Ripon’s Colony Oak School in a rural section of the community. She turned the school around in the early part of her 13 year tenure to see it become one of the highest achieving elementary schools in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties with her and her staff being honored with the state’s Distinguished Schools’ Award for excellence.
She battled ALS for a year and a half and moved to a cottage in Morgan Hill where she was under the caring eyes of her son Steve and daughter Sharon who lived nearby – along with her husband Glenn who stayed with her during her final months.
Memorial donations may be made to either the Give Every Child a Chance tutoring program or to the ALS Foundation seeking a cure through research of the disease that took her life this past Saturday morning.
A reception is being planned for her at Colony Oak School’s multi-purpose room on Murphy Road in Ripon, immediately following the services at 12:30 p.m. It was the school that she transformed into a family of teachers, parents and students. It is fitting that the day concludes at her Colony Oak that she loved so dearly.
She is being inurned at St. John’s Cemetery next to St. Patrick’s Church on Highway 120 in Ripon.
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Saturday, September 24, 2016