School 10

Emma "Kay" Whatley

November 1, 1938 ~ June 3, 2022 (age 83)


Emma Kathleen “Kay” Cramer Whatley, age 83, passed away peacefully June 3, 2022, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Kay was born November 1, 1938, in Harlingen, Texas to Lee B. Cramer, Sr., and Ruby Henrichson Cramer. The oldest of five, Kay grew up the proud daughter of a farmer, rancher, and ginner in the Rio Grande Valley. A life-long Methodist, Kay was descended from a Methodist circuit-rider. Her Henrichson family was one of the early settlers of Old San Patricio. 

Kay attended Texas A&I College in Kingsville, Texas where she met Robert Whatley. Kay and Bob married after graduation, and Kay became the proud wife of a farmer in Odem, Texas where they raised their family.

Education was important to Kay. She was a math and history teacher at Mary Carroll High School in Corpus Christi and Odem High School in Odem. She continued to advocate for public education as a member of the Odem-Edroy ISD school board for 18 years. Kay later worked for Judge Josephine Miller, San Patricio County Judge.

A generous spirit guided Kay. She volunteered in her community freely. Fluent in Spanish, Kay enjoyed helping native Spanish-speakers learn English and assisting them in finishing their education. After one of her grandchildren spent time at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, she volunteered there weekly for over ten years. She was also the staunchest supporter of her family, always in the stands at a football, volleyball, or baseball game, or watching the county stock show.

Kay is survived by her children and their spouses, Janna and Trey Williams of Odem, Texas; Roberta and Scott Mengers of Mathis, Texas; and Jon and Kelly Whatley of Odem, Texas. She leaves a lasting legacy for her grandchildren, Gus and Cheyenne Mengers, Chloe Mengers, Trent and Megan Williams, Jillian and Kyle Coffee, Payne Whatley, and Jackson Whatley. She is also survived by several siblings, Susan Fricke, Ruth Smallwood, and Lee Cramer along with numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Waiting to greet Kay in heaven were her husband, Bob Whatley, and her great-grandson, Allen Mengers.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, June 7 at the First United Methodist Church in Odem. Visitation will begin at 9:00 AM with the service to follow at 10:30 AM. Burial will be immediately following at Evergreen Cemetery in Odem.

Pallbearers are Gus Mengers, Trent Williams, Payne Whatley, Jackson Whatley, Kyle Coffee, Jason Whatley, and Elliott Pressly.

The family is grateful for the love and care of Edna & Jerry Garza and  Isabel Valencia.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Kay’s memory to the Live N Leap Foundation (5131 County Road 2047, Odem, TX 78370 or or the Odem Public Library (516 Voss, Odem, TX 78370).




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June 7, 2022

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
First United Methodist Church - Odem
1301 Haisley Ave
Odem, TX 77370

Funeral Service
June 7, 2022

10:30 AM
First United Methodist Church - Odem
1301 Haisley Ave
Odem, TX 77370

June 7, 2022

11:30 AM
Evergreen Cemetery-Odem
Co Rd 1568 at US 77
Odem, TX 78370

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