Mary Kay Keith

mary keith

August 7, 1935 ~ July 4, 2023

Born in: Boonesville, Missouri
Resided in: Arlington, Texas

Mary Kay Highfill Keith was born August 7, 1935, in Boonville, Missouri, the first-born child of James Milton Highfill and Helen Mary Belcher Highfill. She married Charles Arthur (Sonny) Keith on June 2, 1956, and was devoted wife for 57 years until his death in 2013. Together, they raised three daughters, Karen, Kathy and Kay.

Mary Kay and her family relocated from Missouri to Texas in 1948. She graduated from Arlington High School in 1953 and while at AHS was a cheerleader. She was extremely proud that all her daughters graduated from AHS along with one granddaughter, Stephanie Rury. She also graduated from Arlington State College (UTA) with a degree in Home Economics. She was a member of the San Souci Women’s Social Club while attending ASC and met her future husband Sonny Keith.

Mary Kay was an extremely outgoing and vivacious person. She always had a young look about her, never dressing dowdy. Everyone always told her how “Fabulous” she looked for her age even up into her eighties and she always wanted to maintain that high standard. She was always the life of the party and loved to dance. Oh lord, could she kick up her heels! She could dance with the best of the younger generations. Her daughters and grandchildren loved to watch her dance. Her legacy in life was to enjoy life to the fullest.

Mary Kay was also a life-long Dallas Cowboy fan, a passion she shared with her husband, Sonny. When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys, there are your normal fans, your fanatic fans and then there were Sonny and Mary Kay. They purchased their season tickets in 1961 only because the franchise did not offer season tickets in 1960. Mary Kay continued to purchase her season tickets even after Sonny’s death. The proudest moment for her and Sonny was to be included in the Dallas Cowboys 2010 Official Catalog, “Celebrating 50 years of History”.

As devout Catholic, Mary Kay was a life-long parishioner with St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Arlington, Texas. She was a good and faithful Christian by the life she led. Through Faith Direct, she donated monthly to St. Maria Goretti Church. She also donated monthly to the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Missionaries, along with numerous donations to the Sisters of the Poor. Most of all, she was a loving, kind and generous woman. She never spoke ill of anyone and always found good in everyone she met. A verse was found in her keepsakes where several copies were printed and obviously this verse meant something to her. Here is small excerpt “It’s giving and doing for somebody else -On that all life’s splendor depends; And the joy of the world, when it’s all added up, is found in the making of friends.” This saying is the embodiment of the way she was – the one helping or caring for someone.

Mary Kay was the ultimate caregiver. She cared for her mother for many years until her mother’s passing in 2006. When her husband Sonny was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007, she took care of him and shielded her family from this devastating disease until it became physically and mentally impossible. Over the years, she helped her daughters and grandchildren anytime they were in need without any hesitation or complaint. All the people who surrounded her benefited from her love and devotion. What a fantastic daughter, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, sister and friend she was! This was her life and what a life she led!!

She was preceded in death by her husband Sonny Keith in 2013 and 2 grandsons, Stephen Rury in 2004 and Justin Johnson in 2013.

Survived by: Daughters, Karen Lampton and husband Rick, Kathy Chavez and husband Joe, Kay Cole and husband Tex; Sister, Jane McFarland; Grandchildren, Stephanie Rury and wife Lindsay, Jessica Donner and husband Collin, Doug Lampton and wife Mary, Sarah Hudgins and husband Lance, Bonnie Phillips, Maggie Kimble, Cane Chavez and Taylor Cole; Great-Grandchildren Aurora Barber, Jocelyn Hudgins, Brooks and Elliott Rose Donner.

The family would like to thank the staff at Heartis Arlington and Freedom Hospice for their care and support shown to Mary Kay. A special thanks to caregiver Abrina Houseworth who lovingly and devotedly took excellent care of Mary Kay while at Heartis. Mary Kay was one of her “babies”. A special thanks also to Hospice nurse Lakeisha Davis and Chaplain Don Anderson who devotedly visited Mary Kay on a regular basis. Special thanks to Thomasina Domingo who went above and beyond in her care of Mary Kay. Another special thanks to Wanona (Ladybug) Brown who loved Mary Kay immensely while she was employed at Heartis. Even after Ladybug left Heartis, she kept in touch with Mary Kay, which the family so appreciated.

Celebration of Life: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, at Wade Family Funeral Home, 4140 W. Pioneer Parkway, Arlington. Funeral Mass: 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 12, at Most Blessed Sacrament Church, 2100 N. Davis Drive, Arlington. Interment: Moore Memorial Gardens, Arlington.


Celebration of Life: July 11, 2023 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Room: Chapel

Wade Funeral Home and Crematory
4140 West Pioneer Parkway
Arlington, Texas 76013


Funeral Mass: July 12, 2023 10:00 am

Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church
2100 N Davis Dr
Arlington, TX 76012

(817) 460-2751

Interment: July 12, 2023 11:30 am

Moore Memorial Gardens
1219 North Davis Drive
Arlington, TX 76012

(817) 275-2711

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Memories Timeline


  1. Our sincere condolences to the Family. We appreciate all the love and care MaMa showed & gave to our son Cane. She will always be in our hearts. We love you Kay, Kathy, Joe, Stephanie & Lindsay, and Cane. Prayers for peace and comfort. Love, Fernando Priscilla & Bre

    • I always enjoyed Mary Kay’s company when she would visit Louisiana. She always had a smile and would always ask about your family. Love to family and sympathy to them on their loss.

  2. Words can’t describe how sorry I am for your loss. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

    Jessica M. Gay

  3. Karen, Roy and I want to send our prayers and condolences to you and the family on the passing of your mom. Mary Kay was a lovely lady. We enjoyed so much when she came to visit you. Mary Kay had a wonderful personality, sweet smile , and a quick wit. We will miss her dearly.

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