In Memory

Mary Elizabeth Kent (Robirds) - Class Of 1973

Two words sum it all up for me when I remember Mary Kent.  Smile and Spirit. 

      Mary Kent had, for me, the kind of smile that says, "Hey, you can't fool me....I know what you're thinking...."  And since I felt close to Mary and often shared myself with her, she usually WOULD know what I was thinking.  But I always had this feeling that Mary might have intuitively known what I was thinking--even if she hadn't known me.  She could make me laugh without saying one word.  All she had to do was grin at me.  It was uncanny.  I probably laughed with her the first day we talked.

      Mary was a person I might describe as a free spirit.  She didn't worry much about grades or friends or boys or especially what people thought of her.  She certainly didn't need to worry about her looks because she was knock-us-dead gorgeous without even trying.  Mary had that natural kind of beauty that most of us would kill for--no makeup, no need to roll (or even brush!) the hair--she was model material in the raw.  Blonde, thin, long legs, and long on beauty.
      But it was her smile that drew me.  She would look at me with that smile, that know-it-all mischievous look.  For me, a super-achieving anxiety-driven student, that look meant--"Oh, drop the seriousness, Susan--you know how to have fun!"  And she usually enticed me to do just that.  I appreciated her because she brought out the fun side of me, and she did it all with a twinkle in her eye and a smile.

     Mary had a sweet spirit and a fun spirit.  I guess I have comforted myself with the idea that she probably had more fun than any of us in her short life span of 48 years.  I was always envious of her ability to let go, to be free, and to have fun.  So to know that she lost her life when she was out in California partying it up makes me feel slightly better.

      I think Mary is still free.  I think Mary is at peace.  And I even like to think she is happy where she is.

      But I am sad that I've lost the opportunity to catch that crazy smile.  I will miss that.

       I have a sneaky feeling she might be looking at me now, though, enticing me with her warmth, her beauty, her spirit--to enjoy my life while I have it.  Thank you, Mary.

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02/12/10 01:25 PM #1    

Kevin Kent (1980)

On August 4, 2002, I wrote the e-mail below to friends and relatives who had not heard about Mary. Subject: Mary Kent Robirds I have some tragic news to share with you. My sister, Mary Kent Robirds, was killed on Friday morning in a freak accident in the city of San Francisco. Mary was in San Francisco visiting my other sister, Helen Kent. It has been determined that sometime around bedtime Mary went outside to gaze at the stars of San Francisco or get some fresh air. She fell from the second story front porch of Helen's home, causing massive head injuries. To make matters worse, Mary was not found until early the next morning as Helen had already gone to bed. Mary was in excellent care at San Francisco General Hospital. Their trauma center is rated as one of the top in the country. The team of doctors could not bring Mary back to us. Mary's husband Steve, my brother Dana and I were contacted by the emergency room physician, Dr. Jeff Manley Friday morning. He informed us we needed to get to San Francisco immediately, and we did. Our oldest brother Paul (a pilot for Northwest), was in Hong Kong at the time. When we arrived at the hospital, the Chaplain and the nurse meet us at our cab and immediately brought us together with Helen. The doctors consulted us on Mary's condition and took us to be with her. At approximately 10:30 PM Friday, August 2, with Steve, Helen, Dana and I by her side, Mary was taken off life support, and she died shortly after that. Mary's 12-year-old son, Jordan, was visiting my oldest brother Paul's family in Seattle at the time of the accident. Steve left San Francisco for Seattle yesterday to be with Jordan and tell him what happened. After a memorial service in Long Beach with my parents, Steve and Jordan will return home to Austin. There will be an Austin service as well, but a specific date and time have not yet been determined. Mary loved life. She loved her family. To Mary, family was everything and she never wanted to let us down. This is an emotional and tragic event, and we are asking for everyone to pray for our family, especially for Jordan, Steve, and my parents. If any of you would like to forward this email to anyone who knew Mary, Steve, and Jordan, please do so. May God bless you and your families. Kevin and Elena

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