Helen Patricia (Pat) De Mary, born Helen Patricia Shepherd, a lifelong resident of Galveston passed away peacefully while surrounded by her family early Saturday morning, the 15th day of October 2016.
Helen came into this world on September 5, 1924 in her parents’ home at 32nd and Avenue O1/2, where she would also grow up. She was born to Frank and Anna Shepherd. In the family’s Catholic tradition, she attended Ursuline Academy, where she graduated. Her siblings were Frank Shepherd, Jr. and Sister Ann Shepherd, also an Ursuline nun.
‘Pat’ was extremely sought after, due to her typing and shorthand skills which landed her a position with the Santa Fe Railroad upon graduating high school. During her time there she would meet the love of her life, Henry, and would marry on Valentine’s Day 1953. They would soon start their family with the birth of their first son, Hank. As she continued her work career of more than two decades, the family would continue to grow with the birth of the second child, Diane, and soon to follow, son, Kevin. The family relocated to Las Vegas in 1964 when Henry took a position at the Atomic Energy Commission.
While residing in Las Vegas for the next several years, numerous Island friends and family would make the trek out to Nevada to see them. A casino tour or two was always on their agenda. Entertaining was a huge part of their life, both away and on the island. While in Las Vegas, their fourth child, Patrick, would be born.
The sand between their toes brought them home to our Island and Pat began her career at UTMB where she would remain for the next 20 years, the majority spent in pediatrics. Socializing was a huge part of Pat’s life. You could find Pat and Henry sitting in the backyard on the patio, evenings and weekends. Friends passing down Avenue O would see them and that was their que to circle the block and stop for another great evening of laughter and fellowship. Pat took early retirement upon the arrival of her first grandson, Randall, III, who affectionately began calling her ‘Dodie.’ Several years later she would be blessed with the birth of her second grandson, Kelly.
Upon retirement, Pat became one of the first volunteers at the newly built Ronald McDonald House in Galveston. Her love for children kept her there for many years. Pat also was an avid reader and a world traveler, both here and abroad. She loved dancing with Henry who was her partner on the dance floor for 41 years. They both greatly enjoyed time spent socially with family and friends. Regular Wednesday night get-togethers at our local Elks Lodge #126 or their Friday dinner get-together with a handful of close friends. This group would become known as the ‘Friday Night Group’ which continued to grow for many years to come. At the age of 90, she experienced her first camping trip with family and friends, who immediately recognized Pat’s adventurous spirit, which was quite apparent. Pat’s greatest love was family and friends. She not only loved her friends, but also the friends of her children who were always welcomed in the De Mary home. Pat enjoyed the last four years of her life in the home of her loving daughter, Diane, and son-in-law, Randall.
Pat was a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend who will be deeply missed and in our hearts forever.
Pat was preceded in death by her mother, Anna Wilson Shepherd; father, Frank J. Shepherd, Sr.; sister, Ann Shepherd; husband, Henry J. De Mary, Jr.; and son, Harold Kevin De Mary. She is survived by her son, Hank J. De Mary, III and wife, Annie; daughter, Diane and husband Randall A. Laine, Jr.; son, Patrick D. De Mary; and grandsons, Randall A. Laine, III and Kelly Laine.
Pat’s family will receive visitors beginning at 5:00 pm, Wednesday, October 19, 2016, at Malloy & Son Funeral Home. A vigil and rosary service will begin at 6:30 pm, led by Deacon Sam Dell’Olio.
Funeral Mass will be 11:00 am, Thursday, October 20, 2016, at St. Patrick Catholic Church with Father Richard Goodin, OFM, as Celebrant. Burial will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Randall Laine, III, Kelly Laine, Craig Steele, Mike Hughes, John Shepherd, and Richard Shepherd. Honorary pallbearer will be Frankie Cox.
Our family would like to extend very special heartfelt thanks to Dodie’s loving caregiver of four years, Patricia Johnson. Also a special thanks to Texas Home Health Hospice.
Memorials may be made to Holy Family Parish or the Ronald McDonald House of Galveston in Pat’s memory.