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Barbara Karen Corwin
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Obituary for Barbara Karen Corwin

Barbara Karen “Kay” Corwin died December 25, 2017, in Waco, Texas, after years of valiantly battling Multiple Sclerosis. A memorial service will be 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 9, 2018, in the Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home Chapel with Reverend Mark Failing and Reverend Scott Robbins officiating. A visitation with the family will be 6:00-8:00 p.m., Monday, January 8, in the Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Garden Room.

Kay was born in Waco, on July 9, 1941, to Barbara Maris Smith and Truett King Smith. She and her younger sister, Jan, grew up attending Columbus Avenue Baptist Church and Waco schools. After graduating from Waco High School in 1959, Kay attended the University of Houston for a year and then returned to Waco to attend Baylor University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1963.

That summer, she met Grady Giles Wilson, a Second Lieutenant going through Navigator Training School at James Connally Air Force Base. The two married January 31, 1964, and soon after moved to Merced, California. After three months in Merced, they moved to Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where Kay gave birth to their first daughter, Robin, on May 7, 1965. The family moved one more time before returning to Waco, where Kay gave birth to another daughter, Lesley, on March 10, 1968. Kay was very involved in her daughters’ lives, actively participating in the Mountainview Elementary PTA and serving as both a manager and a coach for their Lake Air Little League teams.

When both girls were old enough, Kay decided to return to work, and she spent several years as a nursing home inspector with the Department of Health and Human Services. In 1977, Kay and Grady divorced. After a few years as a single mom, Kay reconnected with Henry Michael "Mike" Corwin, an old friend from high school. The couple had originally met as six-year-olds at Columbus Baptist Avenue Church. They married in 1982, and Kay and her daughters moved in with Mike and his two children, Laura and Casey. After Mike and Kay were married, Kay retired from the DHHS, but she still wanted to give back to the community. She participated in the Junior League of Waco, actively supported the Waco Performing Arts Company, served on the board of the Waco Hippodrome Guild, and worked tirelessly as a docent at East Terrace, which she called her other home. In her spare time, she loved to travel. In addition to frequent trips to numerous destinations across the U.S. (often following their beloved Baylor Bears!), Kay and Mike made extended visits to several countries, including Austria, China, England, Greece, Ireland, Italy, and Mexico.

Although the couple were very happy together, life was not without its hardships. In 1986, Kay was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and it affected her ability to walk or use her left hand. Then, in 1992, she and Mike suffered a devastating loss when Casey was killed in a car wreck. But no matter what challenge life threw at her, Kay persevered. When it became harder to travel, she found joy in a new role - that of grandmother. Over the years, she and Mike were blessed with five grandchildren. Laura and her husband, Chris Talley, had three children – Michael, Megan and Caroline. Lesley and her husband, Brad Mullen, had two – Madison and Connor. Both Kay and Mike enjoyed spending time with their children and grandchildren. Kay found her family to be one of her greatest comforts after Mike’s death in 2010.

In addition to her children and grandchildren, Kay is survived by her sister, Jan Lapierre; Jan’s husband, Billings; and their daughter, Rachel Tees, her husband, Mike, and their son, Michael.

The family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to the outstanding nursing and care staff at Bluebonnet Home Care, Bluebonnet Hospice, Home Care Assistance, and Home Instead, and to the many other people who have worked with Kay over the past two years. Special thanks go to Margot and Mandy for the one-on-one care and companionship they provided.

Memorials may be made to The Historic Waco Foundation, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, The Alzheimer's Association, The Freedom Alliance, USO, The Wounded Warriors Project, or any military cause of your choosing. The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our “Tribute Wall” at

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Barbara Karen Corwin, please visit our Tribute Store.

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6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Garden Room

6101 Bosque Blvd
Waco, TX 76710





3:00 PM
Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Garden Room

6101 Bosque Blvd
Waco, TX 76710


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