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Mary Carpenter Kepler
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Obituary for Mary Carpenter Kepler

On Sunday, May 7, 2017, Mary Carpenter Kepler was called home by her Lord. A service will be held on Thursday, May 11 at 1:00 p.m. at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home, 6101 Bosque Blvd., Waco, Texas 76710. Visitation will precede the service at 12:00 p.m.

Alexander W. “A.W.” Carpenter and Dora Maddux Carpenter welcomed Mary into the world on December 16, 1921. One of eight children, Mary was raised on her family’s farm in China Spring, Texas. There, her mother taught her how to sew, her father taught her the value of hard work, and her brothers taught her the importance of a good practical joke.

On September 26, 1942, Mary married her beloved Joe Boyd Kepler, also of China Spring. In the early years of their marriage, Mary and Joe lived in Waco, Texas, where Mary gave birth to their only child, Kay Kepler Bonner. Joe’s career as a bus driver for Greyhound eventually moved the young family to Houston. In Houston, Mary and Joe were active members of Baptist Temple. They were good friends to many, and enjoyed raising their daughter next door to their closest friends. Later in life, Mary and Joe led private tour groups throughout the United States and Canada. Mary continued to live in Houston following Joe’s passing in 1992, where she enjoyed spending time with friends on their daily walks, in Bible studies, and at the hair salon. Mary spent the last few years of her life surrounded by family in Austin, where she lived with her daughter, Kay, and her husband, Tucker Bonner.

Mary’s greatest joy in life was her family. She was a devoted wife and a loving mother. She endlessly doted on her grandchildren. She was one of the best cooks in Houston, and was famous for her cornbread dressing. Mary was undoubtedly one of the kindest and most loving people this world has ever known. She never met a stranger, and was generous beyond measure. We can only imagine the great joy she is now experiencing dancing at the feet of Jesus with her beloved Joe.

Mary is preceded in death by her husband, Joe Boyd Kepler; her parents; and her siblings.

Mary is survived by her daughter, Kay Kepler Bonner and her husband, Tucker; her granddaughter, Kristin Knight and her husband, Marc; her grandson. Kevin Bonner and his wife, Katie; and, four great-grandchildren, Harrison Knight, Lauren Knight, Grace Bonner, and Shepard Bonner.

The family requests no flowers be sent and instead memorials may be made to Trinity Center, 304 East 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701. 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 Mary Carpenter Kepler, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Garden Room

6101 Bosque Blvd
Waco, TX 76710





1:00 PM
Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Garden Room

6101 Bosque Blvd
Waco, TX 76710

Cemetery Details


China Springs Cemetery

15654 Old China Spring Rd.
China Spring, TX 76633


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