Cover photo for Mary Labus's Obituary
Mary Labus Profile Photo
1928 Mary 2021

Mary Labus

October 25, 1928 — December 18, 2021

Panhandle

Our precious mother, Mary Ann Kalka Labus, went home to be with her Lord and Creator on Friday, December 18, 2021.

Rosary Prayer Service was Tuesday, December 21 at 6:00 pm at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Panhandle. Funeral Mass was Wednesday, December 22 at 10:00 am at St.Theresa Catholic Church, Panhandle.

Mary Ann was born October 25,1928 in White Deer, Texas, and lived a full life to the age of 93. Her parents were Eddie and Rose Kotara Kalka of White Deer. She was the first born of seven children. She graduated from White Deer High School, then soon met the love of her life, A. J. "Jim" Labus.  Mary Ann and Jim met at a dance, and continued “cuttin’ a rug” throughout her lifetime, especially New Years Eve, now you can dance on the golden streets of Heaven. They married February 20,1946 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in White Deer. She was Jim's "Yellow Rose of Texas" for 48 years until his death on January 1,1994. He personally designed and constructed a new home for his bride at 609 Oak Street, Panhandle, Texas.  Both Mary Ann and Jim were proud of their Polish heritage as being third generation offspring of 100% Polish immigrants. Therefore, their four children are a rarity for also being 100% fourth generation Polish Americans!

Their first born and only son, Ron Labus of Missouri City, TX, preceded her in death on February 18, 2021. His precious wife of 52 years, Martha Mann Labus , still resides in Missouri City, TX.  Mary Ann also had three daughters: Diane Brown and husband Larry of Amarillo, TX,  Debbie Meyer and husband Lynn Noel, and Lynette Smith and husband Mark, all of Panhandle, TX.

Mary Ann was an exceptional seamstress. She had made all of Ron’s suits and her three daughters’ infant, baby, school, and church dresses, formal gowns, and wedding dresses. Many times she created all three girls matching dresses, plus a matching one for herself. She designed and tailored original bridal gowns, veils, and bridal trains for each of her daughters, and her niece, Janey King. Each gown featured the bride’s design preferences and hand-sewn individual pearls. She also created four or more bridesmaid dresses per bridal gown for family weddings, plus sewing many bridesmaid dresses for friends. She handcrafted and personalized "Cabbage Patch" dolls, Barbie doll wardrobes, and life-sized "Annie" dolls with different dresses for granddaughters. She spent hundreds of hours at her sewing machine expressing her creativity and love for family through her God-given talent.

Being a dedicated farm and ranch wife, she was the diligent grain truck driver each harvest season, as well as preparer and deliverer of three hearty, full meals and snacks to her hungry “Jimbo” in the fields driving the combine. She was also a "beautiful tractor-driving Momma'' while plowing, mowing, planting trees, and grooming their cherished land.  She enjoyed helping with herding cattle, rescuing and bottle feeding orphaned calves, and taking grandchildren to the pasture to feed, pet, and experience the joys of country living. She practiced and depended upon her deep faith in God’s promises and provisions during weather challenging times of lean years in farming, while rejoicing and praising God in the years of abundance and plenty.

Other interests were gardening fresh vegetables, canning whole green beans, freezing a truckload fresh corn on the cob, and making multiple jars of garlic-dill pickles, sweet, and bread and butter pickles for gifting at Christmas. Each jar was cherished and rationed to enjoy for longer periods of time. Knowing the intensity of the work involved in preparing each jar, we deeply appreciated her expression of love through giving from her heart and her hard working hands. Making fresh yeast rolls, tea rings, cinnamon rolls, poppyseed coffee cakes, and the family favorite, poppyseed cake, were her favorite specialty baked items. Original Polish sausage and sides was her favorite family meal to serve. Lovingly serving others was her primary love language. Mary Ann married Jules Exnicious in 1999, they traveled and enjoyed life together until his death in 2014.
Mary Ann was a lifetime member of St. Theresa Catholic Church and St. Theresa Christian Mothers. She enjoyed being a member of a women’s bowling league, and participated in the Red Hatter’s and The Floosie’s ladies groups.

A matriarch of her family of four children, eight grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren, Mary Ann was the glue and moral compass of her family. She set high God-fearing standards for herself and mentored others about personal boundaries and wise counsel using the teachings of Jesus. Although she loved modest, fashionable, classy styles of colorful clothes, with beautiful jewelry and accessories, she knew real beauty started in her heart from the love of God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Mary Ann was strong in character and bold in speech in business matters. She lived in spiritual truth and valued ethical business practices through seeking wise counsel and common sense. She was content in being personally frugal, yet compassionately generous in helping others.

Mary Ann’s legacy will live on through cherished memories in the hearts of her family. Her grandchildren include Ron’s children: Donna Labus Politz and husband Tommy of Amarillo, TX;  Leah Labus Caffey of Missouri City, TX; Amy Labus Pipkin and husband Chris of Missouri City, TX.
Diane’s family: Aaryn Mooring Mistrot and husband Brett of Lubbock, TX;  William  “Trent” Mooring and wife Pati of Edmond, OK.
Debbie’s family: Kristi Meyer Meese and husband John of Sugar Hill, GA.
Lynette’s family: Dr Blake Smith and wife Jennifer of Amarillo, TX;   Dr Tyler Smith and wife Ashley of Amarillo, TX.
Great-grandchildren are: Riley Wallace and husband Nathan of Louisville, KY; Jenna and Blake Pipkin of Missouri City, TX; Grant Politz and wife Jessica of Lubbock; Rebekah Noriega and husband Matthew of Amarillo; Cole Politz of Amarillo; Camden and Carson Caffey of Missouri City, TX;  Trevor Williams of Lubbock; Joshua Mooring of Lubbock, and Seth Williams of Amarillo; Saylor Smith and Quinn Smith of Amarillo; Max and Cal Smith of Amarillo and baby sister Smith on the way!
Great-Great Grandchildren include: Leliana Williams, Nova Lee Mooring, Elizabeth Ann Wallace, and baby boy Noriega on the way!

Mary Ann is also survived by brothers Melvin Kalka of Hereford, TX and Bob Kalka of Magee, MS; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Preceding her in death are siblings: Evelyn King; Edward Kalka; Pat Cummings; and Alvin Kalka.

In of lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to St Theresa’s Catholic Church at P.O. Box 366, Panhandle, TX 79068.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Labus, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Recitation of the Rosary

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Starts at 6:00 pm (Central time)

St. Theresa's Catholic Church

110 Little Flower Wy, Panhandle, TX 79068

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Mass

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

St. Theresa's Catholic Church

110 Little Flower Wy, Panhandle, TX 79068

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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