Obituary: Mary Kay (Holmgren) Runke

Mary Kay (Holmgren) Runke

Mary Kay (Holmgren) Runke, beloved wife, mom, and Grammy, peacefully passed on to be with our Savior on Saturday, January 14, 2023, at home surrounded by the love of her life, Larry; and her daughters, Gayle (Porcello), Sandi (Hemmingsen), and Sheila (Runke); granddaughters, Kiley, Lauren, and Madison (Porcello); and sons-in-law, Joe Porcello and Hemming Hemmingsen. Kay was born and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona, the only child of Art and Mary Holmgren.

She and Larry started dating at the age of 15 and were married in June of 1965 after she graduated from Arizona State University, where she was a Kappa Alpha Theta sorority sister.

Kay taught first grade for many years both in Denver, Colorado, while Larry attended medical school, and in Cottonwood, Arizona. She was an active volunteer: teaching swimming lessons, coaching the Mingus Union High School tennis team, and serving as President of the Paris, Texas Newcomers club. In her younger years, she loved to play tennis, waterski, snow ski and she even learned to fly an airplane solo. She sewed her kids’ Halloween costumes and hand painted nativity scenes for each of her daughters. She loved to catch pollywogs and hop across the creek on the rocks with her granddaughters at Oak Creek when they were little.

She was an angel on earth and is now an angel in Heaven. Kay had a positive impact on everyone she interacted with and made each person feel special. Her body is no longer in pain, her movement is no longer restricted, and her peaceful, angelic soul is with her Mom, her Dad, and Jesus in Heaven. Her spirit will be with us always; her light will shine on in us.

At this time, we plan to hold a memorial to celebrate her life this spring, in Oak Creek, with close family. The exact time and date will be determined later. We ask all of you who knew and loved her, to honor her by not regretting her passing, but by recalling memories of her that make you happy and at peace.

An online guestbook is available to sign at

Information provided by the funeral home.

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