Kathryn (Kay) McNamara Pote, 88, passed away in Mishawaka, Ind. on Jan. 23, 2020. She was born July 1, 1931, in Anamosa to the late Ruth (Cook) and John McNamara. Her mother died when she was eight-years-old, and she and her brother were raised by their extraordinary father. She liked to say, “I had the great privilege of being raised by John McNamara.”
Kay graduated from Anamosa High School in 1949. She had many fond memories of growing up in Anamosa. She adored and kept in touch with her friends Sheryl Leonard and the late Betty O’Brien, as well as her dear cousin Kathleen Conmey. As a girl, she had a paper route, and she enjoyed going to the movies with the money she earned. Later, as a teen, she helped out in her dad’s shoe store at 102 East Main Street. While at Anamosa High School, she participated in the marching band as drum majorette and sang in the choir. Kay’s dad, John, was also a developer, and he let her name the neighborhood he built on East Main Street. She named it Marimac Acres after the Virgin Mary and their last name. In the 1990s, Kay and her entire family attended Pumpkinfest several times. She loved her home town and all things Iowa.
Kay graduated from the University of Iowa in 1953 with a degree in vocal music. She was a member of the University of Iowa Scottish Highlander Marching Band. After graduation, she began her career as an elementary music teacher. In 1957, she married Thomas Pote at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Anamosa. Their young family was transferred to South Bend, Ind., in 1964. After taking several years off to raise her family, Kay returned to teaching elementary music, retiring in 1998. She embraced every type of music, and she encouraged and influenced many students. She received her master of science in education from IUSB in 1982. She was the soloist for many years at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Granger, Ind., and later sang in their Resurrection Choir. She also sang in the IUSB Symphonic Choir.
Kay was a lifelong learner. Some of her interests and hobbies included golf, playing the piano and ukulele, zip lining, attending musical performances, playing bridge and traveling the world.
Kay had a deep and abiding love for her family. She practiced unconditional love. Kay was famous for her Christmas piano performances with family. Her children and grandchildren adored her.
Left to cherish her memory are her children, Tim Pote of South Bend, Ind., Phil (Louise) Pote of Farmington, Minn., Andrea (Alan) Anselman of Plano, Texas, and Mary Elaine (Chris) Mankle of Austin, Texas; 10 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and sister-in-law, Mary Sue Pote. She was preceded in death by her husband, Tom; her parents; and her brother, Donald.
The family wishes to thank the staff at the Waterford at Edison Lakes for making Kay’s final years happy and comfortable. And lastly, a huge debt of gratitude to Jan and Mike Leyes along with Jane Darnell, who offered support and friendship throughout Kay’s journey. We are humbled by their kindness.
Visitation will be at Welsheimer Funeral Home, 17033 Cleveland Road, South Bend, Ind., from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, at St Pius X Catholic Church, 52553 Fir Road, Granger, Ind., with visitation one hour prior to the funeral and a luncheon following the service.