Cover photo for Mary Genevieve Kissell's Obituary
Mary Genevieve Kissell Profile Photo
1939 Mary 2024

Mary Genevieve Kissell

November 19, 1939 — April 7, 2024

Lancaster, CA

Our loving mother, Mary Kissell age 84 of Lancaster, CA, passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 7, 2024. Mary is preceded in death by her father, mother, and brothers Thomas, James, and John Smith.

Born on November 19, 1939, in El Centro, California, Mary Genevieve Smith was the beloved daughter of Genevieve Mary Manning and Thomas Matthew Smith Jr. She attended catholic schools throughout her life and talked about the Nuns who instructed a small group of girls at St. Mary’s Catholic High School. She graduated High School in 1957. Mary enjoyed spending time in Mission Beach with friends as a teenager and attending bonfires on the beach.

Mary relocated to Pasadena, California after graduating from High School to live with her brother Thomas Smith while she attended classes at Pasadena City College until she married Hugh Kissell on January 25, 1959.

The couple had three beautiful daughters together and divorced in February 1974 and Mary raised Lorri, Julie, and Teresa as a single mother. She traveled a path that few women traveled and raised three intelligent, strong independent women.

Mary was known for her faith, strength, love for her family, love for her friends, willingness to help people, her love of animals, sense of humor, kindness, and touched the lives of all who knew her. She was a loving mother to Lorri, Julie, and Teresa.

Throughout her life, Mary was passionate about her daughters and animals. She found joy in reading, time and travel with family, day trips or weekend adventures to experience something new or different, walking her dogs, and spending time with friends.

Mary is survived by her daughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren, cousins, nieces, and nephews. The legacy she loved with all her heart, who she was immensely proud of and who loved her are:

Daughter Lorri Kissell of Georgia (Daughter Brianna Kissell)

Daughter Julie Kissell of California (Children Ally Yeargan and George Cullen)

Daughter Teresa Valenzuela of California (Children: Maria Valenzuela, Anthony Valenzuela, Margarita Valenzuela, Gabriela Valenzuela, Lance Thompson, and La Kayla Thompson. Grandchildren: Kali, Meitreya Khadir, Kamina, Kaaliya, Kaby, Lulu, Izabelle, Oliver, and Lucia).

Dog Lucy

Nieces: Carol, Brenda, Diana, Stacy

Nephews: David, Brad, Todd

In addition to her family, Mary Kissell leaves behind a legacy of breaking down barriers for women in the workforce in the early years of fighting for equal pay for women. She worked at Interamerican Motor Corporation for 27 years as an auto parts salesperson at a time women did not work in auto part sales. She retired in March 2004 and relocated to live in Dallas, Georgia near her daughter Lorri. She returned to Lancaster, CA in July 2016 near her daughter Teresa.

She will be deeply missed by her family and friends.

A funeral service will be held at 10:00 AM on May 3, 2024, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lancaster, California. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Association in memory of Mary Genevieve Kissell.

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

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Friday, May 3, 2024

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