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Emilie Kyle Chenault

Obituary for Emilie Kyle Chenault

May 31, 1931 - February 9, 2020
San Antonio, Texas | Age 88

Obituary

Emilie Kyle Chenault, daughter of Carol Tyrrell Kyle and Rex Gilmore, and beloved wife of Charles Brandon Chenault, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, February 9, 2020. She was born May 31, 1931 in Bryn Mawr, PA.

Emilie grew up traveling between Beaumont, TX, Los Angeles, CA, and Belmond, IA. Her early childhood inspired a love of travel, a wide range of interests, and an openness to new experiences that were to last her entire lifetime. She moved to Beaumont in 1943, when her mother married Wesley Wiess Kyle. She graduated from Hollins College in 1952 with a degree in Art History, and celebrated this accomplishment by traveling with a school friend through Western Europe and parts of North Africa in a time when very few young ladies traveled without a male escort.

Emilie married C. Brandon Chenault, M.D. in 1957. During their early marriage, while he was serving as a Naval flight surgeon on an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea, she lived in the surrounding countries. Some of their favorite stories were about the exploring they did together when they met up in ports. Emilie and Brandon ultimately traveled together to all seven continents (66 countries) during their 57-year marriage.

When she was not traveling, Emilie dedicated her time to raising her children, doing volunteer work, and working on her lifelong quest for knowledge. She read voraciously, attended lectures, visited museums, and stopped at every historical marker. She was ahead of her time, finding sunscreen before it was commonly available and purchasing car seatbelts when they were optional. She was a self-taught gourmet cook, as well as a passionate and talented gardener. The family joked that she could take a branch and two weeds and make a beautiful floral arrangement. She was also an accomplished artist in many other media, and she enjoyed drawing every day.

She volunteered tirelessly, not only for her childrens' activities, but also for many organizations, including the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Witte Museum, the McNay Art Museum, and the San Antonio Botanical Garden. She and Brandon believed strongly in charitable giving, and supported these and other organizations, such as The San Antonio Symphony, Planned Parenthood, and the Nature Conservancy. Emilie actively participated in several clubs, including the Alamo Heights-Terrell Hills Garden Club, the Colonial Dames, the Junior League, and her beloved book group.

Emilie is survived by daughter Christie Chenault Gonzalez, son-in-law Dr. Roy Gonzalez, Jr., grandsons Roy Wesley and Samuel Wilkes Gonzalez; daughter Sybil Chenault, grandson Hunter Roderick Campbell; daughter Carol Chenault, son-in-law Donald Smith; son Brandon Brian Chenault and granddaughter Bayley Alexandria Mary Chenault.

The family extends special thanks to the large team of people who made it possible for her to remain in her home with her cat as she aged. We thank Personal Care Management's administrative group and Emilie's caregivers, especially Gloria Gomez, Patty Rangel, Marsha Carter and Maria Esparza for their compassionate care and companionship, and the Blue Horizons Hospice team for making her last weeks more comfortable. Above all, we thank Karolyn Bracken for helping us handle many details large and small, always with an affectionate eye toward what would make Mom happiest. And very special thanks to Michelle Zamarripa and Jesus "Chuy" Hernandez for their decades of loving service and friendship. Mom found it very comforting to be surrounded by people she knew and loved.

A graveside memorial service will be held at Magnolia Cemetery in Beaumont TX at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Witte Museum, the San Antonio Symphony, Planned Parenthood, or to a charity that is meaningful to you.

Services Pending. Please check back for further information.


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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • The Witte Museum
  • San Antonio Symphony
  • Planned Parenthood

Arrangements By

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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