ALBANY -- Mary Redfearn Kaliher, born November 21, 1917 in Albany, Georgia, died peacefully in her sleep on her 95th birthday, November 21, 2012. She was blessed to have her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in town to celebrate her birthday and Thanksgiving.
Her funeral service was held Friday 4 PM at Crown Hill Cemetery with the Rev. Carrie Myers officiating.
Mary was the daughter of the late Dr. James A. Redfearn and Elleighfare Muse Redfearn. An Albany native, Mary graduated from Albany High School as an outstanding basketball player. Later, she graduated from the University of Georgia, where she was an Alpha Delta Pi. Following graduation, Mary taught school in Lanette, Alabama, Darlington School in Rome, Georgia, and the University of Georgia. Her love of learning played a role in her children and grandchildren obtaining degrees in higher education.
During World War II, Mary met and married Major Russell E. Kaliher, a pilot, who was stationed at Turner Field in Albany, Georgia. After the war, Mary and Russ spent a short time in Bemidji, Minnesota, Russ' home town, before returning to Albany where they lived out their years.
In Albany, Mary enjoyed the dual role of raising her three children along with numerous civic activities. Mary was an active leader in Cub Scouts, Brownies, and Girl Scouts. In the community, Mary was a member of both the Junior League of Albany and the Colonial Dames of America in the state of Georgia. She served as past Town Chairman of the Albany chapter of Colonial Dames. She and her husband Russ were the first members of Doublegate County Club where Mary was an accomplished golfer. Being a loyal YMCA member, Mary exercised until she was 93. Mary was also a lifelong member of Albany's First United Methodist Church, and enjoyed the Discussion Sunday School Class.
What her family will remember and treasure the most about Mary was an independent spirit, a positive outlook on life, her generosity and a gift of hospitality. Mary had a passion for Southern cooking and an invitation to her table was always a memorable experience for family and guests. A woman before her time, Mary will be greatly missed by those who love her. She was preceded in death by her sister Sarah Redfearn Wetherbee.
Survivors include her daughter, Nancy Kaliher Ellanson (Butch), Albany; sons, Russell E. Kaliher, JR. (Sidney), Vero Beach, FL, William J Kaliher (Lorraine), Swainsboro; grandchildren, Katherine A. Kaliher, Coral Gables, FL, Dr. Russell E. Kaliher, III (Rebecca), Austin, TX, Chad Kaliher, Homer, AK, Kristy Kruger (EJ), Albany, Doug Kaliher (Shea), Winterville, Jason Portt, Sugar Hill, Mary Ann Portt, Atlanta; step grandchildren, Patrick Ellanson, Homer Glenn, IL, Zackary Ellanson, McLean, VA, Garrett Ellanson, Tallahasee, FL, Michael Jackson (Kim), Walterboro, SC; great grandchildren, Sidney Kaliher, Mary Kate Kaliher, Kira Kaliher, Graham Harpole, Will Harpole, Carson Jackson, Fisher Jackson; brother Dr. James A. Redfearn (Agnes), Dalton.
Those desiring please make memorial to First United Methodist Church, P O Box 448, Albany, GA 31702.
You may sign the guestbook and share your thoughts with the family of Mrs. Kaliher by visiting Kimbrell-Stern's website at www.kimbrellstern.com.
Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Directors