Kelly Gael Kathleen Howard Cruz

February 24, 1970 – July 16, 2023

Kelly Gael Kathleen Howard Cruz of Devine, Texas suddenly and unexpectedly passed away at home on July 16, 2023. She was born in Elgin, Illinois on February 24, 1970 to Daniel and Linda Boeger Howard. Kelly attended the Devine schools from 4th grade through High School and was a 1988 graduate. She worked for Tex-Spice of Devine for 10 years and while raising Alexis she attended college and graduated from UTSA in 2000, majoring in history. Kelly was a teacher in the Natalia ISD at the Junior High level where she taught 8th grade American History, 7th grade Texas History, 6th grade Social Studies, and Reading/English during her career that spanned over 22 years. She was also the cheerleading sponsor for the Junior High squad for several years.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Alex Patrick Cruz, her mother-in-law, Minnie Duncan Cruz; father Daniel Howard and stepmother Stephanie; paternal grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Robert and Mary Ellen Kelly Howard Kadlec and Gale Howard; maternal grandmother Sandra Pool Boeger and uncle James Boeger.
She is survived by her beloved daughter and granddaughter, Alexis Cruz Mangold and Emerson Rose Shavers; son-in-law Kolton Mangold; father-in-law, Alex Cruz; sister-in-law Melissa Cruz and husband, Manuel Rodriguez; mother Linda Howard; grandfather Russell Boeger, sister Brigid Howard Urrabazo and husband, Bobby; brother, Ryan Howard and sister-in-law, Tricia; aunts Kathy Howard Cuddeback, Cheri Becker Howard and Teresa Cunningham Boeger; uncles Rick Boeger, James Howard and Larry Cuddeback; nieces and nephews Amber, Autumn, Glenn, Austin, Canton, Rylee, and Kennedy: Cousins Ericka, Beth, Jill, Cheyenne, Shoshone and Seneca.
Kelly had an endless love for her daughter, Alexis and their adventures in life together.
We will truly miss all of her endless stories about her adventures with Emmie–”GiGi” was her favorite.
Her nephew, Canton had a special place in her heart, where she was always his #1 fan and we know now she has the best seat in the house.
She had an endless love for everything history, 80s music was her favorite genre, her pets including Bug, Lucy, Lola, and Petunia; Texas Tech football, the Kansas City Chiefs, and especially her students and co-workers.
She will be truly greatly missed.
Visitation was held from 5:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. on Monday, July 24th at Primrose Funeral Services in Devine, TX. As well as a Rosary at 7 P.M. Funeral Services were held Tuesday, July 25th at 10:00am at St. Josephs Catholic Church in Devine, Texas. Services were concluded at the Church.
Services are under the direction of Primrose Funeral Services in Devine, Texas.