Velma Mae Hullet, 77, of Oakley, died January 11, 2015 in Aurora, CO. She was born to Robert and Cora Vavricka on October 27, 1937 on the farm south of Oakley in Gove County. The family sold the farm in November of 1956 and moved to Oakley on East Third Street.
While they lived less than three miles apart growing up, it was not until Kelvin Hullet returned from military service in 1954 that he saw Mae at a football game. He found her working at the drugstore and asked her out. After an eight month courtship, they married on January 24, 1958 in a home wedding. Mae and Kelvin spent almost 57 years together. Their love and bond was unbreakable and genuine. They rarely left each other’s side and Mae loved Kelvin’s sense of humor although hers was more subtle. Their marriage was a role model of service to each other, persistence and patience.
To this union, four children were born. Penny, LeaAnn, Kevin and Kelvin (Pudge). Mae loved her family. In her final days, she expressed many times that she loved them more than they could ever know. We are sure that is true. If there was a family crisis or event, she was there, with Kelvin. She made sure they were at basketball and soccer games; 4-H events; speech competitions; church programs and family gatherings. She was a bedrock of strength in times of family crisis. She was a constant friend, mentor, confident, advisor, listener and at times, the family enforcer.
For Mae, church was a cornerstone of life. She served as the church secretary for over three decades and was the chief cook for Vacation Bible School at the Christian Church for many years. In her final weeks, she leaned heavily on her faith for the strength and courage to deal with the difficult decisions and struggles that she faced. At one point in her final days, she informed the Doctors that she and God had a plan and they would get through this together or finish it.
For Mae, cooking for others was an expression of love. From Sunday dinners to the holidays, her family and extended family spent many holidays gathered around the Hullet table. Cooking holiday family dinners was a highly choreographed event that normally started weeks in advance and began in earnest at 6:00am the day of the event. Everyone was aware of her cinnamon roll baking skills and a dozen at Christmas were highly coveted by friends and family. In her later years, she made sure the grandkids were sufficiently supplied with cookies.
While always a seamstress, it was later in life that Mae discovered, or became addicted to, quilting. (At times, her kids thought an intervention might be necessary.) At any one time, multiple quilts were in process with no real intention of finishing all of them. Her favorite haunt was the Smoky Hill Quilt shop on main street. Kelvin often joined her there and they spent hours “honing her skills” or maybe it was just visiting? When traveling to Nebraska, North Dakota or Missouri, she ensured there was a side trip to a quilt shop to gather ideas…or material. Her kids, grandkids and extended family will be reminded of her love for years to come when they snuggle under one of her beautiful quilts.
Mae was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Cora Vavricka; her daughter LeaAnn and sister Candy Jo Beckner.
She is survived by her husband Kelvin; children Penny (Charles) Fellholter, Bridge Port, NE, Kevin (Betty) Hullet, Bismark, ND and Kelvin (Amy) Hullet, Bismark, ND; sisters Eunice (Charles) Lindsey, Oakley, Cherry (Clair) Law, Manhattan, KS and Cora Lee Park, Oakley; brothers, Robert Lynn (Patricia) Vavricka, Ada, OK and Pat (Rita) Vavricka, Ness City, KS and seven grandchildren.
Visitation will be 5-7:00 p.m. Thursday, January 15, 2015 at Baalmann Mortuary, Oakley. Funeral will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, January 16, 2015 at the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center, Oakley. Memorials are suggested to the United Christian Church Building Fund in care of Baalmann Mortuary, PO Box 204, Oakley, KS 67748. Online condolences: www.baalmannmortuary.com.