Kelly Kress

August 1, 1985 — March 18, 2024

Oklahoma City

Kelly Kress

When Kelly’s husband Nathan brought Kelly down to meet his college friends in Dallas soon after they started dating, they all thought she was beautiful (she was), out of his league (absolutely), and that he should marry her right away (goes without saying). On a beautiful cold evening, on a friend’s balcony, Kelly became one of the guys, seamlessly entering long-standing friendships. One of her friends called Nathan over and said, “You better marry this one,” to which he replied, "I already know that.” The friend could tell in their glances, as their eyes magnetically locked, that he’d noticed the obvious, that they were already madly, deeply, unstoppably in love. And they truly were.

Kelly was so much more than what can fit inside an obituary, how can you capture the humility and kindness that was her soul? You can’t. Her departure from earth leaves a deep void for those that loved her.

Kelly passed in her sleep on March 18th, 2024, too young, at 38 years of age.

She is survived by her loving husband Nathan and her two precious children Jonathan (8), and Elizabeth (5), her older sister Lindsey and her husband Ryan and their 3 boys Wade, Logan, and Brayden, her younger sister Sara and her husband Nathan and their two girls Sadie and Mae, and her parents Steve and Lainie Wilbur.

Kelly graduated from Baker University in Kansas with a degree in Molecular Biology where she was also the captain of the schools’ volleyball team.

She decided on a career in law and graduated from OKC University with a law degree in 2011. She cruised through her bar exams and settled on patent law.

Bars and Admissions Oklahoma, 2011

United States Patent and Trademark Office, 2012

Admitted to practice before the Western District of Oklahoma

She loved her career at the law firm and racked up a lot of recognition.

Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2020, 2021, 2022

Best Lawyers, Ones to Watch, 2020, 2021, 2022

405 Magazine Top Attorneys in Intellectual Property, 2020, 2021, 2022

Kelly was a devoted and loving mother who raised two beautiful children. She excelled in her work, winning many awards for excellence in being one of the best attorneys in Oklahoma. But awards don’t last, love does, she excelled because she loved her family, she worked sacrificially for her husband and children.  

She touched countless lives as evidenced by the outpouring of appreciation for her life from people she touched, since her passing, and during her life. We know from this that she made people want to be better, do better.  She was the finest, truest friend anyone could have ever asked for.  She also helped people she didn’t even know, for instance, by serving on the board of the YWCA and worked to forward their mission “to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities.”  

In her home life she was at her best, because she felt it was her most important mission, so she made herself the perfect example of what a mother should be to their kids. Selfless and kind, and always giving support and love, providing the support her children needed, and more, as a mother.  

Every person she touched felt her magnificent energy and her fullness of life.  She made us all want to be better people, and she succeeded in doing that daily with how she lived her life.  We will all miss her dearly, but she lives on in our thoughts and every beat of our hearts. We know that the ache we feel inside of our hearts is us missing Kelly. But she taught us to love better, and our hearts will pass on her love forever.  

Her husband Nathan Kress, daughter Elizabeth Kress, and son Jonathan Kress miss her greatly, but will keep her spirit alive in our memories of Kelly.  She truly was a beautiful soul and will be deeply missed.

If you are so inclined, please direct Memorial Gifts to YWCA as Kelly felt strongly about their mission.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, March 25, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

May Ave - Smith & Kernke Funeral Homes & Crematory

14624 N May Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73134

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