Wichita Falls Philanthropist, Wife of Late Cobra Energy Founder Has Died

October 24, 2019

A philanthropist and contributor to community and educational interests in Wichita Falls has died at the age of 87.

Mary Kathryn “Kay” Dillard was married to longtime oilman A.R. “Bud” Dillard, founder and CEO of Cobra Energy Co. LLP, who died in 2003 at the age of 77.

Kay Dillard, who said Bud was the love of her life, contributed greatly to educational endeavors, as well as other community interests.

She supported numerous causes in the North Texas community, including the YMCA, United Regional Health Care System and Hospice of Wichita Falls and was a member of Fain Presbyterian Church.

In the 1940’s, “Bud” Dillard joined his father, A. R. Dillard, Sr., at the Dillard & Waltermire Drilling Company, a contractor in North and East Texas, after graduating with a business degree from UT Austin.

The company was subsequently sold in the early 1960’s, and Mr. Dillard Jr. then formed Cobra, which moved from production to exploration in the 1970s.

He was also, in later years, a wholesale distributor for Anheuser-Busch Inc. in the Wichita Falls area.

Mrs. Dillard attended Alamo ElementaryZundelowitz Junior High School and Wichita Falls High School and was homecoming queen at Texas Christian University, where she studied elementary education.

The Dillard family also supported the Dillard School of Business at Midwestern State University.