Frank Abagnale’s Wife, Kelly Anne Welbes Abagnale

By Aarone Hernandez | Published on: January 30, 2024 | Updated on: January 30, 2024
Facts checked by editors at A-List Arena
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Kelly Anne Welbes Abagnale is the wife of the fraud convict-turned-author, Frank Abagnale Jr., whose life story became the basis for the movie Catch Me If You Can (2002). Abagnale Jr. cites his wife as an inspiration to turn his life around & lead a happy family.

From her marriage of more than 4 decades, she is the mother of 3 sons. She was praised as well as criticized for marrying Frank, but why? Let’s learn more about Abagnale’s wife in this article.

Key Takeaways:

  • Kelly Abagnale grew up in Texas with her two brothers.
  • Both her late parents were in a respected field, her father, Louis, was a US Army engineer, while her mother, Maxine, was a professor.
  • Kelly has a master’s degree in child psychology.
  • Her husband Frank Abagnale Jr. is an American author and a convicted felon, who later worked for the government and founded his own company, Abagnale and Associates.
  • She was 22 years old when she married Frank in 1976.
  • With Abagnale Jr., she welcomed 3 children: Scott, Chris, and Sean.

Is A Native Of Texas

Born on June 26, 1954, in Galveston, Texas, Kelly grew up in Houston and has since lived in Oklahoma and South Carolina. She is an American by nationality & comes from a white ethnic background. As of 2024, Mrs. Abagnale is 69 years old.

Before her marriage to Frank Abagnale, she went by her maiden name, Kelly Anne Welbes.

Who Are Her Parents?

Welbes is the daughter of Maxine C. Rust Welbes and Louis A. Welbes (both deceased). Moreover, she has two siblings (both brothers): Timothy and Robert Welbes.

Her father, Louis, who served in U.S. Army Engineers in World War II,  died on May 4, 2004, at the age of 87. At that time, he and Maxine were married for 61 years. After 4 years, on December 18, 2008, Kelly’s mother died at 86. Before her demise, she was a retired professor from Rice University & volunteer for 13 years at Memorial Hermann Northwest.

Frank Abagnale Jr.’s Wife, Kelly, Has A Master’s Degree

Mrs. Abagnale attended Waltrip High School in Houston, Texas, where she was on the high school tennis team. As reported, she has a Master’s degree in Child Psychology, though, the detail of her alma mater is under wraps.

What Does She Do Now?

According to reports, Kelly worked in an orphanage, but after marrying and mothering 3 children with her husband, Frank, she became a stay-at-home mother. Now, in her 70s, she lives a retired life in Charleston, South Carolina, and rejoices in the company of her beau of 4 decades.

Met Her Husband After He Began Working For FBI

Welbes’ husband, Frank, a fraud convict, was hired by the FBI after his parole to educate the authorities about his ways of defrauding. So, it was when Abagnale Jr. began working in an undercover assignment for the FBI, that he met with Kelly in the mid-1970s.
However, there are debates on how their love story began. One version states that the duo met during an FBI investigation in an orphanage where Kelly worked. Another version says when Welbes met her future husband, she was working as a cashier at a grocery store.

Frank Broke The FBI Protocol & Told Truth To Kelly

In his interviews, Abganale mentions that after his FBI undercover assignment, he would leave abruptly. But, he was deeply in love with Kelly & wanted to be with her. As a result, he broke the protocol & told her the truth- eventually, the truth won!

Married With Frank William Abagnale For Nearly 5 Decades

Kelly, who now uses the last name “Abagnale” of her husband, Frank, has been married to him for 47 years. Even though her parents were against her marriage to him, due to his criminal history and lower academics, it couldn’t stop the love of the two.

They exchanged vows on November 6, 1976, at an intimate ceremony in a church among their family and friends.

At the time of marriage, Kelly Welbes was only 22, while Frank was 28.

What Does Kelly Abagnale’s Husband, Frank Abagnale Jr., Do Now?

Since his release from prison, Frank Abagnale’s been a consultant for the FBI and is an author, who wrote the books: The Art of the Steal, Real U Guide to Identity Theft, Scam Me If You Canand The Greatest Hoax on Earth: Catching Truth, While We Can.

He got popular among the netizens after one of his books, “Catch Me If You Can”, became the subject of the film of the same name starring Leonardo DiCaprio, which depicted Abagnale’s life story and experiences of the crimes he committed.

Aside from that, Frank lectures at the FBI Academy and for the FBI field offices. The 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award-winner was a security advisor at Standard Register Company for 20 years, and at 41st Parameter for 10 years.

Kelly Is The Mother Of 3 Sons: One Of Them Works For The FBI

From her marriage with Frank, she welcomed 3 children, all sons: Scott, Chris, and Sean. The eldest of all, Scott Abagnale, is an FBI agent like his father. He is working with the espionage squad in Baltimore. Scott has a son and a daughter with his wife, Erica.

Kelly’s middle son, Christopher, is into the fashion business & co-owns a fashion house, ‘House of Sage’ with his wife, Erin. The duo have 2 kids together.

Sean Abaganbale, the youngest of all, is not married yet and lives in China. He works at a software company.

As reported, due to privacy concerns, to raise his kids away from media sparks, Frank moved his family to Tulsa, Oklahoma. They lived there for 25 years until his sons were ready for college & made a subsequent move to their current residence in South Carolina.