Mary Ellen White Dunlap, formerly of Ozona, Texas, age 95+ passed away on February 28, 2022 at the Coleman County Medical Center due to several strokes over the last couple months. Visitation will be held on Saturday, March 5, 2022 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Stevens Funeral Home, 400 W. Pecan, Coleman. Hillcrest Church of Christ, 304 Highway 153, Coleman, is providing lunch for the family at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, prior to the funeral service which will be held 2:00 p.m. Sunday in Stevens Funeral Home Chapel with David Wallace officiating. Private interment will be in the Burkett Cemetery. Services are entrusted to Stevens Funeral Home.
Mary was born on August 25, 1926 to Herbert Charles and Emma Hatchie Boyd White at Tankersley, Texas. She was the youngest of five girls. She attended Tankersley public school for as far as she could go grade wise, having to ride a horse or walk to school that was about 2 miles away uphill both ways. She finished High School in San Angelo, Texas. She then went to SAC (San Angelo Junior College), finishing up at ACC (Abilene Christian College). Mary was the only one of the five girls that went to college.
Around 1948, Mary moved to Ozona, Texas in pursuit of a job. Her dream had always been to marry a cowboy. There she met Basil Dunlap and they don't get any more cowboy than he was. They were married on October 4, 1949 in his Aunt Dora Hoover's 2-story house. They lived and worked in Ozona the next ten years until Basil's Dad, Ray, died in November 1959. Also, during this time they had two children, Bridget Belle born on August 27, 1955 and Basil Ray born on May 13, 1958.
In 1960, they moved to the Dunlap Ranch down on the Pecos River 50 Miles Southwest of Ozona. Mary had to stay in town during the week to send the kids to school and Basil lived at the ranch. Mary got a job teaching 2nd grade in the Ozona Public School system for about nine years. They communicated just about every night by way of CB radios. On weekends, holidays and during the summer months, the family lived together down at the ranch.
Every Thanksgiving starting in 1960, Mary had her whole family down for a reunion. After Basil started bar-b-queing Spanish goats, Mary stopped trying to cook the old wild turkeys. This Thanksgiving get together at the ranch lasted for over 20 years. Sometimes there were 20 relatives and other times as many as 45 showed up.
After Bridget graduated from high school in 1973, Mary moved to the ranch on the Pecos River to be with Basil and helped him move irrigation pipe to water the 110 acres of fields, haul hay, build fence and take care of the goats, sheep and cows. Then in 1983, they bought and moved to a ranch in Coleman County located between Camp Colorado and Burkett, Texas. They finally got a decent house moved in, and added on to it and bricked it. By 1987, the ranch was paid for and in 1988 they were completely moved to the Coleman ranch. Once again, Mary helped Basil do whatever needed to be done, as always, whether it was working their charlois cows, grubbing mesquites, building fence, spraying prickly pear or de-ticking themselves after a long day of working out in the live oaks.
Basil never missed a Wednesday sale day at the livestock auction, so Mary got a job working for her nephew, Walter Von Clendenen, the dentist, on Wednesdays for a few years.
In 2011, Basil was diagnosed as having Leukemia. He was forced to slow down and had to get rid of his beloved charlois cows. Mary was always right there trying to help and do for him whatever needed to be done until the very end of his life.
Mary was a diligent member of the Church of Christ. She was preceded in death by her parents, three sisters Onita Fields (93), Imogene Griffin (94) and Bernice Clendenin (92), a son, Basil Ray Dunlap who died in 1972 of Hodgkin's disease at the age of 14 and her husband, Basil, who died January 9, 2014 of CLL (Leukemia) after 64 years and three months of marriage.
She is survived by her daughter, Bridget Dunlap of Coleman and one sister, Jeffy Norwood of Las Cruces, New Mexico, who is 102 years old, numerous nieces and nephews and several grandkids which she never did claim (Bridget's tuxedo tomcats).
Bridget wishes to thank Holiday Hill Nursing Home, Coleman County Medical Center and Dr. Atwood for all the care and consideration they showed towards her mother during this trying time.
In lieu of flowers the family suggest donations made to Coleman Senior Citizens Center, P. O. Box 785, Coleman 76834, Hillcrest Church of Christ, P. O. Box 295, Coleman 76834, Holiday Hill Nursing Home, P. O. Box 392, Coleman 76834 or Masonic Lodge #496, 412 West Liveoak Street, Coleman, Texas 76834.
Remembrances and condolences can be expressed to the family via the virtual guestbook at www.stevensfuneralhome.com. Stevens Funeral Home is honored to serve the Dunlap family.