Mary John Espy Phinizy,
Mary John Espy Phinizy,

Mary John Espy Phinizy, 73, died Monday, April 22, 2019 at her home in Borden County with her family by her side.  

Mary John was born June 7, 1945 in San Angelo to Mary Leontine (Watson) and Howard Espy and welcomed by a sister, Tom Elaine.  

They made their home on the ranch outside Sonora.  To quote Mary John from an article she once wrote, “My childhood was deeply ingrained with love.  I have warm memories of endless playing, school, pets of all kinds, good food, helping Daddy, not helping Mama, good friends, big shade trees…and finally, rain.”

Mary John attended the University of Colorado and Texas Tech University.  

Through mutual friends, Mary John met Bill Phinizy, who was assistant manager for the Pitchfork Ranch and 10 years her senior. On June 22, 1968 they married and began a life of love, raising children, and working side by side.

Bill and Mary John lived at the Pitchfork for 3 years and began their lives as parents.  Will was born in November 1969 and Kate came 13 months later in December 1970.  

This young family made their way to the ranch in Borden County in 1975 just in time for Will to begin kindergarten at Borden County Schools. Mary John spent those years active in school activities, watching sports, volunteering for 4-H, FFA, and decorating and cooking for every stock show and banquet.  

Many will well remember Mrs. Phinizy as a long-term sub at Borden County ISD.  After Will and Kate left for college and jobs, Mary John filled that void by home schooling a pack of wonderful neighbor kids for 8 years.

Still, Mary John’s favorite job was working with Bill on the ranch. There was nothing she would not or could not do.  

Through their years together, they made and kept the dearest of friends.  Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association was often a meeting place for these friends.  Mary John enjoyed serving on the Executive Board of Directors of the National Ranching Heritage Association in Lubbock.  

She and Bill are long-time members of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Big Spring.  Mary John’s greatest joy in later years was to love and listen to, laugh with and teach a new generation—her grandchildren.

Survivors include her husband, Bill Phinizy of Gail; a son, Will and wife, Michelle of Gail; a daughter, Kate Davis and husband, Ryan of Spearman; five grandchildren, Jacob Phinizy, Laura Phinizy, Mary Margaret Davis, Jack Davis, and Cy Davis; a sister, Tom Elaine Whitehead and husband, Bud of Sonora; one nephew, Espy Whitehead and wife, Laura and children Gage and Lane; two nieces, Lea and husband, Arlis Baze; Kelly  Whitehead and children Kack and Colton.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Leontine and Howard Espy.
Memorial services will be held 2:30 PM, Friday, May 3, 2019 at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church with Father Christian Rabone and Father Edson Way officiating.
The family suggest memorials be made to National Ranching Heritage Center, P.O. Box 43200, Lubbock, Texas  79409
Arrangements under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory, or a charity of your choice..