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1940 Mary Louise 2022

Mary Louise Skouson Flake

January 12, 1940 — August 2, 2022

Mary Louise Skouson Flake passed away on August 2, 2022 at her home in Snowflake, Arizona.  She was born on January 12, 1940 to Smith Hollister Skouson and Mary Louisa Whipple in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  She was the 8th of 10 children in the family, and the youngest daughter.  She, her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all shared the name of Mary Louise.  When she was three years old her parents moved to Arizona and she spent most of her growing up years in Mesa, where she graduated from Mesa High School in 1958.  She was particularly talented in music and her best instrument was the piano.  She earned a music scholarship to ASU and attended there for a semester.

During that semester she met Jake Flake at a dance at the Mezona in Mesa.  They dated for several months and announced their engagement on Valentine’s Day, 1959.  When they told her parents, her mother said, “Oh, I was afraid of that!”  She was afraid that Jake would take her away to a ranch where her musical talents would never be used again.  Mary Louise and Jake were married on June 19, 1959 in the Mesa Arizona Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and after he had graduated from ASU the following year, they moved to the Bar X Ranch in Young to start their life together.

Young was a very lonely time for Mary Louise – her nearest neighbors were five miles away on rough dirt roads, and Jake was out working on the ranch every day.  Shon and Crystal were born while they lived there, so she spent her time with her babies and practicing the piano that she had insisted that Jake provide for her.  This was when she learned Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, a number that she performed with the Silver Creek Symphony many years later while she was expecting Amy, her 12th child.

The small family moved to Snowflake in 1963, just before Penny was born.  For about three years they lived in the little white home on the corner of 3rd North and Back (Stinson) Street, but just after Darin came along, in 1966, they moved to the home they built north of town, where they lived ever since and raised their children.  Doug, Celeste, Wynn, Travis, Tyler, Brandon, Mindy, Amy and Kayla all joined the family in that home.  In addition, they welcomed Roy Talker, a Navajo boy, into their family for nine years as a part of the Church’s placement program.  Mary Louise loved being a mother and raising her children.  She took special care to teach them the gospel, hold Family Home Evening, take them to their meetings, and have family scripture time.  She also attempted to teach them how to play the piano and was pretty successful with her daughters, but her sons’ ranch chores often gave them an excuse not to practice, so they didn’t make nearly as much progress.

Far from atrophying as her mother had feared, her music was spread throughout the community.  Only rarely, though, was Mary Louise a soloist – instead, she accompanied ward choirs, music festivals, church meetings, the Liberty Belles for 20 years, rehearsals, plays and musicals, and was the pianist for many years for the Silver Creek Symphony.  She also taught countless piano lessons to many children throughout the area and served as a piano adjudicator for high school performers.  She considered her musical ability something that she was supposed to freely share. 

Besides music, she served in many other callings in the church, including as Relief Society president, in the Primary and Young Women’s, Cub Scout den leader, and service missions in the clothing distribution center and the temple.  Her primary identity, though, was as a wife, mother and grandmother.  Her greatest joy was when her family came to visit, especially on Sunday afternoons.

Mary Louise was preceded in death by her husband, Franklin L. “Jake” Flake, her parents, all nine of her siblings, her son Darin, grandson Joseph Sanders, and two great-grandsons.  She is survived by her children, Shon (Pamela), Crystal (Darrell) Petersen, Penny (Dean) Bauer, Darin’s wife Jennifer, Douglas (Jennifer), Celeste (Jeff) Dana, Wynn (Kami), Travis (Teresa), Tyler (Jennifer), Brandon (Jennifer), Mindy (Chad) Sanders, Amy (David) Orr, and Kayla (Jeff) Larson; by 70 grandchildren, and 46 great-grandchildren.

Her funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 13, 2022 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Main Street Chapel/Stake Center, 48 N. Main St., Snowflake, Arizona.  There will be viewings from 6 – 8 p.m. on the evening of Friday, August 12 and at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning.  Interment will be at the R.V. “Mike” Ramsay Memorial Cemetery in Snowflake after the services.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Viewing

Saturday, August 13, 2022

10:00 - 10:45 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Main Street Chapel

421 North Main Street, Snowflake, AZ 85937

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Main Street Chapel

421 North Main Street, Snowflake, AZ 85937

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Starts at 12:30 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

R.V. "Mike" Ramsay Memorial Cemetery

390 South 4th West Street, Snowflake, AZ 85937

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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