Cover photo for Mary Elizabeth Vail's Obituary
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1935 Mary 2023

Mary Elizabeth Vail

July 18, 1935 — July 23, 2023

Mary Elizabeth Towry was born July 18,1935 by a midwife, in the settlement of Soper, Oklahoma near Hugo, Oklahoma to Joseph Adrian Towry and Severnial Helen Towry (Easley).  Mary was the first of three children, followed by a brother, Roger Dale and a sister, Loretta Ann.  The family moved west when Mary was young and eventually settled in Maricopa, Arizona.  

Mary is survived by her six children: Elaine Youngblood of Maricopa, Arizona, Carole Johnson of Eagle River, Alaska, Jimmy Powell of Mesa, Arizona, Diane Dempsey and husband, Terry, of Gila Bend Arizona, Roger Joe Womack of Mesa Arizona, and Claude Womack of Knoxville, Tennessee; 15 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; a niece, Sandy, and husband, Mike McClannahan, of Redlands California; and a nephew, Rudy, and his wife, Yvette, of Gilbert Arizona; along with large number of great nieces and nephews.  Mary has a wide array of life-long friends, that she adopted as family.

Mary is proceeded in death by her husband, Donald Vail; her parents, Adrain and Bessie Towry and Bob and Tommie DeHart; her bother, Roger Dale Towry; and her sister, Loretta Ann Flores; two nieces, Teresa and Susie; and her nephew, Little Roger.  

Mary (mom) was a walking history book, when it came to Maricopa.  She said the now Walmart on Porter Dr. was where they first lived and Papa Adrian farmed.  And of course, Honnicutt Drive is named for her favorite cousin, Bobbie Hunnicutt (actually Bobbie’s father-in-law C.P. Honnicut).  She was always fond of her years in Maricopa and talked often of the good times.  Maricopa was also where her two beautiful stepparents joined the family.   Bob DeHart married Grandma Tommie Easley and Papa Adrian married Grandma Bessie Bennett.  Papa Towry eventually moved to Cibola and the DeHarts’ settled in Hayden Junction.  

Mary loved dancing and was very good at it.  She won several dance contests back in her days.  As a matter of fact, Mary met her husband Donald Vail, at a dance, thru a mutual lifelong friend, Mary Jo, and as I remember her always saying, "Donald was a great dancer and danced right into my heart." Papa Don was a wonderful person and loved mom’s kids and their grandkids and nieces and nephews with all his heart.  

Mom loved county music, sewing, crocheting, fishing and camping.  Above all she loved her grandchildren and her great grandchildren. One of her fondest memories was when her children and grandchildren all got together at Big Lake for a weekend camping trip, and she always enjoyed her birthdays at Lyman Lake.  She always bragged on all of you grandchildren, nieces and nephews, as she loved you so much and you brought such delight to her life! Mom loved traveling and was fond of the trips she took to visit her son, Claude, and his family, and her trip to Washington to visit her long-time friend, Anne Bell. 

Mom was a hard worker and she always told me that she was 8 months pregnant with me and still driving a tractor in the fields.  She also worked in the cotton fields, in the cotton gins and the potato sheds in Oregon.  Her favorite job was working at the motels as a hostess.  One time, while she was working at the motel in Show Low, she waited on a man that was very nice and polite.  He told her his son would be down in a minute. The son came down and sat at the table and of course mom asked him what he would like for breakfast.  The dad replied, "he can get his own breakfast", but of course mom waited on him.  When they left, all the employees working came up to her and said, “Mary, do you know who you just waited on!?"  She said, “no but he was very polite.”  “THAT WAS TIGER WOODS!” Mom said, "Who is Tiger Woods? “  I laughed for hours, every time I thought of her "no biggy" attitude, he was just a nice person!!!!  

Mary just turned eight-eight a few days before her passing.  As she always recalled she was born the same year as Elvis.  She lived a long and happy life surrounded by her family and friends.  She loved and enjoyed each and everyone of you and she will sincerely be missed.  


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