TORRINGTON – On May 11, 2020 Torrington lost a beloved member of their community.
Mary Coy left the pain of earth behind and entered Heaven’s gates. Mary Irene Coy, 94, died at Goshen Healthcare Community. Before that she resided at Evergreen Court.
We would like to thank both of these Care Centers for the care and kindness they showed to her. Mary was a member of the First Baptist Church in Torrington, and of Eastern Wyoming Retired Teachers Association.
Mary Irene Houdesheldt was born Jan. 10, 1926, in Mondamin, Iowa. She lived in the Blenco and Mondamin areas her early school age years. She married Everette Ernest Coy on Dec. 31, 1945, while he was on leave from the U.S. Navy during World War ll. She passed away in Torrington, her home for more than 50 years.
Survivors include one sister, Phyliss Mann of Sioux City, Iowa, her son, Gary Coy of Eden, and daughter, Judi Cole of Bayfield, Colo.; grandchildren: Bill Coy, Ron Coy, Rhonda Coy, Shara Coy, Trinity Selgado, Gary Cole, Lisa Cole; and many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Goldie McIntosh Houdesheldt and Ernest Houdesheldt; and her sisters, Lola Scurlock, Bette Heisler, Jean Wilkins, and her brother John Houdesheldt.
Mary often admired the bravery in others, while overlooking the bravery in herself. She graduated from Blenco High School in Iowa in May 1943. At that time, the furthest she had been away from home was 10 miles. But the depression had hit, times were hard, and she heard of a job in Wyoming. If she went to the University of Wyoming for the summer, she could get a War Time Certificate to teach, and finish her degree later. It would be the start of a 40+ year career in education. This young, brave woman got on a bus, by herself, and came to Wyoming alone. She loved to tell people that as she was crossing Nebraska she thought, “What have I gotten myself into?”
Her first school was called “The Rawhide School,” located between Lingle and Jay Em. She had three students, one who “was a young third-grade cowboy named Donny Scheer.” He took care of the horse mom had to ride to school…the first horse she had ever been on.
Her second school was in Ft. Laramie. While at this school, she married Everette Coy, who was home on leave, in 1945 and their son, Gary Coy, was born in 1947. Shortly after Everette was discharged he went to work for Frank Bromley up on Laramie Peak. That became mom’s third school. She taught kindergarten through eighth grades of primarily Bromley children. Mom always said the years on Laramie Peak were the happiest years of their lives.
When they left the Peak, mom taught at “The Lindsey School” and had two students, Thelma and Gloria Mae Lindsey. In 1951 mom and dad moved to Veteran, and mom taught 1st grade at the Veteran School. In 1954 they moved from Veteran and went to work on the Rife Dairy. According to mom it “was the worst year of her entire life.”
In 1955 Judi was born, and Mary began the first of 25 years of teaching at Lingle Schools, with a one-year break to teach fifth and sixth grades in Iowa when dad went to work on the Jim Peterson ranch in Iowa.
In 1979 mom started teaching at Southeast Elementary in Yoder and worked there until she retired in 1984. She kept up with former students by reading several area newspapers daily, including Casper, Scottsbluff and Torrington, and often as she read, she would make a comment such as, “Well, I taught him/her in fourth grade.”
Everything she did, she did well. She was an avid cook, canner, gardener and reader. Everyone was always welcome in her home. It is hard to estimate how many children were taught by Mary in the surrounding communities, and hard to estimate how many people’s lives were touched by her generosity, her acceptance, her kindness and her love.
Because of the craziness of our world right now caused by COVID-19, there will only be a graveside service with fewer than 10 family members. We know under normal circumstances her funeral would be packed with the many people in the community who loved her.
We will miss her.