Mary Louise Keyes-Stacy
August 30, 1917 ~ June 10, 2012
Mary Louise Keyes-Stacy, 94, of Montrose, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 10, 2012, at her home with family at her side. Mary Louise was born on August 30, 1917 in Canon City, Colorado to Dr. Edgar Webb and Anna Caroline Webb. When Mary Louise was five years old she decided she wanted to be called Meezie. She spent her summers helping out on a working cattle ranch in Guffey, Colorado. She loved riding horses and rounding up cattle with the cowboys and thought the name Mezzie suited her better. Gradually she trained her parents to use that name. Her parents sent her to Mount Saint Scholastic Academy of the Rockies. They thought it might help her become a proper young lady but it didn’t work so they gave up and sent her back to public school. She loved doing cartwheels all the way to Washington Grade School for almost four blocks away.
Her college years were spent at Stephen’s College in Columbia, Missouri and then onto Stanford University in California where she received her BA degree in Social Services. After college she married Ernest Victor Keyes, a Harvard Law Student from Greeley, Colorado who was practicing law in Chicago. They married in 1939 in Canon City.
When Ernie asked her what he could give her that she wished for more than anything, she replied, “a dude ranch.” They then decided in 1946 to come back out west and start a dude ranch. Thus was born the Tumbling River Dude Ranch out of Grant, Colorado at 9,000 feet. Meezie loved being up in the Rocky Mountains surrounded by her beautiful pine trees, wild flowers, and tumbling mountain streams coming off the Divide. While Ernie drove back and forth to Fairplay, as Park County Attorney, Meezie was taking out horseback rides, jeep trips, and entertaining the guests with stories. Their three daughters, Carol, Cherie, and Lynn worked right along beside them on the ranch making it one of Colorado’s favorite dude ranches.
They sold the ranch in 1975, due to Ernie’s health. He passed away in 1977 at their Old Homestead cabin in Geneva Park, two miles above the ranch, where they spent their summers. Meezie continued to spend her summers at her cabin at 10,000 feet, near the Continental Divide and her winters in Tucson, Arizona.
Meezie rode on many horse pack trips through-out the Rockies and Australia with several of her cowgirl friends for the next twelve years after selling the ranch. She also traveled around the world with many of her friends. They always said they loved being with her because of her vibrant, spunky, and fun-loving personality. Everyone also loved her great sense of humor and love of life.
After thirteen years of being a widow, Meezie met Richard (Dick) Stacy, a chemist who had previously worked for Syntex and was at that time working for IBM in Tucson, Arizona. They married in 1992 when Meezie was seventy-five years old. They spent their summers up at her cabin out of Grand, Colorado and their winters in Tucson, Arizona and Montrose, Colorado. They moved to Montrose in 1996. They had twenty-three wonderful years traveling and enjoying life together. Meezie had many accomplishments in her life and contributed to many Park County and Montrose County community services. She was on the Platte Canyon School Board in Park County for ten years, Girl Scout leader of Troop #1 in Platte Canyon for twelve years, president of the Baily Women’s Club, member of the National as well as the Colorado Dude Ranchers Association for twenty-eight years. Meezie was in Whose Who of Women of Colorado and in Whose Who of Women of the World. While in Tucson she was docent of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum for twenty-five years. In Montrose she and Richard were on the board for the Friends of the Ute Museum, volunteered for Meals on Wheels, belong to RSVP and read and worked with Students at Olathe Elementary where Meezie’s daughter Cherie taught school. Meezie did volunteer work for the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, belonged to the Republican Women’s Club, league of Women Voters, a member of Montrose Animal Protection Agency, the Historical Society, and the Newcomer’s Club.
Meezie will be dearly missed by her family and many friends. We take great comfort in knowing she is off riding her many horses in the mountains of heaven.
Surviving family members include her husband, Richard of Montrose, daughters Carol (Howard) Morris of Frederick, Co., Cherie (Stan) Whiteford of Montrose, Co., Darlynn Keyes of Grant, Co., grandchildren Debbie (John) Fuller of Johnston, Co., Kara (Rich) Jones of Pueblo, Co., Danny (Angie) Whiteford of Trinity, N.C., and Justin (Elvi) Whiteford of Grand Junction, Co. She had eight great-grandchildren. She also had four step-children, Paula Brun of Tucson, Az., David (Susan) Stacy of Lake Mary, Fla., Tammy (Rick) Blair of Greeley, Co., and Liane (Dean) Andrews of Phoenix, Az., five step-grandchildren as well as two step-great-grandchildren.
At her request she will be cremated and wants her ashes scattered in her beloved mountains up near her cabin in Grant, Co. A memorial service with family and close friends will take place at that time.
In Lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado. Arrangements are under the direction of Crippin Funeral Home & Crematory of Montrose. Happy Trails, Mom!