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Mary Newbanks - May 14, 2011


Mary Fern Salvador Newbanks was born Feb. 21, 1918 at the family farm near Wages, the youngest of eight children. Her parents were Bertha Mae Hurd and Francisco Nugo Salvador. She died peacefully at home in Wray on May 14, 2011.

Mary spent her youth in the Wages community where she attended Wages Elementary School and Wages Methodist Church. She graduated from Holyoke High School.

After losing her mother at age 17, she stayed and kept house for her father for two years. Then she spent a year with her aunt in Underwood, Iowa and attended Council Bluffs Beauty Academy, graduating in 1938.

June 20, 1942, she married a soldier from Wages, Parker Eugene Newbanks, and accompanied him to his various duty stations until he left for Europe.

She returned to Colorado in February of 1944. During the next year she gave birth to their first son, Parker Eugene, worked in the Holyoke hospital and started her own beauty shop in Haxtun.

In February of 1945, Parker was discharged, and the reunited family moved to Paoli where Mary continued operating her beauty shop. Janet Ann joined the family in April 1946.

March of 1948, the family moved to their farm in the Pleasant Valley community where Mary was active in the EUB Church. She enjoyed an active farm lifestyle. She was a farmer at heart. “We sure need the moisture.”

In response to a sibling letter, Santa delivered Eddie Ellis in December 1953. The family moved to Wray in the fall of 1959. Mary Fern started a new career in food services at the Blue Bell Café. She worked in various establishments until her retirement at age 70.

Through her “retirement” years she worked as a volunteer in various capacities with 55 and Over Club, Senior Meals, County Express and Veterans Service groups. Mary Fern became a member of Eastern Star in 1936 and recently received her 75-year pin. After Mary’s first mastectomy in 1959, she counseled victims of breast cancer and their families.

She enjoyed traveling, especially by car, with or to go visit children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Mary Fern was preceded in death by her parents and stepmother; husband, Parker; brothers, Asa, Dick, Elgin, Cecil, Harley and Perk; sister, Iona Lett; all of her siblings’ spouses; and other family members.

She is survived by her three children, Parker Jr. and wife Beverly, Janet Ann Kneece and Eddie and wife Chris; grandchildren, Parker III and wife Tricia, Jason Kneece, Toby and wife Robin, Troy and wife Melissa, Angela Kneece, Kiel and wife Cheryl and Tyler and wife Jenny; great-grandchildren, Michael, Jadyn Weiss, Sara, Ethan, Parker IV, Eric, Spencer and Aaron; and step-sister, Marvyl Hansen. She is remembered by numerous relatives and friends.

Funeral services were held May 18 at First Presbyterian Church in Wray with interment at Grandview Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Plains or to breast cancer research.

Arrangements were made by Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home in Wray.