Mary Bernice (Green) Earp was born to Preacher J.W. and Mae Green on July 12, 1932, at the old Stallings Place at Buffalo in the New Hope Community, south of Hartshorne, and passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family at her home in Hartshorne on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.
Family will conduct a memorial service today at 1:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Hartshorne with Jerry Earp officiating. Cremation arrangements were under the direction of Brumley-Mills Funeral Home in Hartshorne.
Mary attended the one room school house which stands still located on the Watts place before attending Hartshorne Public Schools.
In addition to her loving husband and family, Mary leaves behind a lifelong friend 'sister', Nan Wilson Hugle, and favorite niece, Shirley Green Dodd, with a host of other nieces and nephews.
Mary met the love of her life, Elix Earp, when her brother, Clarence, hired him to help work the land that their father had allotted him. It had to have been love at first sight for it was not very long that Elix proposed to Mary under a full moon on the old Gaines Creek Bridge. Mary's response was "not until I am 17." Elix waited a week after her 17th birthday and married her in a church in Waldron, Arkansas. It was a fruitful honeymoon that welcomed their first born Janie 'Jane', nine months to the day, April 17, 1950, then the twins, Pamela and Eddy, followed on August 16, 1953.
Mary loved gardening, baking pastries, sewing and needlework, collecting antique bottles, but what mother loved most of all was the wild flowers that dad always brought home to her. She was an artist and a poet. Her favorite poem was the one she wrote at the birth of her beloved son, Eddy, entitled "A Boy to Love." We lost our 'Bo' on Nov. 1, 2015. Mary loved children so much that she and Elix parented many foster children, coming to adopt Darla on Oct. 7, 1965, Jonathan on Dec. 31, 1965, and later Darla's son, Blake, on June 1, 1983.
Mary also worked several years with children at the local head start. It was not unusual for her to take in a neighbors or relatives child, bathe and dress the child in clean clothes, feed and then send them back home. Many times other people's children went on vacations with the second round of kids.
Elix and Mary built a house together, traveled, camped and hunted many years together. A sign still hangs on the wall where they sat holding hands with morning cups of coffee and tea that reads "When I die bury me in the woods so my husband will hunt for me." We are doing just that with her burial at Mountain Station Cemetery (near where Dad has hunted for years) in the Green family plot near the old tree with the knot where Grandpa (Preacher) Green sat for years. Mary and the rest of us children all sat between his knees on that same knot on every "Decoration Day" and many visits to the graveyard. Mary always sat on the knot recalling those memories after her dad passed away.
Mary was a great story teller of past family times and events such as when it rained and her dad would gather them all with blankets spread on the hay and spend time in the hay loft of the barn listening to the rain on the tin metal roof with him telling stories. Another story often told was the one about her Grandpa Green dancing and singing an Irish jig to her and how he always went to bed with a 'hot toddy' that her mother would make for him. Her dad would put her in front of him on his horse before she could walk and take her hunting. She finally shot her first deer to please him and that was her first and last one. Of course, Elix was with her, he tells how she said "Can I shoot him?" "Can I shoot him?" and dad said "Looks like you shot him in the eye already." Then, mom said "Oh, I can't have his head mounted."
Mary was preceded in death by her grandparents, Americus Cornelius (A.C. Bud) and Elizabeth Green, and Noah and Hettie Walker; parents, James Wesley (Preacher J.W.) and Mae Caldonia (Walker) Green; sister, Dorothy May Green (infant), and Martha Young; brother, Clarence Green; half-brothers, Olen, Daniel and Jimmy Green, and son, Eddy "Bo" Earp.
Mary is survived by her husband, Elix Earp; daughters, Janie Earp Wilk, of Caldwell, Texas, and her son, James (Jimm) Patton, of Fort Worth, Texas, Pamela Earp Henne and husband, Edward, of Hartshorne, and Darla Earp, of The Village; son, Blake Earp, of Moore, and his daughter, Alivia and Darla's daughter, Whitney Earp Baca and husband, Jay, of Stillwater, and children, Jose, Jayden, Jaxton, John Luke, and Jaelee Jo, and son, Jonathan Earp, of Tulsa, and his sons, Noah and Nicholas.
Published on April 28, 2017