Mary Ann Ellis West passed away on May 13, 2016, after a brief illness. Born February 25, 1930, in Antlers, Oklahoma, she was the cherished only child of Robert Ellis and Hattie D. Oakley Ellis.
When Mary Ann was in second grade, she met fellow Antlers second grader Lee West. Lee was instantly smitten with the dark-haired beauty and her incandescent smile. He remains besotted to this day.
Lee secretly vowed that Mary Ann would one day be his bride. But as their senior year approached, he feared she still barely knew his name. Determined to get her attention, he managed to become captain of the Antlers Bearcats football team and won the honor of escorting the Football Queen – the lovely Mary Ann, of course.
After graduating from Antlers High School in 1948, Mary Ann attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She studied there for two years before transferring to the University of Oklahoma where Lee was a student. They both completed their degrees in the spring of 1952, and she made Lee West the happiest and proudest man in the world when she married him in August of that same year.
Mary Ann and Lee were blessed with two beautiful daughters and wide and wonderful circle of friends. When at their 50th anniversary party a friend asked Mary Ann how she had put up with Lee for such a very long time, she mused that “he was gone a lot.”
Mary Ann was a gifted painter and an accomplished interior designer, but writing was her true passion. With her artist’s eye and her wicked sense of humor, she created unforgettable characters caught in situations so outrageous that they just had to be true. Among her numerous published works are the short story collection, The Things We Do For Love, and the non-fiction work, And Justice for None: the Life and Death of an Innocent Man.
Mary Ann’s gorgeous smile and gracious presence earned her legions of loyal friends. They were among her life’s greatest joys. While we will miss her warm heart and the soft landing we could always find in it, we understand that she had no patience for the sickness and pain that had recently beset her. We are grateful that she has left her pain behind; we are grateful that she has found her own soft landing in our hearts.
Mary Ann is survived by her husband Lee R. West of Oklahoma City, her daughters Kimberly E. West of Muskogee and Jennifer West of Tulsa, and her granddaughter Mary Ellis Passey of California. At Mary Ann’s request, no services are scheduled. In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested that donations may be made to the University of Oklahoma Foundation, P.O. Box 258856, OKC, OK 73125, or the Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Chi Omega, P.O. Box 2436, Edmond, OK 73083.
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