OBITUARY

Mary Lou Earnest

September 14, 1932April 25, 2021
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Mary Lou Earnest, who dearly loved the hot summers of the home state she adopted almost 50 years ago, died Sunday in Wichita Falls at the age of 88. Mary Lou was born in Beatrice, Nebraska and raised in the nearby town of Auburn, the eldest daughter of Mary and Lewis Combs.

The family invites you to join in their celebration of a life well lived and a soul well loved, with visitation on Friday, April 30 (from 5 to 7 P.M.) and a service of remembrance at 2 P.M. on Saturday, May 1st (both at Hampton Vaughan Crestview Funeral Home).

An avid fan of big band music, she regularly danced to live performances by the Dorsey brothers and other iconic acts while earning her degree in education at Nebraska Wesleyan University. After graduating and taking a teaching job in Milford, Nebraska, she married Melvin Earnest in 1954, who would become her husband of 62 years. They met after being set up by one of her elementary students, who decided that the beautiful (and single) Mary Lou needed to meet her bachelor uncle Melvin, a U.S. Army veteran.

She subsequently taught elementary school in Macon, Illinois before taking a “short break” to care for her growing family of three children. In 1973, she and her family moved to Wichita Falls and in 1979 she returned to the classroom, this time as a special education teacher’s aide. In that capacity, she proudly served at Cunningham School for almost a decade.

Her hobbies were as varied, interesting, and fun as she was herself. She loved spoiling her three grandchildren and singing alto in the choirs of Fairway Baptist and First Baptist. She never missed reading a single issue of the Times-Record News, regularly clipping and mailing articles that she knew would be interesting or helpful to family and friends. Maybe it was because she was so well-read that she developed a love for traveling the globe. Besides travel, her other passions included the Nebraska Cornhuskers (a lifelong fan) and winning at quarter slots.

Mary Lou is survived by daughter and son-in-law Mary and Phil Hudson of Wichita Falls, and sons, Fred and Billy, of Pflugerville and Austin, respectively. Those grandchildren she loved to spoil are Brandon Hudson of Keller and Erin Hudson and Lauren Jordan of Wichita Falls. She is preceded in death by her husband, Melvin and her sister, Patricia Owens (Joplin, Missouri).

In lieu of flowers, the best way to honor Mary Lou’s memory is a donation to Faith Mission in Wichita Falls.

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Brandon Hudson
  • Phil Hudson
  • Fred Earnest
  • Billy Earnest
  • Jim Haddox
  • Dennis Wingo

Services

  • Visitation

    Friday, April 30, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, May 1, 2021

Memories

Mary Lou Earnest

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Lori Peterson

May 1, 2021

Dear Mary Lou, among your many other life accomplishments, this world has been left a better place by your son, Billy, my dear friend and colleague. I so enjoyed meeting and getting to know you through Billy. Your legacy will live on in his stories and love for you.

Nestor Eduardo Ruiz

April 29, 2021

Two years ago I had the opportunity to meet Miss Mary.
She was very sick, but when I entered her house I noticed she was like relieving, and willing to talk and live more, with an extremely pleasant attitude towards laughing and to being happy. We went with Fred one Wednesday, and on Saturday she enjoyed a baked Salmon that her granddaughter prepared for all of us. She was very happy to enjoy the meal with all of us. I had the joy of meeting her, with her always smiling face my sincere condolences and love for Fred, Billy, Mary Ellen and all the nice family. She was a wonderful person.

Scott Owens

April 27, 2021

RIP Aunt Mary Lou,
We had so many great memories and times with my family and yours that we could write a book and it would be well enjoyed by all! May our Lord bless you and keep you in heaven where the angels sing !
Fred, Mary Ellen ,Bill and Families , Please be reassured that your Mom is in a very happy place with our Lord.
Scott & Pam Owens

Sherla Williams

April 26, 2021

I sang in the Choir at FBC Wichita Falls with Mary Lou for at least 15 years. I was invariably behind her and she was always very entertaining. Faithful lady, always knew her music and never minded helping the people around her learn theirs. I'm grateful to have known her. She was so funny! She has been missed ever since she stopped coming. She's busy praising the Lord now, no time for what's happening here!

Brenda Baker

April 26, 2021

I sang with Mary Lou in the choir at FBC! She was a very sweet and kind lady and she was always ready for a good laugh! Glad she’s praising with Jesus! She will be missed! Our deepest sympathy to her family!

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FROM THE FAMILY
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Biography

Mary Lou Earnest, who dearly loved the hot summers of the home state she adopted almost 50 years ago, died Sunday in Wichita Falls at the age of 88. Mary Lou was born in Beatrice, Nebraska and raised in the nearby town of Auburn, the eldest daughter of Mary and Lewis Combs.

The family invites you to join in their celebration of a life well lived and a soul well loved, with visitation on Friday, April 30 (from 5 to 7 P.M.) and a service of remembrance at 2 P.M. on Saturday, May 1st (both at Hampton Vaughan Crestview Funeral Home).

An avid fan of big band music, she regularly danced to live performances by the Dorsey brothers and other iconic acts while earning her degree in education at Nebraska Wesleyan University. After graduating and taking a teaching job in Milford, Nebraska, she married Melvin Earnest in 1954, who would become her husband of 62 years. They met after being set up by one of her elementary students, who decided that the beautiful (and single) Mary Lou needed to meet her bachelor uncle Melvin, a U.S. Army veteran.

She subsequently taught elementary school in Macon, Illinois before taking a “short break” to care for her growing family of three children. In 1973, she and her family moved to Wichita Falls and in 1979 she returned to the classroom, this time as a special education teacher’s aide. In that capacity, she proudly served at Cunningham School for almost a decade.

Her hobbies were as varied, interesting, and fun as she was herself. She loved spoiling her three grandchildren and singing alto in the choirs of Fairway Baptist and First Baptist. She never missed reading a single issue of the Times-Record News, regularly clipping and mailing articles that she knew would be interesting or helpful to family and friends. Maybe it was because she was so well-read that she developed a love for traveling the globe. Besides travel, her other passions included the Nebraska Cornhuskers (a lifelong fan) and winning at quarter slots.

Mary Lou is survived by daughter and son-in-law Mary and Phil Hudson of Wichita Falls, and sons, Fred and Billy, of Pflugerville and Austin, respectively. Those grandchildren she loved to spoil are Brandon Hudson of Keller and Erin Hudson and Lauren Jordan of Wichita Falls. She is preceded in death by her husband, Melvin and her sister, Patricia Owens (Joplin, Missouri).

In lieu of flowers, the best way to honor Mary Lou’s memory is a donation to Faith Mission in Wichita Falls.