CODY, Wyo. - On May 17, 2003, Mary Helen Ballinger, our beloved mother, grandmother, and friend, died of complications of pneumonia and a broken hip. Mary was born to William and Jessie Pirrie on May 1, 1916, in Schuyler, Neb. Mary came to Cody with her family in the year 1929. On April 23, 1935, she was married to Carl Marion Ballinger, who preceded her in death on June 29, 1979, after 44 years of marriage.
Mary's pride and joy were her family. Her son, Merlyn Ballinger of Powell (wife Virginia); daughter Eloise Ballinger York of Meeteetse (husband Joe); and daughter Janet Ballinger Dutton of Cody (husband Roger), will all sorely miss her, as well as will her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Grandchildren include Twila York of Helena, Mont., Susie Dutton Wantulok (husband John) of Boise, Idaho, Cathy York Jordan (husband Gary) of Portland, Ore., Terri Ballinger May of Tacoma, Wash., Brenda Ballinger Whitlock of Tacoma, Joel Adams (wife Margie) of Red Lodge, Mont. Grandson C.W. Dutton preceded Mary in death on July 3, 1987.
Great-grandchildren include Brandt and Taylor May, Justin and Spencer Whitlock, Carly, Kellen, Erin and Kobi Wantulok, Jody Inbody, Graham, Elizabeth and Connor Sims, and Neil Adams.
Mary was one of nine children and is survived by sister Dorothy "Dot" Bates; and sisters-in-law, Phyllis Lundvall (husband Lawrence), Bessie Pirrie and Ruthie Pirrie; brother-in-law Charles Meier; and numerous nieces and nephews, plus her many friends. Mary was preceded in death by her brothers Morris, Lester, Melvin, William "Bud," Duane; and a sister, Marjorie Meier.
Mary was a well known and respected farm and ranch woman on both the Southfork and Northfork at Wapiti. She was a long-standing member of the Cody Methodist Church, where she took great joy in serving for many years. She was renowned for her hospitality and great cooking.
Mary was loved by many and she inspired all of those privileged to have experienced her courageous spirit, love of God, positive attitude, great sense of humor and strength of character. She was well known for her rendition of "Everything is Beautiful"; that is what she truly believed of the world and people around her. Mary Ballinger will be held closely in the hearts of many as a truly beautiful person. May we all aspire to her kindness, faith, and courage.
A celebration of Mary's life will be held July 5, at the Methodist Church - time will be announced at a later time.