Monday, December 3, 2012

Mesa del's Mary Lange dies

Mary Lange

October 10, 1926 - November 24, 2012

Mary Lange was born Oct. 10, 1926 and died peacefully at home Nov. 24, 2012.

She came to Phoenix with her parents, Oscar and Mary Burns, as a child. She and her brothers and sister attended the Alhambra and Phoenix Union School Districts in the pre-World War II era, when Phoenix youngsters comfortably walked from house to house meeting up with friends to enjoy activities in their front yards and neighborhood parks. Mrs. Lange often told how she and her best friend, Elsa, regularly walked from downtown Phoenix to Papago Park, saving their bus money to rent and ride horses at the stables there.

Following those humble horseback experiences, Mary became an accomplished equestrian and much later in life rode on the Gila County Sheriff’s Posse, as well as owning and stabling her own horses in Mesa del Caballo, where she lived for many years.

An excellent athlete, Mrs. Lange played softball as a girl and was invited to try out for an early professional women’s team as a young adult.

She bowled competitively throughout her life until recently, winning the gold medal for her age group in the Arizona Senior Olympics bowling.

While living in Payson, Mary worked for the Gila County Probation Department and later worked and retired from the Payson Unified School District offices. She returned to Phoenix in 2009 to enjoy the company of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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