A vigil service will be on Thursday, September 7, 2023, at 6:00 PM at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 4100 South Coulter. The funeral mass will be Friday, September 8, 2023, at 10:00 AM. The interment will follow at 2:00 PM in Rest Lawn Cemetery, 3985 US-385, Hereford, TX.
Born in Salinas, CA, on July 15, 1944, Mary grew up in Southern California. She attended Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles from 1959-1962 and graduated from Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach, CA, in 1963.
Her love of animals, especially horses and cats, began as a young girl. She was trained in English-style riding and competed in equestrian show jumping. She was a competitive swimmer and could be found on the beach in the Newport area on most days during her teenage years.
She continued her love affair with the ocean after graduating high school and spent a year at sea with the University of the Seven Seas studying in many countries before settling in Hereford, where she met her best friend and love of her life, Richard “Dick." Mary and Dick were married at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hereford on February 10, 1967. Their family grew to include Dana, Derek, and Catherine as they moved from a small farmhouse in Hereford to Conway, AR, to Amarillo. Mary spent her days raising her family and sharing her many talents with her community by volunteering. She was a swim instructor for the American Red Cross. She served on the St. Anthony’s Catholic School Board and helped with fundraising efforts for the Deaf Smith County Historical Society by co-hosting the famous spring Black House luncheons.
On most days, Mary could be found in a garden–if not her own, then any number of gardens around Hereford or Amarillo. Mary helped maintain the stunning gardens at the Black House in Hereford for many years. After moving to Amarillo, she became a certified Texas Master Gardener and educated the public on native plants. She led several beautification projects around Amarillo and worked with troubled teens to transform public spaces, such as Amarillo High School, into carefully cultivated landscapes. She also designed the landscape at her parish, St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. She arranged and cared for many of the flower displays inside the church and was a member of the Environment Committee that created and decorated the church with banner displays throughout the year.
Mary was an avid traveler. She drove 10,000 miles throughout Western Europe in the fall of 1966 with lifelong friend, Gloria Martinis. She continued exploring Europe, South America, and North America with her family. Mary and Dick planned several trips and cruises with their siblings and spouses, including a memorable ride into the Grand Canyon on a mule train in 1991.
Mary was a strong athlete. She loved to swim, run, hike, bike, and snow and water ski. She was a talented tennis player and won many singles and doubles tennis tournaments with Dick and Dana. She also was a talented artist and followed many creative pursuits such as crochet, sewing, calligraphy, drawing, and painting.
Mary was an extraordinary wife, mother, sister, and friend. She filled her loving home with the smell of made-from-scratch fried chicken and cinnamon rolls, beautiful flower arrangements from her garden, and warm, cuddly cats. She found joy in life’s smallest moments and truly lived life to the fullest.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents Helen and Ralph Myers, Sr., of Salinas, CA, and a brother Michael, of Kauai, HI.
Mary will be watching over her surviving family members which include her husband of 56½ years, Richard “Dick” Zinser, of Amarillo; her children Dana Whitaker and husband, Jeff, of Lubbock, TX; Derek Zinser of Austin, TX; and Catherine Mandel and husband, Phillip, of Austin, TX; four grandchildren Sebastian and Ashby Whitaker, Brendan Zinser, and Mary Mandel; her brother Ralph Myers, Jr. and wife, Diane, of San Clemente, CA; and many nieces and nephews.
The family requests memorials to the Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle, 2004 N Spring Street, Amarillo, TX 79107 https://www.cctxp.org/
Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle
2004 N Spring Street, Amarillo TX 79107