Hudspeth County TXGenWeb | Hudspeth County Texas Genealogy

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Last modified: 9 APR 2008

burro lady
Judy Magers, "Burro Lady," taken by Bonnie Wunderlich, 2002.
Hudspeth County and Related Obituaries

Rosalia Perez Arrieta
Barlows and Jones
Elizabeth Bean-Cowan
H. F. Boykin
William C. Carson
Novella Garrett Causland
Sidney Walker Cowan Sr.
Emeterio B. Gutierrez
Mrs. Tom C.(Gladys) Holden
Glover D. Jackson
Baylus Love
Baylus Prince Love
Mrs. Mabel Love
Judy Ann Magers
Clayton McKinney
Mrs. Rafaela Sanchez Mendoza
Mrs. Bernice Moore
Charles Gaither Moore
Alberto Morales
Sixto Navarrete
Orval Wayne Pierce
Lottie Polk
Annie H. Poppele
Alberto Navarrette Ramirez
Mrs. Teresa Sanchez
Clarence L. Stanfield
James Thomas Stephens
Mart Terry Tidwell
Jaquez Conrada Vara
Gage Donovan Eric Virdell

Rosalia Perez Arrieta

Arrieta, Rosalia Perez (86) Born Jul 7, 1915, Fort Hancock, TX; passed away February 8, 2002, Colton, CA.

Survived by her sons, Armando Arrieta Gilbert Arrieta and Richard Arrieta; daughters, Grace Belmarez, Irma Tarango, Rosie Loera, Gloria Arrieta, Velma Gonzalez, Maggie Garcia and Elizabeth Arrieta; 34 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren; brother, Paul Perez.

Services directed by Rose Hills Mortuary on February 11, 2002, Monday, 6:00 PM, and February 12, 2002, Tuesday, 1:00 PM, both at SkyRose Chapel, Gate #1.

Interment: Rose Hills Memorial Park, 3888 S. Workman Mill Rd, Whittier, CA.

Published in The Los Angeles Times, February 11, 2002

Source: Submitted by Eleanor E. Borkenhogen, Jan 20, 2007

Barlows and Jones

On the lives and deaths of John Early Barlow, Roberta Early Barlow, Barbara Octavia Barlow, Alice Jones, and Lalla Jones.


H. F. Boykin

Sierra Blanca, Texas. "The body of H. F. Boykin, who was killed by H. L. Robertson at an early hour Saturday morning, was interred in the Sierra Blanca cemetery at 2:30 p.m. Monday. The casket and grave were beautifully decorated with flowers. Relatives from elsewhere who attended the funeral were: Miss Ada Boykin, sister of the deceased from San Angelo, Texas ; Miss Florence Boykin, sister, El Paso, Texas: Mrs. T. C. Armstrong, sister, El Paso, Texas; C. Barren, San Angelo, Texas; Mrs. D. M. Logan, Colorado, Texas; Bert Humphris, Marfa, Texas."

"Walter Sitters, who was fatally shot by Robertson at the same time, died about 5 p. m. Saturday evening and his body was shipped to his father's home in Valentine, and was employed by the T. O. Ranch at the time of his death. Mr. Sitters, the father, arrived Saturday, expecting to take the wounded boy to the hospital in El Paso, but the son died just a few minutes before the train arrived."

Source: Yesterday's Big Bend News: Funerals Of Robertson's (Sic) Two Victums Held At Sierra Blanca, El Paso Herald, January 19, 1915

Elizabeth Bean-Cowan

Elizabeth Bean-Cowan, 88 died Sept. 17, 2003. Born Nov. 13, 1914 in Ft. Hancock, TX. Preceded in death by her husband of 65 yrs., Pioneer West TX rancher Sidney Cowan and her son Woodrow Daivd Cowan, brothers, Former Co. Judge Woodrow Wilson Bean, former El Paso Superintendent of Schools Joh T. Bean and renowned West TX rancher J. B. Bean. She was the daughter of TX ranger James B. Bean and Belle McGovern Bean. Her and her mother were cousins of Mother Praxedes Carty who established Loretto Academy. Survived by sons, Sidney W. Cowan, Jr., Douglas Bean Cowan, eleven grandchildren and 12 ggrandchildren. Interment at Sierra Blanca Cemetery in Sierra Blanca, TX. Martin Funeral Home.


William C. Carson

Funeral services for William C. Carson of Sierra Blanca will be held at 2 p.m tomorrow in the Millican Memorial Baptist Church in Sierra Blanca. Graveside services will be conducted in the Sierra Blanca Cemetery under the direction of Kaster and Maxon.

El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso, Texas, Friday, March 16, 1956

Novella Garrett Causland

Mrs. Novella M. Causland, born Miss Novella M. Garrett in Austin, TX on September 23, 1918. She passed from this world on Thursday, March 7, 2002 in Kirkland, WA. Mrs. Causland grew up in Sierra Blanca, TX, the youngest child of Andrew and Tina May Garrett. In 1938 she married Archie S. Causland Sr. in Deming NM. They had two sons, Archie Jr. and Michael. They moved to CA in the early 1940s.Her husband passed away in 1965.She was preceded in death by her brother Clyde Garrett, her husband and youngest son Michael. She is survived by son Archie Jr., three granddaughters, and three great grandchildren. Services at Loma Vista Memorial Park in Fullerton, CA.

Source:, Orange County Register, Mar 21, 2002.

Sidney Walker Cowan Sr.

Cowan Sr., Sidney Walker, a former owner of the Texaco distributorship in Sierra Blanca, died Thursday (Dec. 14, 2000). He owned filling stations in Dell City and Van Horn, as well as Service Butane Co. in Sierra Blanca and Van Horn, and was a rancher in Hudspeth County. He was 89 and a lifelong resident of Hudspeth County.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Elizabeth Bean Cowan; his sons, Sidney Walker Cowan Jr., Douglas Bean Cowan and John A. Cowan; 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday in United Methodist Church, Sierra Blanca. Burial will be at Sierra Blanca Cemetery. Arrangements by Martin Funeral Home-East.

Source: Rootsweb

Emeterio B. Gutierrez

Emeterio B."Hoppy" Gutierrez, age 73, of Las Cruces, entered eternal life Wednesday, January 29, 2003 in Mountain View Regional Medical Center."Hoppy", as he was fondly known to family and friends, was born December 16, 1929 in Carrizozo to Isidoro and Josefina Baldonado Gutierrez. He served his country faithfully in the United States Army during the Korean War."Hoppy" was a retired Prison Warden from Camp Sierra Blanca in Lincoln County and also worked with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and most recently with the Security Department at Memorial Medical Center for ten years. Mr. Gutierrez along with his wife of 50 years were well known amongst the bingo players that participate at the Sertoma Club. He was a resident of Las Cruces since 1985. Survivors include his loving wife, Civilia Herrera Gutierrez of the family home; son, Bobby J. Gutierrez and his wife, Tracy of Las Cruces; daughter, Mary Ann Allred of Topeka, KS; one grandson, Aaron Gutierrez of Las Cruces; four granddaughters, Aubree and Azlyn Gutierrez of Las Cruces and Leticia and Jennifer Allred of Topeka, KS. He is also survived by one sister, Lollie Lueras of Carrizozo; numerous nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Manuel and Paul Gutierrez; two sisters, Mary Monrreal and Ofelia Hicks. A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2003 in Carrizozo at the Santa Rita Catholic Church, 213 Birch St. at 2:00 p.m. with Reverend David Bergs as Celebrant. Inurnment of cremains will follow in Our Lady of Guadalupe Cemetery in Carrizozo [NM].

Source:, Albuquerque Journal, January 31, 2003.

Glover D. Jackson

Funeral arrangements for Glover D. Jackson of Sierra Blanca are pending with Kaster and Maxon.

Source:, El Paso Herald Post, 3 August 1941.

Mrs. Holden Dies in City; Rites Set Today

Mrs. Tom C.(Gladys) Holden, 61, of 3815 38th St., a retired associate professor of Home Economics at Texas Tech, died at 11:25 a. m., Monday in St. Mary's Hospital following an extended illness.

Services were to be at 4 p. m. today in W. W. Rix Memorial Chapel with the Rev. O. A. McBrayer, pastor of Forrest Heights United Methodist Church, officiating, assisted by the Rev. Kenneth R. Clark, rector of St. Christophers Episcopal Church. Grave site rites will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Sierra Blanca Cemetery at Sierra Blanca. Rix Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.

Born Gladys Keen at Sierra Blanca, she received a Bachelor of Science degree from Hardin-Simmons University and a master's degree from Texas Tech. She taught in Seagraves, Bovina, Kress, Sundown and Lubbock.

From 1934 to 1945 she served as county, district and regional supervisor for the Federal Housing Authority.

She was married in 1940.

She joined the Tech faculty as instructor of the Department of Food and Nutrition in 1945 and in 1948 went to Bolivia to aid in the establishment of home economics courses in Bolivia's rural normal schools.

She rejoined the Tech faculty in 1956 as an assistant professor of food and nutrition in the School of Home Economics. she retired in 1969 as an associate professor. She has been named in "Who's Who of American Women" and "Who's Who in American Education."

Her memberships include Phi Upsilon Omicron, Friends of the Lubbock Library, American Associate of University Women, the West Texas Museum Association, the Ranch Headquarters Association and the Community Ambassador Committee of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.

She was a member of numerous university committees and had contributed articles to several professional periodicals. A major research field was native foods of the Southwest.

Survivors include her husband; a sister, Mrs. Durwood Corley of Abilene; her mother, Mrs. Rodway Keen of Sierra Blanca; and several nieces and nephews.

The family has requested that memorials be made to the Ranch Headquarters Association.

Honorary pallbearers are Walter S. Posey, Howard C. Davison, Dan T. Ellis, Arch Lamb, Clinton M. McPherson, Harold Farmer, Claud B. Cook, J. Weldon Bennett, Gerald Collingsworth, Lawson Ashcroft, Wortham B. Ashcroft and J. Merril Kayser.

El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso, Texas, Friday, March 16, 1956

Rites Scheduled For Baylus Love, Ex-State Employee

Funeral services for Baylus Newton Love of 323 Vivian drive will be held at 2 p. m., tomorrow at the Masonic Methodist Church in Sierra Blanca with the Rev. Glenn A. Brown officiating. Burial will be in the Sierra Blanca Cemetery with Rodehaver-Miller Funeral Home in charge.

He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Addie E. Love of El Paso; three sons, Prince Love of Sierra Blanca, Jim Love of Presidio and Richard L. Love of Allamore; four daughters, Mrs. F. C. Greenwood of Tucumcari, Mrs. Lee Barnet of Van Horn, and Mrs. Happy LeVan of El Paso; a brother, Prince Love of El Paso; two sisters, Mrs. Dave Josslett of Sierra Blanca and Mrs. Maude Perner of Phoenix; 11 grandchildren and 3 great grand-children.

He was retired from the Texas State Highway Department in 1951. His father, the late Tom Decatur of Sierra Blanca, helped in founding the Methodist Church in Sierra Blanca.

El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso, Texas, April 23, 1957

Baylus Prince Love

Death Notices
VAN HORN - Baylus Prince Love, 81, graveside service at 10 a.m. in Sierra Blanca Cemetery; arrangements by Van Horn Funeral Home.

Source: Rootsweb, The San Angelo Standard-Times, West Texas news: July 13, 1996

Rites at Sierra Blanca for Mrs. Mabel Love

Funeral services for Mrs. Mabel Kate Smith Love, Sierra Blanca pioneer who died here Saturday, will be held in the Sierra Blanca Methodist Church today at 4 p. m. (El Paso time). She was 65. Burial will be in the Sierra Blanca Cemetery under the direction of Kaster and Maxon. Mrs. Love came to Sierra Blanca from Kansas. El Paso relatives surviving are Mrs. W. L. Frame, a sister, and John Moore, a nephew. Other survivors are two sons, Wesley of Weatherford and Eldward L. of Sierra Blanca; one daughter, Mrs. E. A. Wright of Sierra Blanca; and a sister, Mrs. J. P. Parker of Alpine.

El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso, Texas, Monday, September 06, 1948

Judy Ann Magers

In Memoriam: Judy Magers, "On the Land..."
Publish Date: March 20, 2007

Judy Ann Magers, also known throughout West Texas as "The Burro Lady" (and other similar monikers), died on January 26 from natural causes in Hudspeth County, Texas, near Sierra Blanca.

Magers was, unwittingly, a highly public persona throughout West Texas, though she remained intensely private throughout her decades of walking the highways of the region, sleeping on roadsides and talking with locals mostly just enough to obtain the bare necessities.

A funeral service was held for Magers in Terlingua on Monday, February 5. Magers is buried in the Terlingua Cemetary, per her wishes. Her 5 adult children traveled from their various homes throughout the United States to attend the service, and were regaled with tales about their mother by friends and acquaintances from all over the region, with some attendees coming all the way from New Mexico.

Here we publish some rememberances of the cherished traveler.

Don McDowell (Terlingua):
I met Judy about eleven years ago at The Frontier Roadhouse, my restaurant and bar on 118. There are so many stories. This is how mine started.

I had already met many of the special ones - The Rabbit Lady, Suitcase Susan, Old Man Adams, Just Bob, What about Bob, and Plain Bob. And Gracie, Queen of the Frontier who would eventually come to keep me company on the property and now is family. (She tells me she came in the fine print with the property but that's another story.)

"Jackass Judy" as the locals called her, spoken with fondness and none of the negative connotations that one might expect, was a much-anticipated arrival after I had heard the mysteriousness in which my colorful local clientele spoke of her. Everybody was a Judy expert and she had not even been around in the two years that the Frontier had been closed prior to my purchase of it.

I didn't see her ride up, but late one Thursday afternoon, there she was, coming through the door: thin as a whip, big hat, big glasses, lived-in chaps, leather gloves tucked in her waistband, spurs. I knew her instantly. And if I needed any additional confirmation, there was Merle the faithful burro tied to the gas pump.

I was at that moment and continue to be mesmerized.

I made the mistake of trying to strike up conversation with her. Judy didn't take well to chitchat and I never made that mistake again.

I also learned that day that although Judy might have appreciated my attempts to be charitable, she was not going to have any part of it. I learned that the price was not relevant, only that there should be a price. This much for each night's camping, that much for Merle's water, rent on a bucket if she didn't have one, and was it okay for Merle to eat the grass around Gracie's tree while the two of them visited? Everything had to be lined out, pre-arranged and pre-approved when Judy rode in and stayed a while.

As the years went by, Judy had a knack for showing up early on Friday afternoon. I would be prepping for the fish fry, looking forward to our busiest night and anticipating a great night of local music. Judy had a creosote fort on the north side of the Frontier. She would set up camp, take care of Merle, come find me to settle all expenses and pre-pay a cheeseburger and buy a shower.

After all negotiations were complete she would take her kit and go around to the female shower room. She would be gone a long time. When she came out, I like to think that I saw a side of Judy that few others ever did. Most noticeably the sunglasses were off and she had applied purple mascara, her hat was in her hand and a fresh bandana was around her forehead. She would let me know that it was ok to start her burger and she would move off into a spot in the room where she felt comfortable.

The locals would drift in and although they desperately would have liked to made conversation, they always left her to herself and I know she appreciated it. Gracie was the only person Judy tolerated, allowing her approach and actually sit with her. The music would start up and Judy would stay as long as she could until the non-local guests started becoming a nuisance. The sunglasses would be slipped on, followed by the hat, and out she would go but not before placing a little money for the musicians in the tip jar.

There are many stories about Judy and the Frontier (I found out that is what she called all of us who owned it: "Frontier."). The time it was freezing cold and I tried to get her and Merle to move into the dance hall - politely declined. The time it was raining violence and I tried to get her to move under my carport - politely declined. The times I offered to cook breakfast for her on closed Sunday mornings - politely declined. It was comforting to see her sitting with Gracie under the shade tree at the picnic table over coffee and I knew Gracie would take care of food if any was needed; never was.

The time she pulled up in and old Land Locomotive Cadillac towing a trailer made from a pickup truck bed is something I will never forget.

The last time I spoke with Judy she needed to rent a bucket to water Merle. We agreed on a price of fifty cents for several days' use of the bucket and as much water as was required. It was Friday and I was too busy to collect at that moment. Several days later, after she had moved on, an envelope arrived in the mail addressed to "Frontier, Highway 118 South." On the back of the envelope in very precise penmanship:

"Enclosed is 50 cents for the bucket and two dollars for the music tip jar... Judy."

The change is still inside that un-opened envelope.

Judy always paid her way.

Fred Gossien (Terlingua):
On the third day of my first visit to South Brewster County I stopped at the Big Bend Motor Inn for a cup of coffee. Outside, by the highway, was Judy "the Burro Lady" fiddling with the blankets on her burro. Like most people, I suppose, I was fascinated. Along with that fascination came the instant awareness that I was in a very special place.

Two years later I would move to Terlingua, partly because of Judy.

I imagine that if Judy had lived in a city - any city - she would have been invisible, pushed into the alleys of a seedy part of town by intolerant police, possibly on behalf of tourism officials worried about their town's image or fearful citizens who believe that someone a little different had no business on Main Street or outside a mall.

In the Big Bend, though, Judy was a symbol, at least to me, of something far more significant: she was a symbol of a unique culture, of accepting people who allow others to be whoever or whatever they are, of people who might not agree on any subject but can live alongside each other in relative harmony.

Maybe that was Judy's purpose in life these past years - to show outsiders that basic human qualities like compassion, acceptance and tolerance, qualities seemingly inherent in most people living in the Big Bend, could exist in people everywhere.

That being "different" is not bad or even undesirable.

That if people could subdue that part of their egos dedicated to their own self-importance, especially when compared to those less fortunate, the world might actually be a better place. After all, who among us is not, in some way, a little different?

I can't say I really knew Judy. I only spoke with her once, ten years ago. Even though that voice in the back of my head keeps saying she is in a better place, I'll still miss her.

May she rest in peace.

James Evans (Marathon):
I think a normal reaction to your first Judy sighting was like seeing a UFO in your backyard: amazement, caution, and a little fright. When I would see Judy I would ask her if I could make a portrait. She would respond "No, thank you."

My experiences with Judy were much like others': that is, conversation was sparse. I first saw her in the late ‘80's in Terlingua. I believe I took a snapshot of her on her burro at that time, but I have yet to find the negative.

After seeing her many times over several years, I stalked her riding her burro to Marathon from Alpine. I drove ahead of her and perched myself at the top of the roadside cut on the edge of town. I was obvious, but I gave her no choice but to go by me. I rode ahead of her again and got on ground level and waited for her.

This time though I came out of the brush and confronted her. I told her I believed she was one of the most amazing people I had never met. I told her I had heard so many stories and I had questions.

She was going to Marathon and I begged her to come to my studio. She did. For me, a visit by the queen of England would not have made me more proud. I asked her about all the rumors I had heard, like her son committing suicide in her car while she was in a convenience store, her house burning down. She only responded with one word answers: "No." Very little dialogue, but I learned once again to always go to the source if you really want the truth.

She stayed in Marathon or right outside of Marathon a few days, and I made several images of her. One of them I put in my book.

Judy's funeral was the most beautiful one I've ever attended. Simple and unassuming, just like she lived, and yet amazing. I would say over 200 people attended to pay respect to a person they may have never spoken a word to. The respect was as much for her as what she represented. She was an icon of freedom and individuality. She represented the very thing that made me want to live in this part of the country.

Just imagine the world she knew - that we will never get to grasp in a way she did. Imagine sleeping outside every night for 25 years. Imagine all the people she affected driving to their 9 to 5 jobs. She must have briefly sparked the dead Gauguins in thousands of people.

Big Bend is not like the place I first moved to. There are still many Judy-like people, but now it is mixed with lawyers, real estate agents, trust-fund babies supporting heavily-endowed mediocre galleries and studios, defining who they are not by their art, but by their acquisitions. They are following the trends they read in stupid magazines by trite writers that don't have a clue about this area. They have raised the cost of real estate while seeing the mountains as a backdrop and not a lifestyle. They can all go to hell as far as I'm concerned. Rats trying to find sanctuary out of the rat race in their refurbished adobe ratholes. Whoa, James. WHOA! YOU CAN'T SAY THAT! Sorry, my mind wandered in a whole other direction...

I'll miss seeing Judy sleeping on the side of the road or seeing her burro tied to the post outside of a modern-day establishment. I will do my best to keep alive what she gave me and what she represented.

Bonnie Wunderlich (Terlingua):
When I first saw Judy, she was riding on her burro, fully loaded with blankets and bundles, from the Frontier Restaurant towards the "Y" [intersection of Hwys 118 & 170 in Terlingua]. Judy's eyes were only focused on the desert ground in front of her, never turning to see who was slowing down, looking at her.

It seemed an awfully heavy load for such a small beast to carry. As they trotted down the roadside, I sensed a serene mood around her; I imagined she was transcending the brutal desert temperatures.

This was the way I saw her for many years after: seemingly oblivious to curious and admiring passersby.

Since 1995 when I moved to Terlingua, I often saw Judy riding her burro up and down the roads. Other times, the burro was tied either at the Big Bend Baptist Church, or in front of the Big Bend Motor Inn Café.

Most of the time, she was inside the café, sitting alone, at the table by the door, never letting her eyes meet anyone else's. She was in high boots, pant legs tucked inside them; the boots really were more fashion boots than riding boots.

I took photographs of her burro, tied out there, all packed up, but as yet, hadn't the courage to ask her if I could photograph her. She had an invisible barrier around her, like she preferred to be around people, but not on a contact or communication level. No one seemed to know her real name back then, just called her "Suitcase Sally," or sometimes "Saddlebag Sally."

In the early to mid ‘90's, a group of nice folks in Alpine bought her an old Cadillac, and it'd be parked in front of the Baptist Church, with the trunk open for the burro to eat out of. She'd either be in her car (out of sight) or at the café. I wondered if she was sometimes in the church.

I heard about this time that she traded her burro for a small, young one, so it could ride in her car with her. But the traded-off burro obviously had liked her lifestyle, because it soon broke out of its new fenced home, and came back to her. The new owner came back for it. Soon, however, Judy obtained a horse trailer, and could be seen driving her big Cadillac, burro in trailer in tow.

She must have eventually abandoned the car someplace, because I noticed she was back riding the burro, fully loaded with all colors of blankets, some leather and some plastic bags.

Sometimes I'd see her around Marfa, or riding towards Alpine, and heard she was also often in Marathon. I could hardly imagine anyone traveling such distances with their only water in plastic soda bottles tied on the burro.

Finally, the photograph opportunity arrived. In January 2002, as I was sitting out under the old sotol ramada porch at my gallery on Hwy 118 (now torn down); Judy was riding towards it. As she approached, I walked up to her and asked how she was. "I'm doing alright. I'm headed down to the Study Butte store to buy a few things," she said.

I asked her if people ever gave her money to photograph her. "Yes, sometimes they give me five dollars to buy some cigarettes." I asked her if I could photograph her, and told her I wanted to paint her. She and the burro posed for me, then walked past the gallery, sometimes going back so she could ride towards me again. Her long hair was banded back, and hung down to her waist. You could see her weathered face in the shadow under her hat, which made her look much older than her strong, youthful countenance revealed by her voice.

Did she need water for her burro? "No," she replied, "Archie keeps water out for him to drink." I told her to use my faucet anytime she needed any. I gave her $5 and she went on towards the Study Butte Store.

I think she allowed me to give her a little money, because she knew I was photographing her for a painting, so this was working for pay,; this was not charity. I thanked her and told her I'd show the painting to her someday. She simply replied, "OK."

Later in the summer of 2003, as I was retuning home from Alpine, I saw Judy walking to her burro who was tied to a post, the rope extending over a wide ditch filled with water. She told me that the folks at the Frontier said it had rained 3/4 inch. I photographed Judy as she shook the water off her tarp, which was lying over her bags, but the packed burro's bundles of blankets were soaking wet.

She allowed me to take one photo of her, then said "You can take pictures of Patches; he likes his photo taken." I noticed then that she had white lotion on areas of her face, so I figured she didn't want to be photographed because of that. As I photographed him, Patches hee-hawed time and time again. He was enjoying the attention.

I expressed my concern about Judy sleeping on cool wet ground, on wet blankets, when there were even more thunderheads appearing in the skies. "Paches doesn't mind it," she said. The blankets would dry, she said: "They always do." I left her a dry blanket anyway Refusing it at first, she finally accepted it, saying, "Ok, but I'll put it on the fence here, tomorrow, and you can get it".

Judy saw the 30" x 44" oil painting that I did of her in 2003, which was of another interesting scene in 2003 when she had just purchased a 2nd burro to help carry their load; my friend had commissioned a giclee print on canvas (24" x 36") of the painting for her mother's birthday, and when Judy came into the Déjà vu Thrift Store in Alpine, the mother happened to have the painting in her vehicle, wrapped. Judy helped unwrap it, and said she'd like a small print of the painting to be mailed to her via general delivery in Terlingua. I gladly mailed to her several prints.

She provided me with so many good photographic shots of her: she offered such color flowing through a brown desert roadside, living in simplicity, content with owning nothing but what she could carry on her burro. She deserved so much more than $5 for each time I photographed her.

During the last few years, friends who knew that I painted Judy would give me reports of seeing her in Van Horn, Valentine, Sierra Blanca, Marfa or Alpine. I'd seen her a few times between these towns also, riding along with her eyes forward and down. Once when I was on a Chinati Foundation Tour on a bus, we saw the burro by itself, tied at the downtown square plot of a dozen or more large yuccas.

In January, a neighbor told me she'd just seen Judy in Alpine. "Great," I said, "I want to find her and talk to her. She saw my painting, and I want to talk more with her."

The following week, all of West Texas was hit with that unusual freezing weather, with dark and miserably cold days and nights lasting for nearly two weeks, so I delayed my trip to Alpine (and possibly to Van Horn, where she'd also been seen often).

Then, I heard the sad news that Judy died. Oh, why, I thought, didn't I go talk with her during those freezing and snowing days? I had been worried about being cold inside an adobe home, or driving on icy roads, but Judy was living in the severe desert elements. That was her home. Judy's gone from our physical plane, and we won't be lucky enough to see her travel from town to town, but the memory of her will live forever in these desert West Texas towns, I'm certain.

In Memoriam: Judy Magers, "On the Land...", Big Bend Gazette

Terlingua Gallery, Memorial to Judy Ann Freeman magers

Big Bend bids farewell to the burro lady, By Sterry Butcher,

'Burro Lady' earned Big Bend's wonder, respect,

Clayton McKinney

MIDLAND - Funeral services were Monday (August 23, 2004) here for Clayton McKinney, 64, a long time West Texas lawman and Texas Ranger from Marathon, who died August 20th. Burial was in Marathon Cemetery.

He was born Jun 4, 1940, to Pat McKinney and Vera Gulihur in Marathon.

He worked in law enforcement all his life. He was a pilot and game warden for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Van Horn.

McKinney also served as a Texas Ranger and spent most of his time in Sierra Blanca and Alpine before retiring in 1985.

He then served as Chief Deputy for the Midland County Sherifff's Department until he retired from that position in 2002.

McKinney was a lifetime member fo the Sheriff's Association of Texas and the Former Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and a member fo the Fort Hancock Masonic Lodge.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Pauline Stuart.

Survivors include his wife, Jean of Midland; sons Clay and wife Brenda and their children, Clay Ryon, Jake and Sarah of Pecos; Troy and wife Kim and their children Brooke , Clayton and Hanna of Collinsville and Rory and his wife Katrina and children Ember, Ethan and Evan of Midland.

He is also survived by a brother, Billy Pat McKinney, of Comanche, and a sister, Midge Gooch of Robert Lee, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Honorary pallbearers were Drs. Jerry Cochran, James Barnett and Bruce Mickey.

Pallbearers were Gary Painter, Jerry Gulihur, Macky Shackelford, George Litton, David Cook and Dewayne Lindsey.

The family suggests memorials may be made to the Clayton McKinney Scholarship Fund through Midland College

Source:, Terrell County News-Leader, August 27, 2004.


Funeral services for Mrs. Rafaela Sanchez Mendoza of Sierra Blanca were held at 3 p. m. today in the Sierra Blanca Catholic Church. She was 80. Mrs. Mendoza died Saturday at her home. Burial was in Sierra Blanca Cemetery under the direction of Martin Mortuary.

El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso, Texas, Monday, June 04, 1956

Funeral services will be held at 4 p. m. tomorrow at the First Methodist Church at Sierra Blanca for Mrs. Bernice Moore, who died in a hospital yesterday. Mrs. Moor was 44 and had lived in sierra Blanca for 15 years. She is survived by her husband, Fred Moors, game warden at Sierra Blanca; a son, Frederick, and two daughters, Elaine Moore and Prudella Moore, all of Sierra Blanca. Rev. John Cox will officiate at the services. Burial will be at Sierra Blanca Cemetery under the direction of Rodehaver-Miller.

El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso, Texas, Monday, February 19, 1951

Charles Gaither Moore

Charles was born on 6 Mar 1892 at Presidio County, Texas. He was the son of Wiley Gaither Moore and Mary Elizabeth Love. Charles Gaither Moore appeared on the census of 23 Jun 1900 in the household of Wiley Gaither Moore and Elizabeth Edith Moore at Presidio County, Texas.1 Charles died on 16 Apr 1917 at Sierra Blanca, Hudspeth County, Texas, at age 25. He was buried at Sierra Blanca Cemetery, Hudspeth County.2

Source: Rootsweb


Rosary services are scheduled for 8:20 p. m. today at the Harding and Orr Chapel for Alberto Morales of Sierra Blanca who died in a hospital yesterday. Funeral services will be held at 3 p. m. tomorrow in Santa Gerturde's Church in Sierra Blanca. Burial will be in Sierra Blanca Cemetery.

El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso, Texas, Thursday, April 26, 1951

Sixto Navarrete

Sixto Cisneros Navarrete, 83, of Pecos, died Wednesday, July 24, 2002, at Home Hospice of Odessa.

A rosary will be held at 7 p.m., Friday, July 26, at Reyes-Garcia Chapel.

Mass is scheduled for 9 a.m., Saturday, July 27, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church in Pecos with Father Ben Flores officiating. Burial will be in Mount Evergreen Cemetery.

He was born March 28, 1919, in Sierra Blanca, at an early age moved to Coyame Chihuahua, Mexico, in 1947 he moved to Pecos, where he worked in the cotton gin and the cotton fields for many years and was a member of Santa Rosa Catholic Church in Pecos.

He was preceded in death by his wife Maria De Jesus Navarrete and a one sister, Gloria Navarrete.

Survivors include five sons, Sixto Navarrete Jr. of El Paso, Francisco "Kiko" and Rene Navarrete of Midland, Octavio Navarrete of Washington, D.C., Filimon Navarrete of Odessa; three daughters, Maria Galindo, Emma Carrasco of Odessa, Rosa Navarrete of Barstow; one sister, Rosalia Ramirez of Pecos; 28 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren and several nephews and nieces.

Reyes-Garcia Funeral Home of Midland is in charge of arrangements.

Source: Pecos.Net

Orval Wayne Pierce

Odessa TX Orval Wayne Pierce, 73, passed away January 8th, 2006 at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, Texas.

Orval was born July 4th, 1932, in Sierra Blanca, Texas to William Robert Pierce, and Evvie Elzona Reeves Pierce. He married Laveta Ann Hamm Pierce on January 19th, 1957 in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Mr. Pierce was reared in Grapevine, Texas and attended Carroll Elementary, and Grapevine High School. He served his country in the Air Force from February 1952, through February 1956. Orval retired October 31st, 1993 from Permian Research Corporation, in Big Spring, Texas, and was a member of the Sherwood Church of Christ.

Mr. Pierce is preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Robert Pierce and two sisters, Rozelle Robinson and Billie Cox.

Orval is survived by his wife of 49 years, the 19th of January 2006; three sons; Charles L. Pierce and wife Michele; Richard W. Pierce and wife Cindy, and James L. Pierce, all of Odessa; one daughter, Cindy A. Condit of Monahans, Texas; ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild; one brother, Oscar Pierce; two sisters, Gloria Bigham and Golda Corley, all of Ft. Worth, Texas.

A visitation will be Wednesday January 11th, 2006 at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home. The family requests memorials to the Odessa Christian School, in Odessa, Texas.

Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. at Sherwood Church of Christ, on Thursday, January 12th, 2006, with Lynn Money officiating. Interment will follow immediately at Sunset Memorial Gardens.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Sunset Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home.


Mrs. Lottie Polk

Funeral services for Mrs. Lottie Polk of Sierra Blanca will be held at 2 p. m., C.S.T., at the Sierra Blanca Baptist Church. She was 73. She died Sunday in Glendale, Calif., while visiting her daughter, Mrs. John S. Hubbard.

She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.

She is survived by another daughter, three brothers, three sisters and two granddaughters.

Burial will be in the Sierra Blanca Cemetery.

Kaster and Maxon Funeral Home will be in charge of arrangements.

El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso, Texas, Polk, Tuesday, October 07, 1952

Annie H. Poppele

Annie H. Poppele, 83, Hermann, died Sunday, June 17, 2001, at Frene Valley Geriatric and Rehabilitation Center, Hermann.

She was born March 1, 1918, at Sierra Blanca, Texas, the daughter of James Hammack and wife Carrie Lee, nee Ables.

On July 7, 1934, she was united in marriage to Charles E. Poppele at El Paso, Texas.

Mrs. Poppele had worked for Emerson Electric, Famous Barr, and Vandervoorts. She was also a homemaker.

She was a member of St. Paul's Women's Auxiliary in St. Louis.

Mrs. Poppele was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Katherine Melvin; and three brothers, Donald, Fred and Olin Hammack.

She is survived by her husband, Charles Poppele, Hermann; two daughters, Charlotte Lucas and husband Jim, Union, and Patricia Maupin and husband Spud, Hermann; one son, Charles Poppele and wife Norma, Montello, Wisconsin; one sister, Irene Battle, El Paso, Texas; nine grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; other relatives and many friends.

Funeral services for Mrs. Poppele were held Wednesday, June 20, at Toedtmann-Grosse Funeral Home, Hermann, with Father Ambrose German officiating.

Interment was in Oak Haven Memorial Gardens, Hermann.

Memorials to the American Diabetes Association are preferred.

The Poppele family was served by Toedtmann & Grosse Funeral Home, Hermann.

Source:, The Missourian, Wednesday, June 27, 2001.

Alberto Ramirez

SIERRA BLANCA, Alberto Navarrette Ramirez, 68, of Sierra Blanca, a retired custodian, died Monday, Feb. 14, 2000, at Medical Center Hospital.

Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday (MST) at Our Lady of Miracles Church. Rosary will be said at 7 p.m. (MST) today at Our Lady of Miracles Church. Burial will follow at Sierra Blanca Cemetery.

Arrangements by Van Horn Funeral Home. He was born in Sierra Blanca and was a lifelong resident. He was Catholic.

SURVIVORS: Daughters, Christina Rodriguez of Fort Stockton and Lorena Ibanez of Odessa; brother, Epolito Ramirez of Sierra Blanca; sister, Christina Ramirez of Sierra Blanca; and four grandchildren.

Source: Rootsweb

Rites for Mrs. Sanchez Set at Sierra Blanca

Funeral services will be held at 10 a. m., tomorrow at the Sierra Blanca Catholic Church for Mrs. Teresa Sanchez who died in her home there Saturday (April 14, 1951). She was 55.

She is survived by her husband, Frank Sanchez; one daughter, Mrs. Pete Colmenro; and three sons, Julian, Jack and Johnny Sanchez, all of Sierra Blanca. Burial will be in the Sierra Blanca Cemetery, under the direction of Kaster and Maxon.

El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso, Texas, October 07, 1952

Clarence L. Stanfield

Rev. Clarence L. Stanfield, 91. Services will be held Thursday, October 2, 2003 at 3:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Hobbs. Rev. Todd Dyess, pastor, will officiate. Interment will be at Grady Cemetery at Grady, NM. Smith-Rogers Funeral Home is directing arrangements. Born October 11, 1911, at Grady, he passed away September 28th. He was married to Thelma Jane Chapman. She preceded him in death. Rev. Stanfield served churches on the Clovis circuit, Portales Circuit, at Goldsmith & Van Horn/Sierra Blanca, Texas, and in Raton, Gallup and Albuquerque. He was pastor for eight years at the Jal/Wink Methodist churches, building a new parsonage and church in Jal while there. He was a volunteer chaplain for the Albuquerque Police Department, was a member of the board of Pensions for the New Mexico Methodist Conference; and served as president of the Rotary Club at both Jal and Gallup. Survivors include a son, David Stanfield of Edgewood; two daughters, Joyce Kemper of Hobbs and Sharron Bennett of Jonesboro, Arkansas; one brother, Clyde Ray Stanfield of Albuquerque; a sister, Gladys Thomas of Grady; and eight grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers; and four sisters. Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Jal, NM or to other churches where Rev. Stanfield served.

Source:, Albuquerque Journal, October 1, 2003

James Thomas Stephens, CPA

James Thomas Stephens, age 77, of Austin,TX passed away Tuesday, December 13, 2005. He was born March 6, 1928 in Sierra Blanca, Texas. James graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1949 with a degree in business and in 1980 he became a Certified Public Accountant. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Lan T. Stephens; son, Samuel G. Stephens; stepdaughter, Hoa T. Stephens, all of Austin; sister, Nancy Jane Shanks of Burbank, Calif.; daughter-in-law, Tracy R. Stephens of Austin; and two nieces and two nephews. Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, December 17, 2005 at Austin Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made in James' honor to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1000, Austin, Texas 78767.


Mart Terry Tidwell

Tidwell, Mart Terry age 69, passed away Sunday, May 26, 2002. He was born and raised in Sierra Blanca, Texas. Mr. Tidwell worked for El Paso Natural Gas for 30 years and retired in Sierra Blanca, Texas where he ranched. He was a member of the Sierra Blanca United Methodist Church and the Masonic Lodge in Ft. Hancock No. 1297. Survivors, wife of 51 years, Ellen Tidwell of Sierra Blanca, daughters, Frances Anne Barclay, Allen, Texas, Ginger Belle Elliott, Alpine, TX, Rhonda Jo Allen, Amarillo, TX. Grandchildren include Coty Parker, Terrell, TX, Wes Parker, Amarillo, Texas and Rexann and Brian Elliott of Alpine, TX, two sisters, Ruth Robbins of Phoenix, AZ and Camilla Quassa of Kendrick, OK and a brother, Carroll Tidwell of Deming, NM. Visitation will be held at the First United Methodist Church from 12:00-2:00 p.m. Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on May 29, 2002 at the Sierra Blanca First United Methodist Church, Rev. Joe Barthlow officiating followed by Masonic Graveside services at the Sierra Blanca Cemetery. Pall Bearers include Coty Parker, Wes Parker, Vern Elliott, Brian Elliott, Bob Hayter, Shawn Tidwell and Don Barclay. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sierra Blanca Methodist Church or the American Lung Assoc. Directed by Hampton Valley Mortuary in Fabens, TX.

Source: Rootsweb

Jaquez Conrada Vara Death Notice

Kermit - Conrada Vara Jaquez, 85, of Kermit, a homemaker, died June 1, 2004 in Kermit.

Services at First Baptist Church, Family Services Funeral Parlor. Born in sierra Blanca, Hudspeth Co. Survivors; son, Catarino, Jaquez Jr. of Andrews; daughters, Sandy Hernandez of Kermit, Elida Subia of Andrews & Mary Lozano of Eldorado; brother, JOe Vara of Kermit; sister, Candy Mesa of Kermit; 22 g-children, 46 gg-children & two ggg-children.

Source:, Odessa American, Thursday June 3, 2004

Gage Donovan Eric Virdell

Virdell Gage Donovan Eric, infant son of Eric Lee Virdell and Missy Renee Morales, died Monday (March 13, 2000). Visitation will be at 8 a.m. today in Our Lady of Miracles Catholic Church in Sierra Blanca, followed by a funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Sierra Blanca Cemetery. Survivors include his parents; his brothers, Andrew E. Virdell and Joshua A. Virdell; his sister, Janelle M. Virdell; his grandfathers, Andy Virdell and Carlos Morales; and his grandmothers, Cherie Virdell and Barbara Morales. Arrangements are by Hillcrest Funeral Home.

Source: Rootsweb