Mary Annell (Davis) Hartgraves was born into this life on March 11, 1939 in Alamogordo, New Mexico to Homer and Isabel Davis. Their home throughout her life was on the Davis ranch in Wills Canyon, south of Cloudcroft. She attended all of her school years at Cloudcroft Schools and graduated from Cloudcroft High School in 1956.
She passed from this life on Monday, January 3, 2022 and went directly from her home in Alto, NM to her eternal home with God, having lived on this earth 82 years, 9 months and 23 days. A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at the Gateway Church of Christ building in Ruidoso, Sunday, January 9th at 2:00 p.m. There will be no gathering at the building following the service but all are invited to Rex and Nells home in Alto to visit. The family at a later date will have a private service for disposal of her ashes.
Preceding Nell in death were her parents, a sister Betty and a daughter Kay Lynn. Their daughter Kay Lynn, was born with Cystic Fibrosis and succumbed to that disease while they were living in Virginia, at the age of 15. Nell tirelessly loved and cared for Kay Lynn all of her life.
Her Husband Rex, of the home survives her.
Other survivors include:
A son Chuck Hartgraves of Abilene, Texas and grandsons and wives all of Abilene:
Chandler and Retha Hartgraves and great granddaughter, Allie;
Chase and Brittany Hartgraves
Cameron and Hailey Hartgraves
A daughter, LeeAnn and husband, Chet Southard of Alto, NM and resulting grandchildren;
Ashlee Carner Cillessen and husband Dale, of Sandia Park, NM with great grandchildren Dean and Claire
Layne Southard and wife Scheryiah of Alto, NM with great grandchildren, Arlyn and Schryer
Granddaughter, Shelby Southard, of Alto NM
Brothers-In-Law, Michael B. Hartgraves and wife Marilyn; John B. Hartgraves and wife Susie; Dub Cox and wife Jenny; Jimmy Derrick and wife Maxine; along with numerous nephews and nieces.
Nell attended NMSU in Las Cruces where she met the love of her life, Rex Hartgraves. They were married on December 21, 1959, in Cloudcroft. That marriage was destined to continue for just over 62 years. Rex’s first job upon graduation from college, ironically was as the Forest Ranger of the Mayhill District. A son Chuck was born while living in Mayhill. One of the most significant events in Nell’s life happened while attending Mayhill Church of Christ. One Sunday morning she became aware of her need to be baptized into Christ, but wanted to talk with her dad first. That evening on June 21, 1964 she and her dad, Homer Davis, put on Christ in baptism and were added by God to Christ’s body, the church. Now, all of her immediate family are Christians.
Due to Rex’s work with the US Forest Service, they lived in several locations. From Mayhill, they moved to Pecos, New Mexico. Their daughter, LeeAnn was born while they lived in Pecos. They then moved for a short time to Mountainair, NM where a daughter Kay Lynn was born. Rex’s work next took them to Denver Colorado where Rex worked several years in the regional office of the US Forest Service before transferring to Dillon, Montana. There was no congregation of the Church of Christ meeting in Dillon so after driving to another town for a while, she and Rex began a church in their home, then to a rented building. How great it is, that when they went for work in Washington, D.C., they left in Dillon a flourishing congregation. What a great testimony to their faith in God. They lived in Vienna, VA where Rex drove to work in Washington, D.C. Finally, they retired to their current home in Alto, NM, although Rex did do another short stint with the Forest Service in Denver, but they kept their Alto home and rented an apartment in Denver.
Where ever they made their home, they were faithful servants of Christ. Countless are the number of meals and pies and cakes and cookies that Nell prepared for church gatherings or Vacation Bible School or to take to the sick and shut-ins. Also, we will never know of all the influence Nell had on the many children she taught in Bible class over the years. She was a tireless servant of Christ and wanted everyone to know Jesus as their savior, that they might receive the gift of eternal life He offered. Her heart went out to all around her who had spiritual or physical needs.
Nell will be missed by so many but leaves a legacy of love and service to be emulated by all. Those who knew her, will no doubt miss her fun loving, sense of humor and will think of things she said or did and smile or even laugh out loud!