Mary Alice Thompson, 89, of Sumpter, Oregon, passed away on October 13, 2021, at her residence at the Grande Ronde Retirement Residence in La Grande, Oregon, surrounded by her loving family. A graveside service will be held on Monday, October 18, 2021, at 1:00 PM at the Sumpter Cemetery in Sumpter, Oregon. A Celebration of Mary’s life is also planned for Memorial Day, May of 2022.
Mary was born on November 26, 1931, in Baker City, Oregon, to Green Hudspeth and Rachel Hanby Hudspeth. Mary’s early years were spent on the ranch owned by her father and uncles. The ranch is now known as the “Red Horse Ranch”. She enjoyed riding horses with her siblings and living in the mountains. Mary always had a cheerful greeting for the guests coming to stay at the ranch or to go on a guided hunt.
In 1935, Mary lost her father to a hunting accident. It was at this time her mother moved the family to Sumpter, Oregon, where Mary’s uncles Wallace “Spud” Hudspeth and Earnest Hudspeth and families lived. Mary loved riding her horse to the McEwen School and feeding the cows on the hay wagon in the pasture that is now Phillips Reservoir.
Mary met Sam Valentine and they were married in Baker City, Oregon. They had 3 children together Terry, Sammy, and Jody. After this union dissolved, Mary met the love of her life Samuel Thompson. 2 more daughters were added to the family, Pam and Cindy. After living in various areas of Oregon, Mary and Samuel settled in Pendleton, Oregon.
Mary loved to dance, read and ride horses. Her children loved to listen to the stories she would tell of her childhood days. Because Mary was an avid believer that first impressions were the lasting ones, she always looked her best and taught her children the same. Once you met Mary, it was like you had known her forever.
Mary made many friends while working as a bartender. She was also a certified flagger. Mary continued working until the age of 80.
Mary was always looking for an adventure. She enjoyed camping, going to flea markets with family and attending the Pendleton Round-Up festivities. And if you were up for the challenge, Mary was always ready for that next card game.
Mary suffered many broken hearts with the loss of her son Sammy (1989), husband Samuel (1995), Mother Rachel (2000), daughter Jody (2017), brother William and 3 grandsons Brian, Cody and Hank.
She is survived by son Terry (Kathy) Valentine, Union, Oregon; daughter Pam (Lynn) Wiley, Pendleton, Oregon; daughter Cindy (Mark) Mecham, Watford City, North Dakota; sisters Jean Marrs, Joyce Pierson, and Sharon Soleseng; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions in honor of Mary may be made to the Pendleton Fraternal Order of the Eagles #28 through Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel at 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.