Mary DeBoy (Hampton)
Mary DeBoy 1929 - 2018
Mary DeBoy passed peacefully from this world in the early morning hours of May 6, 2018 at the age of 88. She was born Mary Elizabeth Hampton in 1929 in Baltimore, MD, the youngest daughter of Graham and Ardis Hampton who had recently moved from Boone, NC in search of work. Mary grew up on a farm in rural Maryland, dreaming of exploring the wider world. After graduation from the Baltimore Business College, she worked as a secretary at Edgewood Army Arsenal where she captured the heart of Captain William "Bill" DeBoy. They were married in 1955 and soon began a life of travel that led them first to White Sands Missile Range, NM, then on to Killeen, TX, and Stuttgart, Germany, all while raising three daughters who each lent their own spirits of adventure to the family dynamic.
After Bill's military retirement, the family settled in Las Cruces under the brilliant light and wide open skies that Mary and Bill loved so much. Mary loved to be outdoors, camping, hiking, or walking the desert at sunrise. Even after a 1997 automobile accident left her with the need to use walkers and wheelchairs, she still went out into the New Mexico sunshine at every opportunity.
Mary had a deep relationship with Christ that brought her through many times of trouble and bubbled over into relationships with everyone around her. She befriended people from all walks of life, responding to the love she saw in them even if they could not always see it in themselves. She had a deep and abiding interest in caring for friends and neighbors, providing emotional and spiritual support where she could, always offering a listening ear and a big bear hug.
Mary played many roles over the years and could host a formal dinner party as an officer's wife as easily as she could plan a family camping trip. She kept her secretarial skills sharpened by serving as secretary to the Presbyterian Campus Ministry, and continued to write notes to herself in shorthand well into her senior years. She volunteered her time to the community by working with special-needs children at the Open Door Center, stocking shelves at the Mountain View Market Co-op, and hosting foreign students from India and France, all while serving as the quintessential chauffeur, driving daughters to after-school events. She was a skilled seamstress, spiritual coach, healer, nurturer, and nutritional chef, and served as an ad hoc counselor to her daughters and their friends as they moved through their teenage years.
Mary's first love was her family and her second was music. Her voice was her instrument and she gave and received much joy from lifting it in song with church and community choirs throughout her lifetime. In Las Cruces, she sang with the Mesilla Valley Chorale, the Chancel Choir at the First Presbyterian Church, and as soloist at weddings and other churches. She directed youth choirs at White Sands and served as song leader for many Girl Scout troops throughout her years of raising a family. She often auditioned for local theater productions of Broadway musicals, landing leading roles in My Fair Lady, Brigadoon, and Guys and Dolls. She shared this love of singing with her husband, and their trademark was bursting into song as they drove the highways across the country, teaching each other pop hits from the 30's and 40's. Mary continued to sing with the choral groups at Good Samaritan Las Cruces Village where she had lived since 1998, and could be heard breaking into song at the drop of any phrase that reminded her of a pop hit or hymn.
Mary is preceded in death by her parents, her two sisters, Lahoma Rice of Alton, IL, and Stella May Hawks of Bel Air, MD, and her husband Lt. Col. (Ret.) William H. DeBoy. She is survived by her daughters, Kathleen DeBoy (Richard Layne) of Las Cruces, NM, Patricia DeBoy Garlick (Troy) of Farmington, NM and Jennifer DeBoy Collier (Steve) of Branson, MO, grandchildren Colton Garlick and Eliya Collier, and many nieces and nephews.
Mary's family would like to extend special thanks to all of her friends at Good Samaritan who helped her navigate wheelchair logistics so as to participate in musical productions at Good Sam and attend the hymn singing groups on Monday afternoons, Tuesday evenings, and Saturday mornings.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Good Samaritan Employees Christmas Fund to benefit the employees who have provided attentive care to Mary over the last twelve years of her life, to First Presbyterian Church of Las Cruces, or to Mesilla Valley Hospice.
A memorial service and celebration of Mary's life will be held on June 9, 2018 at 1pm in the auditorium at Good Samaritan Las Cruces Village.