Mary Lou Midkiff, a longtime Midlander, passed away on August 19, 2022 in Midland, Texas. Mary Lou was born in Los Angeles, CA, on August 8, 1937 to Orpha and Charles Davis. She graduated from Rankin High School in 1955.
In high school, Mary Lou worked as a soda jerk at the town’s drug store. It was there she met John Thomas Midkiff and they married soon after her high school graduation on June 18, 1955. They celebrated their 65th anniversary the year of John’s death in 2020. Together they raised their three sons, Johnny, Greg and Clay in Rankin and on ranches south of Midland. Mary Lou considered her close-knit family to be her life’s crowning accomplishment.
As a child, Mary Lou lived in Los Angeles, Chicago, Gorman, Texas and Rankin, Texas. For much of her childhood she was raised by her grandparents, Eula and Sandy Roberts. After her marriage, she lived with John on ranches in Lampasas and Midkiff, Texas until about 1967 when her youngest son began first grade. She and John then bought the Rankin drug store in which she worked as a high school student. They later moved to Rankin. The business was renamed Mary Lou’s Drug and was a thriving establishment for the next several years. The business was sold in 1972 and the family moved (via Wall, Texas) to a farm a few miles south of Midland. They remained in Midland for the remainder of their lives.
In addition to owning and operating Mary Lou’s Drug, she also worked as a secretary for Rocky Ford Movers, an office manager for Bunny Kent Realtors, a secretary for Hilliard Oil and Gas, and as a business manager for Mack McRea, a successful oil and gas entrepreneur in Midland during the 1970’s and 1980’s. During the mid-1970’s, she and John began to acquire and operate oil and gas wells. She managed the office for this business. Mary Lou also became a computer consultant after ending her employment with McRea.
Mary Lou had tremendous admiration for the large and close knit Midkiff family. This admiration inspired her interest in genealogy and she became the unofficial historian for the family, doing extensive genealogy research and writing two books; one about John’s grandfather, Thomas Oscar Midkiff and the other about John’s grandmother, Lillie Davenport Midkiff. In addition to these two books, she also, with her lifelong friend Audrey Walker, published a cookbook of extended family recipes for their children and grandchildren. Her final publication, a personal memoir, published in 2022, was an incredible gift to her family.
Mary Lou lived with unbounded grace, gratitude and generosity. She never let an offense or a disagreement diminish her love for her friends and family. She never held a grudge. She was a true matriarch and her home was the center of family activity.
Mary Lou is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law; Johnny and Melissa Midkiff, and Greg Midkiff, all of Midland, and Clay and Christa Midkiff of Edmond, OK. Also, sister Nancy Rubenstein, brother and sister-in-Law Charles and Sue Davis, and sister-in-law Toni Midkiff . Further survived by Mary Lou’s pride and joy, grandchildren; Michael Midkiff (Sarah), Renee’ Midkiff Buck (Arvo), Matthew Midkiff (Courtney), TJ Midkiff (Ashlyn), Nathan Midkiff (Taryn), Caleb Midkiff (Kadie), Preston Midkiff (Jennifer), Amber Midkiff Wood (Joel), Aubry Midkiff Nissen (Tim), Elizabeth Midkiff Miers (Andy), Courtney Midkiff Taylor (Waymon), and Darren Midkiff. She had twenty-four great-grandchildren (with more on the way) and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her husband, John Thomas Midkiff, Cindy Michael Midkiff (daughter-in-law), Katherine Denise Midkiff (granddaughter), parents Orpha Davis and Charles Davis and sister Vicky Yowell.
A memorial service is planned for 10:00 AM, Saturday, August 27, 2022 at First Christian Church in Midland, followed by a reception. Memorial donations may be made in Mary Lou’s honor to the High Sky Children’s Ranch, First Christian Church of Midland, or a charity of your choice.
Special thanks to Dr. Shelton Viney and Dr. Shylesh Ganta for their many years of special care and friendship.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences may be made at www.npwelch.com.
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