Mary Elizabeth Ayers Risi
July 3, 1928 – May 16, 2015
Mary Elizabeth Ayers Risi, long time resident of Churchill County, died at home, surrounded by her loving family on May 16, 2015. Mary was affectionately known as Moomu to her family and close friends.
She was born in Oakland, California to Louis and Anna Ayers on July 3, 1928, the youngest of 4 siblings. Mary was a city girl living in Oakland when she fell in love and married Roy Risi. They lived in the Oakland Hills with their 6 children. In 1962, they bought 80 acres in Fallon and together learned the hay and ranch business. Mary learned how to live in the country and she and Roy taught the kids everything they learned. A cow was milked twice a day and often times sold to pay for music lessons. She loved to cook using her mother’s recipes and her mother in laws recipes and she shared those recipes with her family. She always served an incredible dinner right at 6. For many years she made butter with a hand churn made in the early 1900’s. She made bread, sewed, and knitted. She knew how to make a house a home. She drove the school bus and directed the choir at the Episcopal Church. She is remembered for her ability to teach harmony. In the early 70’s she wanted to work outside of the home. Without any experience, she got a job at Fallon Jewelry and eventually she and Roy bought the business located on Maine Street. After selling the jewelry store Mary and Roy continued to run the Ranch. It was their desire to live at the Ranch until their death. Both died at the Ranch, Roy in 2009. They were married for 56 years. It is notable that Mary was the last living direct descendant of Ezra Meeker, founder of the Oregon Trail, author, historian, trailblazer and promoter of the Northwest being the first to bring hops to the area. She was proud of his accomplishments and shared his history with her children.
Mary was preceded in death by her beloved daughter, Joanne Risi Paul, and her husband, Roy Risi. Surviving family are sons Michael (Sharon) Risi and Bruce Risi, daughters Joyce Risi (Jim Peters), and Erin (Bill) Cross all of Fallon, and Kelly (Alfred) Hoekenga, of Eureka, NV, 17 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren who all adored their Moomu, her dog Button, who was her constant companion, her cat Carlos, and wonderful family friend who loved Moomu like her own mother, Charlene “Weenie” McFarlane. A graveside service is scheduled for Friday, May 22, 2015 at 11am at Churchill County Cemetery in Fallon. Arrangements are under the direction of The Gardens Funeral Home 2949 Austin Highway Fallon, NV 89406 775 423-8928