Born in Horton, Missouri, Mary moved around frequently as a child due to her father working as a depot agent for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. The family lived in six small towns in Missouri until Mary was 10, when they finally made a permanent move to Arma, Kansas. She met her future husband, Ray, when she was 15, and the two married after she graduated from business college in Kansas City, Missouri. They were married for 68 years and had three children. Mary's oldest daughter, Barbara, lives with her at Beatitudes Campus in Phoenix, where they enjoy the many amenities the community has to offer.