Longtime West Texas resident Mary Marie Freeman passed through the pearly gates to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus on March 3, 2020, with her husband Shannon Rudine at her side. She was 101.
Marie was born in Groveton, Texas on Oct. 16, 1918, and was the sixth of seven children born to William Robert Skidmore and Maggie (Jackson) Skidmore. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Hubert Rile Skidmore, and five sisters, Tempia (Davis), Edna Ann (Howell), Fannie Belle (Vest), Luna Sally (Jaramillo), and Maggie Lee "Sally" (Midgley).
Marie worked at Collin Street Bakery and Miller Hat Company before moving to Alpine, Texas with her son Ron Lewis in the late 1940s. Later, she moved to Marfa, Texas, and married James M. "Jim" Freeman in 1951. She purchased and operated the Snow Kream drive-in diner. Cast members from the movie "Giant" often frequented her business. Years later she enjoyed identifying the homes that were rented by various movie stars. Marie loved to reminisce about the people she met in her years living in the Big Bend region.
Marie and Jim Freeman eventually returned to Alpine, where he died in 1985. In 1986 a friend asked Marie if a young college student named Shannon Rudine could rent her upstairs apartment. She agreed, and soon discovered he had a passion for astronomy. He introduced her to the wonders of the West Texas skies. Their casual relationship grew into a long courtship. Marie liked to say that astronomy was the "glue" that stuck them together. Shannon and Marie were married in 1997, and the following year they moved to McDonald Observatory, where he is employed and she lived until her passing. Marie had a number of medical challenges in her final years, but her husband was there to care for her through thick and thin.
Marie is survived by her loving husband Shannon; a son, William Robert "Ron" Lewis (wife Shelley) of Marfa; a grandson, a great grandson, and three great granddaughters. She had a granddaughter, with two great grandsons, and a great granddaughter and a great-great granddaughter and a great-great grandson.
Marie had many family members in East Texas who loved her dearly. She leaves behind numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews, as well as friends and acquaintances from her 70-plus years in West Texas. Marie attended the Fort Davis Church of Christ. No immediate services are planned at present. Memorials can be made in her name to the charity or cause of your choice.
Alpine Memorial Funeral Home was entrusted with her services. Online condolences may be sent to alpinememorialfuneralhome.com.