Mary Lyman Ringer died peacefully at home on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at the age of 94. Born March 15, 1925 in Minneapolis, MN, to Madeleine Howard and Stanley Mitchell Lyman, she spent her early years in Minneapolis and Lake Minnetonka. She married Charles Judd Ringer in 1946 and they spent their honeymoon in Red Lodge, which they fell in love with. They eventually built a cabin on the West Fork of Rock Creek where they spent winter and summer vacations with their four children. Wanting to learn more about the area, she and Judd started the Institute of the Rockies where they and interested friends could learn about the cultural, historical and natural environment in this part of Montana. They organized a yearly trip with professionals and specialists in various fields. The Institute still carries on their mission today.
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When Judd died in 1990, Mary moved out to Red Lodge permanently the following year. Here she was in her element. She had a passion for life and the natural world around her. She was an avid hiker and skier, ever exploring Red Lodge and it's environ with family and friends. She was an accomplished fly fisher and relished a breakfast of rainbow trout caught from the creek minutes before. A skilled and adventurous cook, she loved sharing new recipes with family and friends. She loved gardening and knew all the wild flowers and mushrooms around Red Lodge and on the Beartooth Pass. A true naturalist.
An artist all of her life, she excelled in Watercolor and Oil painting. Early on, she became involved with The Carbon County Arts Guild and was on the board in several capacities up until her death. She had an enquiring mind and mastered many other creative endeavors including, sculpture, wood carving, and basket making. She could do anything she put her mind to.
Her family was her anchor. She instigated countless family gatherings, summoning her children from near and far. Seeing them all come together was her greatest joy. Infinitely strong and independent, she was an inspiration in her determination and positive thinking. She will be remembered for her feisty strength of character, innate creativity, a never ending enthusiasm for all of life's mysteries and an incredible will to live. And, for never missing her ritual evening Scotch! RIP Mother Mary.
Mary was predeceased by her husband, Judd, sister Alice Harrison and brother Stanley Lyman, Jr. She is survived by her 4 children, Suzanne deLesseps (Michael), Charles Ringer, Jr. (Emily), Stanley Ringer (Elizabeth), and Robert Ringer (Tammy); 5 grandchildren, Willow Ringer (James), Zeb Ringer, Tahmina Ringer (Robert), Emily Ringer (Ben), Robert Ringer (Carina) and Madeleine Ringer (Alex); 3 great grandchildren, Charles and Logan Soper and Svea Hamel; and her beloved dog Lilly.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to Denise Rivette for her care and dedication for the last 3 1/2 years. Thanks also to Drs. Bill George and Greg Burfeind and the staff at Beartooth Billings Clinic, Homecare and Hospice for their thoughtful, loving care.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Old Piney Dell at Rock Creek Resort, on Sunday, January 26, from 2-4 pm. Gifts in memory of Mary can be made to the Carbon County Arts Guild, The Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary and the Nature Conservancy of Montana.