Obituary, May 11, 2019
Mary Ellen “Dude” Barton, 95, made her last ride on earth on May 10, 2019, in Matador, Texas. A life-long farmer and rancher who lived on the North Pease River in Motley County, Barton was known throughout the region as everyone’s “Aunt Dude.”
Private graveside services for the family will be held at the East Mound Cemetery, Matador, on Wednesday, May 15, with her great-nephew, Danny “Salt” Jones officiating, and arrangements are by Moore-Rose Funeral Home, Floydada. An open memorial service will be held at the Matador Methodist Church, at 2 p.m. with a reception afterwards in the fellowship hall.
The youngest of nine children, Dude grew up riding horses as a toddler and helping her brothers and sisters work cattle on the sandy Pease River bottom. As a teenager she entered local and regional rodeos and excelled in roping, barrel racing, and, at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, the event “Musical Chairs by Horseback.”
She was a founding member of the Girls Rodeo Association (GRA) in the 1940’s and a National Cowgirl Hall of Fame honoree in 1984. She loved nothing more than working on the farm or ranch and when she could no longer do that, she took up wood working as a hobby. She would often say, “I have lived the best life anybody could have had.”
Barton was preceded in death by her parents, W.B. and Ella Orr Barton; her best friend ever, Viola Stinson; her sisters, Opal Martin, Eliza Jones, Allie Hart, and Mollie Burleson; and her brothers, Millard, Clayton, and France Barton. She is survived by fifteen nieces and nephews and a community of friends in the area of Flomot, Turkey, Quitaque, and Matador.
Memorials may be sent to Dude’s favorite charities: The Motley County Library, The Motley Co. Museum, or the Motley County Sr. Citizens, all in Matador, Texas.