QCS Senior Writer
Family and friends gathered Friday morning at the Dunn’s Memorial Chapel in Tucumcari to pay their final respects to Mary Lynn Moncus, a former teacher to many local residents, avid Quay County enthusiast and noted columnist whose weekly stories took readers on a journey through the canyons of Ima.
“I was saddened yet honored, when Lynn asked me to officiate for her funeral,” said Fred Caton, pastor. “She said I was one of her boys and would know what to say. Coming from Lynn that was one of the greatest compliments one could receive.”
Caton officiated over Friday’s memorial and spoke about how strong Moncus’ faith was and how her life’s pursuit reflected one of her favorite prayers, the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi.
“Lord make me an instrument of your peace,” Caton said. “Lynn was very much an instrument in all that she did, in helping to mold the minds of her students, preserving the history of Quay County and being instrumental in all of our lives in so many ways.”
“I am probably one of the few that could get away with calling Lynn “Mary Lynn” said Mark Nixon, a relative.
“I always though of Lynn as a second cousin,” he said, although Moncus would tell him that he was actually a “first cousin once removed.”
“Mary Lynn was quick to correct you, it was part of who she was from all those years as an educator,” Nixon said.
Nixon said he kept in touch with Moncus over the years and would usually try to call her on Sundays, after she had taken a trip to the canyons.
“Mary Lynn enjoyed the time out in the canyons because it gave her a chance to think, reconnect with home and communicate with God,” Nixon said.
Nixon said when he spoke with Moncus she would often talk about one of her boys or girls—former students—whom she had seen or spoken to recently. He said Moncus took much pride in her students, he said. They meant the world to her, he said, and it always made her happy to know they were doing well.
“Mary Lynn impacted many of our lives, as a teacher, friend, relative and through her column that she faithfully wrote for many years,” Nixon said.
Nixon said many have fond memories and stories about Moncus, stories that should be shared with one another to celebrate her life and keep her memory alive. He said one such story he could recall was the time Moncus took him fishing at Ute Lake as a boy.
“At the time I was learning to chew tobacco and thought I was doing a good job of hiding it from Mary Lynn,” Nixon said. “Mary Lynn let me believe that I had in fact hid it from her only to inform my mother when we returned to Nara Visa that I was in fact chewing tobacco.”
Nixon said she was the last of the Moncus line and her passing is a loss for all of the county, and the shared memories and history of Quay County that she helped to record and preserve, “a history she was ever so proud of,” is all that remains.
“Every time I spoke to Mary Lynn she believed and always tried to convince me, that Tucumcari/Quay County was the greatest place to live,” Nixon said.