Mary Catherine Contival, 82, of Morgan Hill, California, died peacefully in her home surrounded by her family early in the morning on March 8, 2014 following a long illness. Mary was born on December 2, 1931 while her parents were visiting Manteca, California. She is predeceased by her parents William and Mabel (Johnson) Boggs.
Mary along with her husband Gordon, ran The Contival Ranch and raised sheep, Border Collies and other livestock in the eastern foothills of Morgan Hill. She attended Live Oak High School, graduating in 1950 and then went on to Hartnell College in Salinas. In her young adult years she worked at the downtown Morgan Hill family business The Jolly Inn. Her working career also included Morgan Hill Drug and Gilroy Foods. Mary was also a homemaker and the matriarch of her large family.
She is survived by her husband of fifty-six years years Gordon Contival Sr. and all seven of her children, Linda Lego; Peggy (Danny) Hebert; Rosemary Feldman; Laura (Sam) Rockwell; Gordon Contival Jr.; Sandy (Craig) Brisendine; and Richard (Sheryl) Contival. Mary was a wonderful grandmother to seventeen grandchildren, twenty-three great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. She is also survived by her siblings Bernice Berchem; Benton McRay; and Michael McRay. She was a woman of the 21st century.
Mary enjoyed keeping up with her family with her iPad and Facebook and the universe by daily monitoring the exploration of Mars by the Curiosity rover. She helped young women be part of the Future Farmers of America at Live Oak High School in the early 60's being the first Female Farm Advisor. She was the Community leader of Morgan Hill 4-H, and as the club grew she helped found the Countryside 4-H Club. Mary served on the Santa Clara County Fair Committee and was a past member of the California CattleWomen's Association. She was a member of the Redwood Empire Sheepdog Association and showed her wonderful Border Collie, Butch. A true lover of animals she had many types of pets over her lifetime. Her last dog " Chance" was her house companion for almost seventeen years.
Mary was from an American Pioneering family and enjoyed tracing her roots. She made an annual pilgrimage to the 12 Original Pioneers Family Reunion, in Missouri, taking along as many family members as she could convince to attend. A long time member of First Baptist Church she also enjoyed playing the piano,music, jig-saw puzzles, hunting, fishing, reading, Nintendo Chess, and bathing in the Northern California natural hot springs. Mary was a loyal San Francisco Giants fan and also loved visiting her family log cabin in Cassel, California. Mary was a seasoned traveler and took many trips with her family, sometimes with quite large groups.
The celebration of Mary's life under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home, Morgan Hill, California will be held on Thursday, March 13, 2014, 10:00 A.M. at Johnson Funeral Home. Friends and family are invited to attend a reception at the Morgan Hill Grange Hall immediately following the service.
Her internment will be at the Burney Cemetary, Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 11:00 A.M.
Remembrances in Mary's honor may be sent to:
Cal Farley's Boys Ranch - Girlstown, USA & Family Resource Centers. P.O. Box 1890 Amarillo, TX 79174
, 550Camino El Estero, Monterey, CA 93940
Disabled Vetran's Life Memorial Foundation, Inc., P. O. Box 66395, Washington DC 20035