Mary Eleanor Patterson Backus, age 97, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family in Tempe, Arizona on February 8, 2018. She was born in Douglas, Arizona on May 23, 1920 to Murray Edwin Patterson and Velma Elizabeth Williams Patterson and was the 1st of 3 children. The family homesteaded a ranch in Apache, AZ in 1919, “proved up” on it and moved to Mesa, AZ when Mary was 8 years old. She graduated from Mesa High School and then earned a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Arizona State Teachers College. Afterward she taught school full time in Morenci and then Phoenix. She married her husband Russell Henry Backus on December 29,1946. After their four children were raised she taught as a substitute teacher until retiring at the age of 85. She then enjoyed volunteering at Project C.U.R.E. for the next 10 years. Mary was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother & great- grandmother.
She is survived by her sister Inez (Boyle) Larry, children Bob (Nancy) Backus, Linda (Stan) Morrison, Nancy (Bill) Beggs, 8 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Russell Backus, daughter Janet Anne Backus, and brother Bill (Martha) Patterson. Visitation will be held on Sunday, February 11, from 6:00-8:00 PM at Richardson Funeral Home, 2621 S Rural Rd, Tempe, AZ, 85282. Funeral services will be held Monday, February 12, at 11:00 AM at Mission Del Sol Presbyterian Church, 1565 E Warner Rd,Tempe, AZ 85284. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Mission Del Sol Presbyterian Church at www.MissionDelSol.org. Richardson Funeral Home, Tempe, Arizona is compassionately serving the family.