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‘Burro Lady’ dead at age 65

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SHANEA

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Why All This Confusion In and About the Temple?
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2007, 02:59:49 PM »
from the Border Hotline....

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Magers' funeral set for Monday
Linda Bailey Potter 02.FEB.07
Alpine – Bill Ivey informed Border Hotline News that a graveside service for Judy Ann Magers, the “Burro Lady,” is set for 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 5, at the Terlingua Cemetery. Judy died Jan. 26 at her campsite near Sierra Blanca. She had been a resident of the area for many years.
 
Magers' funeral cancelled until further notice
Linda Bailey Potter 01.FEB.07
ALPINE – According to Bill Ivey, after talking to Judy Ann Magers' daughter, the funeral originally planned for the “Burro Lady” in Terlingua this afternoon, Feb. 1, has been cancelled until her family has had a chance to make the arrangements for her burial, which is still planned for Terlingua.

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Offline wolfsong

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‘Burro Lady’ dead at age 65
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2007, 08:19:06 PM »
I enjoy all the personal stories that are shared,  and would like to hear more.    I don't know how to post pictures here,  so I'll post a new one on my web site:

http://terlinguagallery.com/id26.html

It was June 2003, coming back from Alpine, I saw Judy getting ready to make camp for the evening,  next to the Frontier, on 118.    She told me the folks in the Frontier said it just rained 3/4 inch.   Ditch was filled with water at her camp site,  the burro's blankets were soaked,  and Judy was shaking off the water from the tarp she would be sleeping under, or over.   She said her "donkey didn't mind that all the blankets were wet,  he was used to it".   I was worried about her trying to sleep with wet blankets,  and only the tarp, because the ground was too cool and evaporation rate is fast  in June,   so I insisted she take a similar Mexican blanket which I happened to have in the truck, because she was first saying she'd be ok without any dry blankets.   But she agreed to take it, saying,  Ok,  but I'll put it right on the fence,  tomorrow,  and you can get it later.    How many nights I wonder did she sleep on a cold wet ground, in the 20 years.  

This was the last picture she let me take of her,  and I heard from numerous people that she started refusing her picture taken also,  about this time.

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Offline Burro Bill

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Judy Magers Memroial Trail
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2007, 09:01:09 AM »
I think the state of Texas should declare that stretch of road looping from Van Horn south to Terlingua, La Jitas, North to Alpine, Ft. Davis looping back to 54 as the Judy Magers Memorial Trail. This scenic route should be marked with brown signs printed in tan showing a lone mounted figure riding a Burro...what do ya'll think?
I'd rather ride the worst mule than to be stuck on what some folks call a good saddle horse!!

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Offline dos zetas

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‘Burro Lady’ dead at age 65
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2007, 10:18:46 AM »
That is a good idea. I am amazed at how many people in Marathon have been talking about her this week, and at the newspaper stories.
One of my little herd of burros formerly belonged to her, and resided in Terlingua for a while- "Old Lightning".
Sure  do wish he could tell me some stories.

Zach

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Judy Magers Memroial Trail
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2007, 12:46:48 PM »
Quote from: "Burro Bill"
I think the state of Texas should declare that stretch of road looping from Van Horn south to Terlingua, La Jitas, North to Alpine, Ft. Davis looping back to 54 as the Judy Magers Memorial Trail. This scenic route should be marked with brown signs printed in tan showing a lone mounted figure riding a Burro...what do ya'll think?


i vote,  yea.

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SHANEA

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Re: Judy Magers Memroial Trail
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2007, 01:49:51 PM »
Quote from: "Burro Bill"
I think the state of Texas should declare that stretch of road looping from Van Horn south to Terlingua, La Jitas, North to Alpine, Ft. Davis looping back to 54 as the Judy Magers Memorial Trail. This scenic route should be marked with brown signs printed in tan showing a lone mounted figure riding a Burro...what do ya'll think?


Good time to do it, since the legislature is in session.  I'd suggest contacting the office of  State Rep. Pete Gallego (D), Dist. 74 to see what can be done.  Maybe some unnamed person on this board that has legislative ties and works as a lobyst can make a suggestion :?:

You idea Burro Bill - run with it :!:

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Judy Magers Memroial Trail
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2007, 01:51:40 PM »
Quote from: "Burro Bill"
I think the state of Texas should declare that stretch of road looping from Van Horn south to Terlingua, La Jitas, North to Alpine, Ft. Davis looping back to 54 as the Judy Magers Memorial Trail. This scenic route should be marked with brown signs printed in tan showing a lone mounted figure riding a Burro...what do ya'll think?

..Go for it, Burro Bill :!:
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline Burro Bill

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Magers Memorial Trail/How?
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2007, 05:28:56 PM »
Folks I have given this project a lot of thought the road signs could be in the shape of an Indian Arrow Head, colored dark brown... with the point facing up, or in the direction of travel. The image of a lone rider on the burro and any text could be printed in a tan or yellow/gold color.

Now I'm not from Texas (even though my people are) who would I have to contact to get the ball rolling on this project? I have e-mailed ya'lls local News Papers Alpine/Marfa...but this should be a grass roots effort from the area that Judy loved the most. Maybe a petition drive, maybe a letter to the editor campaign...Ya'll live there I need ya'lls input and suggestions... and I need you to help contact the right folks in the right places.

I could organize a Mule and Horse ride from Vanhorn to Terlingua to help raise awarness ... I will Be in Terlingua for Judy's funeral, would be glad to talk with any one that might be interested in the Judy Magers Memorial Trail... won't be hard to find I have long hair, big palm leaf cowboy hat, high top boots, silver spurs...Name is Howdy Fowler
I'd rather ride the worst mule than to be stuck on what some folks call a good saddle horse!!

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Offline wolfsong

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‘Burro Lady’ dead at age 65
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2007, 06:15:23 PM »
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I have e-mailed ya'lls local News Papers Alpine/Marfa...but this should be a grass roots effort from the area that Judy loved the most. Maybe a petition drive, maybe a letter to the editor campaign...Ya'll live there I need ya'lls input and suggestions... and I need you to help contact the right folks in the right places.



Bill,    John Waters is the editor for the local monthly paper, the BIG BEND GAZETTE,  lives in Terlingua,  and I believe will be writing an article on her in the March issue.  The paper covers stories and is distributed in the entire Big Bend area.   They had an article in February's issue on Judy,  but it was not in depth,  due to the late announcement of her dying.    Their web site is
 
http://www.bigbendgazette.com/
and their email address is under ABOUT OUR PUBLICATION/CONTACT US.

It would be good for you to include your wonderful idea in that paper.   I will ask around for more contact info for you on Sunday.    

Bon

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Offline dos zetas

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‘Burro Lady’ dead at age 65
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2007, 09:01:50 AM »
I will submit that idea in the Marathon paper too.
I am surprised at the amount of talk about her here- also the photos that have appeared.

Zach

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Offline Roy

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‘Burro Lady’ dead at age 65
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2007, 09:19:42 AM »
Don't know who you'd have to contact first, but somewhere along the line you're going to have to deal with Texas DOT, and I suspect that's going to be a long hard slog.  Asking them to change something is like asking a glacier to change course. ](*,)

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Offline Burro Bill

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Judy Magers Memorial Trail
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2007, 09:29:45 AM »
I wouldn't want the Texas DOT to change anything...just put up a few new signs. This would be a pretty simple deal. Heck if we had to we could raise the money to pay for each sign, if the DOT would furnish the post to hang them on... I'd buy the first one!!
I'd rather ride the worst mule than to be stuck on what some folks call a good saddle horse!!

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Offline wolfsong

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‘Burro Lady’ dead at age 65
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2007, 10:28:07 AM »
I agree,  trying to get TxDot to do any signs other than traditional signs such as speed limits, adobt highway, and names of mountains or places,  will be difficult.   The final say are people (and lots of paperwork) in Austin.   But there are several private tracts along the Scenic Route from Lajitas to Presidio,  who would likely be willing to let a sign be put up on the fence line.      If you want the sign on the actual road side,  someone would have to name a mountain after her,  and then TxDot would be very happy to put up a sign pointing out the mountain and its elevation.   They CAN do that,  as I've found out from past communications with them.

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SHANEA

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More... - kinda back on topic...
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2007, 06:03:46 PM »


From the Border Hot Line...  This is going to be a huge funeral - someone be sure and take tons of pics....

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Magers was ‘wild as the wind’ but it was a wind she knew
 
‘Burro Lady’ in 2002 as she was leaving Marathon for Alpine on Hwy 90 in front of the Marathon Motel. photo courtesy of James Evans
Linda Bailey Potter 04.FEB.07
ALPINE – Judy Ann Magers, the “Burrow Lady,” died from natural causes Friday, Jan. 26, at her campsite near Sierra Blanca. She came from a ranching family, raised on the great plains of Nebraska, and was born to Ike and Cleta Magers Sept. 25, 1941, she was 65 years of age. Local residents tried to get her to go to shelters during the recent cold winter weather but she said that she couldn’t leave her burro.

“Judy and her donkey will long be remembered as icons of the free spirit and generosity among residents that is so unique to West Texas,” Bill Ivey said. “Recognized by thousands of people that traveled the highways by car, Judy Magers is perhaps the most famous ‘unknown’ person that has ever lived in this part of the State.”

She was “wild as the wind” said her daughter Jane Wood Burke of Newell, S. D. Meaning that she was a cowgirl from the word go, and rode horses bareback as a girl growing up in a ranching/western environment. “She always thought that someone was after her,” Burke said. An aunt in Kansas raised Judy and Judy’s father lived just as she did, Burke said.

It has been years since Burke saw or talked to her mother. “The last time I talked to her on the phone she said that she didn’t look good.” Burke and her siblings all tried to give her money and help over the years but that Judy wouldn’t hear of it. She was not one for handouts. Burke had talked to a deputy some years ago and he checked on her mother and said that she was O.K. and that people were looking after her. He promised to call if anything happened.

Judy has five children from three marriages. Two sons, Clay Gilman, Fellows, Calif., and Clint Wood from Wickenburg, Ariz.; and three daughters, Jane (Wood) Burke, Newell, S.D., Tonya Wilson of Mandan, N.D., and Mandy (Freeman) Ohlheiser, also from Wiliston, N.D.
Lt. Tom Burns, Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office, told Border Hotline that he remembers Judy being around Van Horn on her burro as early as 1975. Ivey remembers her in the 80s at Lajitas and then in Terlingua.

Ivey said that he remembers Judy first camping out in Colorado Canyon in what is now the Big Bend Ranch State Park. He and others would take her food and check on her. Then when the ranch was sold to the State, she was moved to Lajitas.
Judy told Ivey that she wanted to be buried in “Terlingua Boot Hill,” with her boots and spurs on. Burke said that this was interesting as Deadwood Boot Hill, S. D. is not far from where she lived and that it’s where Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane are buried, as well as other historic western figures.

There are many locals in the Big Bend area who befriended Judy over the years, if nothing else, keeping tabs on her. If the dates are correct, she must have come to this area in her late 20s/early 30s, which means that she lived here from 35 to 40 years.

But, Judy was no doubt a loner, preferring to live under the big Texas sky and starlit nights camping out with her burro. She had at some point in time been declared by the courts as “mentally incompetent.” The government declared Ivey as her guardian so that she could receive social security checks for her disability.

For many this idea to live as she did would be considered “crazy.” However, something must have happened to Judy as she dealt with the routine of life that made her realize that she was having problems coping. So, she went back to the only thing that she knew for sure, and that was as living as a cowgirl once more. It is what she knew and for her it must have given her solace, which gave her the ability to stay here as long as she did.

And, south Brewster County was a place where anyone can live and let live without interference from society. The way a person lives it their business is their motto. So, Judy was in good hands, they let her be and she must of felt at home in the beautiful Chihuahuan Desert, a place that probably that reminded her of a time in her life when she was the happiest, on the Kansas plains.

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SHANEA

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More...
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2007, 07:05:46 PM »
From the http://www.alpineavalanche.com

http://www.alpineavalanche.com/articles/2007/02/04/news/news01.txt

You can tell I'm not watching the Super Bowl...

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'Burro Lady' rides into the sunset at age 65"As tough, as independent and as kind-hearted as West Texas," is how Rebecca Pape remembers her friend, Judy Ann Magers, who passed away Friday, Jan. 26, at her campsite in Hudspeth County near Sierra Blanca.

Affectionately known as the "Burro Lady" Magers had been a fixture in the Big Bend and beyond, often seen riding her donkey up and down the roadways and interstate highways of West Texas. Living off the land, she became a welcomed personality and part-time resident in all communities from Sanderson to El Paso.

While one of the best-liked people in West Texas, very few people even knew her name. Bill Ivey, who was a rafting guide on the Rio Grande when Magers first came to the area in the 1980's was one of the few. Contrary to some of the wilder rumors, Magers was not independently wealthy, but lived on Social Security payments. Lacking a fixed address other than "On the land, Terlingua, Texas," it was Ivey who was authorized to receive her checks and handle her modest financial transactions. Even so, he knew very little about her past, or her daily routine. Attempts to contact her only known survivor, Sue Johnson of South Dakota, have so far been unsuccessful. Pape believes Magers was from California originally.

 
 

"She just didn't talk about her past. When I met her, she was camping on the Colorado Canyon run-in. She wouldn't accept charity, and insisted on paying for everything. She later moved to Lajitas, where I ran the trading post and got to know her," Ivey recalled. Her legal guardian, even he was surprised to learn she still kept a valid drivers license. "She once owned a Cadillac, but removed the back seat so her donkey could ride in comfort," Ivey said.

He didn't know the burro's name, but everyone at the Triangle Market did-Merle.

"She loved Merle. We all loved Merle," said Pape.

Pape and her employees at Alpine's Triangle Market looked forward to visits from "Miss Judy" and Merle the Burro. As did Merle. The Triangle Market was a regular stop for Magers and Merle, who particularly enjoyed his sour-apple green lollipop. Pape added she hoped Merle receives a lifetime supply of his favorite treat, though not more than one a day, since sugar probably isn't healthy for burros.

Magers lived as she wanted. She was not anti-social, or a recluse, but rather a tough-minded, free-spirited woman who chose, like other Big Bend residents, to maintain her independence at all costs. She would talk to people, but not about her past. Folks remember her as sensible and coherent, well-spoken and polite. But fiercely independent.

"She had two sides. There was a softness and gentleness in her love for Merle, and toughness. She was as tough as the West Texas weather," Pape said.

Her tough, gentle, free-spirited heart simply gave out. She was 65 years old when Border Patrol agents discovered her near death last Friday.

Funeral arrangements are pending. By her own request, Magers will be buried at "Boot Hill" in Terlingua. Always scrupulous about paying her own way, Magers insisted on paying Ivey $5 every time he delivered supplies, or brought her cash. The several hundred dollars Ivey put away over the years, $5 at a time, will help defray some funeral expenses, and the Hudspeth County Commissioners Court has also made a donation.

Hudspeth County Judge Becky Dean-Walker also took temporary custody of Merle. She is quite happy to keep him, but would be willing to give him a home where he'll receive the care and affection he'd come to know.

"That burro ate better than Judy did," said Ivey.

Donations for outstanding costs, a headstone and lollipops for Merle can be sent to the Judy Magers Memorial Fund, c/o St. Agnes Church, P.O. Box 295, Terlingua, TX 79852.

 


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