In Loving Memory.
Mary Ann Conn and Jack Davis wedding at Church in the Wildwood, September 3, 1958
Mary Ann Conn Davis was a treasured member of the Green Mountain Falls community and a beloved lifelong member of Church in the Wildwood. She attended Sunday School here as a child, when CWW was still known as a Congregational church. She later sent her own children to Sunday school at CWW and served as Director of the Nursery.
Mary Ann married Jack Davis in Church in the Wildwood on September 3, 1958. Her sister Marg Ed (Margaret Edna) also wed at the church. They both wore the same dress, as did her daughter, Katie Davis Gardner, in her 1988 wedding. Mary Ann served as Church in the Wildwood's Nursery Director for many years. She retired only a couple of years before she died, when she felt she could no longer get all the children up the stairs to the main floor in the event of an emergency. The Church Nursery Room will be dedicated in her memory and named in her honor.
Mary Ann grew up in Hartsholme, the last house her grandparents owned and where her parents lived the entirety of their married lives. Mary Ann's grandmother Margaret Geddes Hart named the house. At one time, none of the houses in GMF or Chipita Park had numbered addresses. They were either known by the family that owned the house or by the house's given name.
Hartsholme is on Maple Street in GMF. [Mary Ann is seen here with her sister Marg Ed in front of Hartsholme]. Early resident E. E. Brown built the house in 1888. Margaret Geddes Hart purchased the house for her family in 1919. Mary Ann left home when she married in 1958. She returned after her mother passed in 1986 and lived at Hartsholme until her own passing in 2021. The house has now been in the family for over 100 years.
Mary Ann served her community in many ways:
Mary Ann was greatly influenced by her parents' sense of civic duty and community involvement. Her mother bought and sold real estate, participated in the Church in the Wildwood Ladies Guild, served as an election judge, and started a local library that later became part of the library in Cascade. Education was of great importance to Mary Ann's mother, who instilled a love of learning in her children and grandchildren. Mary Ann's father served as a volunteer fire fighter, as well as on the town council, the school board, and as mayor. These early experiences with her parents contributed to her creative and giving spirit, and taught her to be innovative and persistent in her pursuits.
Mary Ann's public service started in high school where she served on the Student Council and as Editor of the school newspaper and yearbook. Later, she volunteered at Ute Pass Elementary School, compiling a History of the Ute Pass School District and an album of school activities. This album is still at Ute Pass Elementary. Mary Ann was an honored guest at the school's 50th anniversary a couple of years before she passed. Mary Ann co-founded the Ute Pass Historical Society with Sandy Lampe and Jan Pettit. They began by conducting oral history interviews with locals. Mary Ann, along with her mother and others identified many of the photographs now in the UPHS collections; many of the photos, in fact, were given by Mary Ann's mother, Dorothy Hart Conn. Every three years the Cascade mansion named Marigreen Pines is open to the public for tours. Mary Ann, Sandy Lampe, and Jan Pettit organized this in the late 1970s as a way for the public to see this important historic site. It is the primary event that raises funds for the Ute Pass Historical Society. Mary Ann co-authored local history books, including: Green Mountain Falls: Stories of the Early Years and Discovering Ute Pass Vol. I: Tales of Lower Ute Pass, available at the UPHS Gift Shop. In recognition of her many contributions, the Ute Pass Historical Society dedicated their 2021 3rd quarter newsletter to her memory.
The family and community held a Celebration of Life for Mary Ann on June 11, 2022.
Mary Ann was always upgrading any home she lived in, particularly Hartsholme. She loved gardening. To this day, her bright yellow daffodils greet visitors strolling along the Hart-Conn trail that runs along the creek beside her house. She also had a passion for genealogy, family history, sewing, quilting, family get-togethers and picnics, and she was all about Christmas, birthdays, and other holidays.
In addition to the flowers she cultivated, the field behind her house was filled with wild flowers. The first flowers to come out in the spring were always the anemones. Her daughter, Katie Gardner, recalls, "We always celebrated May Day by going out to pick anemones for the little paper baskets we wove to take to our teachers. Celebrating holidays and milestones, and keeping traditions - that’s what my mom loved."
Over the years, many family dogs found a way into her heart: Jiggs, Prince, Chico, and Popo. She also owned horses: Star and Cloud. Her horses lived on the back lot of the Conn property in the summers and were stabled in Crystola through the winter. She was Bronc Day Queen and her children rode horses in Bronc Day from an early age. In her later years, Mary Ann and her husband served as Grand Marshalls of Bronc Day.
Mary Ann loved hunting and shooting with her father Malcolm Conn, and owned her own small-sized rifle. Some of her other favorite things were Mickey Mouse, poppies, the movie "Song of the South," and ice skating on the GMF Lake (see photo above).
For more photos of Mary Ann, visit the Gallery page.
Mother: Dorothy Hart Conn (b.1902 - d.1987)
Dorothy [right, with Mary Ann, age 1] was born Dorothy Geddes Hart in Cascade, Colorado in the little light blue house which still stands behind the Cascade Post Office. Dorothy and her parents also lived in another house in Cascade on Chipita Park Road near the old Cascade Post Office which was where The Rock Shop is today. They lived close to the PO as Margaret was the Postmistress for a number of years. Dorothy was college educated at Colorado College; she had to take the Midland train downtown and she lived at the YWCA in Colorado Springs during the week for classes; she learned to deal in real estate from her mother who made her living buying and selling houses in GMF. Dorothy formally learned the real estate business under Gertrude Dow Cruff who was the daughter of F. E. Dow, one of 5 original investors of the GMF Town Company (incorporated in 1887. Dorothy owned several of the summer homes in GMF, having either inherited them from her parents (her mother is the one who developed that property business) or having purchased them herself. She and her husband, Malcolm, kept the keys to the summer residences for virtually everyone and their house was the first stop when they arrived in GMF where they would let themselves into the front porch and find their key on a large wooden board to at least 100 properties! I image just about everyone knew them and it follows that many also knew their children, Marg Ed and Mary Ann. Dorothy had the properties cleaned before summer residents arrived and after they left; she had the sheets and towels cleaned at a cleaners and laundry on the West Side of Colorado Springs (earlier known as Old Colorado City.) Dorothy hired many a teenager to clean the summer cabins and homes. Her daughters Marg Ed and Mary Ann both cleaned houses, and Mary Ann's oldest daughter Katie Davis cleaned houses as a summer job, ca. 1977-1980. Margaret Peterson and Allison Selk were others who also cleaned houses.
While Mary Ann's older sister, Marg Ed frequently knocked heads with their mother, Mary Ann figured out that she could cheerfully agree to all of her mother's restrictions and rules without argument, and then go off and do whatever she liked!
Father: Malcolm Conn III (b.1899 - d.1979)
Malcolm was born at the historic Eldridge Hotel in Lawrence, KS which was owned by his father and mother, Malcolm Conn, Jr. and Edna Haldeman Conn; and prior to that, by his grandfather, Malcolm Conn I. Malcolm came to GMF with Lawrence, KS friends, the Morrows. The Morrows were also hotel owners. They summered/vacationed in GMF regularly. George Morrow and Malcolm were best friends. Malcolm met Dorothy Hart when he saw her washing her car in Catamount Creek near her home. He wondered if she needed help because she had somehow run her car into the creek accidentally but no, that was just Dorothy being outrageous as she was known to be! He moved to GMF to marry her. He was a general contractor who built several of the houses in GMF including that belonging to Zoe Davis whose house was up the Canyon on Belvidere Ave.
Memories of My Mother
by Laurie Davis Waalkes
As a little girl, my mother, Mary Ann Conn Davis, was a tomboy. She would come home with her jeans soaked to the hips in back, and naturally be in some trouble. (They didn't have electric dryers then!) She protested that she hadn't been playing in the creek! They figured out that when she used her rope to swing like Tarzan across the creek, the cuffs of her jeans would drag across the stream, scooping up water, which would then pour up her legs as she continued the swing on the far side of the water.
She rode her horse around Green Mountain Falls delivering telegrams during the summer. She was the Bronc Day Queen as a teenager and the Bronc Day Grand Marshal as a sixty year old. She was the author of two books, the co-founder of the Ute Pass Historical Society, an election judge, a faithful attendant for nursery schoolers and an amazing mother. I miss her every single day and always will.”
Memories of My Aunt Mary Ann
by Cheri Snyder Ward The passing of my Aunt Mary Ann has been difficult for so many people especially for my Uncle Jack as they were always together. That is what I will always remember the most is their strong marriage, partnership, respect, and love for each other. When I was growing up, everyone would laugh about how I would lump their names into one, “Jack and Mary Ann,” as a single entity. In my world they really were and I still feel comfort knowing that when I hold my Uncle Jack whether it is in person or in my heart, I am holding my Aunt Mary Ann too.
When I think of her voice, the phrase I can hear my Aunt Mary Ann saying the most is “Jack” when we would have conversations about how they were or what they had been doing. Several of these conversations were on the phone when I would call her for her birthday after she would always have a card sent on time for mine. I always thought it was fun that her birthday was the day before mine. She absolutely illuminated the Pisces characteristics of being emotionally aware, gracious, creative, and imaginative. Even her handwriting was artistic and her words always meaningful.
I loved her sense of style with looks that included country, western, and southwestern. All also paired with beautiful jewelry. She looked great in hats. Her talent for style was shared many times over through her artistic works. I was the lucky recipient of a southwest wall quilt for my wedding, a darling quilted Christmas advent calendar, and quilted Christmas stockings for my family of five. My most treasured treasures are the Christmas ornament collections from her gifted to me and all three of my children since we were born. Many of them were handmade by her.
It was a beloved annual Christmas tradition that has left our tree quite full and hanging them up every year will still be very heartfelt time spent in tribute to her. It always has been. Clearly she spoiled me with many prized possessions which I adore. However the gift of time spent together is what is most meaningful. I feel really lucky that all my extended family lives so close when so many families never get to see each other. Even though we all have busy lives and wish we could see each other more, my reflection on times spent with my “Jack and Mary Ann” has proved that we did indeed enjoyed many special family gatherings and that I am part of a close and connected family.
These special times included family reunions, weddings, graduations, summer birthday parties for Jack Davis Sr., Christmas dinners at Jack Davis Sr., Christmas bake-offs with my cousins in my Aunt Mary Ann’s kitchen, birthday gatherings at Rudy’s for Jack Davis Jr., birthday parties for the grandkids that came along, Thanksgiving dinners at my mom’s a.k.a “Auntie Jill’s” and more. I was really blessed to have Mary Ann for an aunt. She was a wonderful role model that we can all continue to learn from and look up to.
Memories of my Sister-in-Law by Jill Davis Snyder
Mary Ann has been a part of my life since I was ten years old. I have always loved and thought of her as an older sister rather than as a sister-in-law. Anyone who knew Mary Ann recognized how special she was. The passing of some people leave a huge void. Mary Ann was one of those people. I have a treasure of not only memories, but wonderful things that she gave and crafted for me over the years.
Mary Ann was practical, calm, and reassuring. More than once she displayed those qualities when I was overwrought about some issue. I have kept close at hand two quotations she sent to me. Although they were someone else's words, they stated what Mary Ann also believed. I would like to share them with you. "You have to accept whatever comes, and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and the best you have to give," Eleanor Roosevelt.
Mary Ann was aware of my fondness for lighthouses. Several years ago, she gave me a beautiful lighthouse nightlight. It is ten inches tall and is really more of an art sculpture. It stands on the floor where it illuminates a set of stairs in our house. This particular gift reminds me of the second quotation. "Begin today! No matter how feeble the light. Let it shine as best it may. The world may need just that quality of light which you have," Henry C. Blinn.
Mary Ann possessed a beautiful and cheerful presence, and because of that, we all have been gifted with many cherished memories.