- About Us
Helen Marie (Rea) Ellsworth was born on November 17, 1933 in Otis, NM where she then grew up the middle child among six siblings, although she often told friends and family, she didn’t realize she was a middle child until the 80’s when that became a thing. She would also tell anyone who asked that she was her daddy’s favorite and her big brother Ray’s baby. It was through that close relationship with her big brother that Rea caught the eye of a handsome young feller from Oklahoma.
Rea dated Edward “Sonny” Muncrief for all of three months before he said “Will ya?” and she said “Will I What?” He said “Marry Me” to which she replied….“You have to ask my daddy.” And she has been making him work for it ever since. On November 27, 1949 at the age of sixteen, Rea became Mrs. Edward Lee Muncrief. They built their home on an old rock hill in Carlsbad, next door to Rea’s parents where they raised three children, some nieces and nephews and a handful of neighborhood children before moving on to helping raise grandchildren, some great nieces and nephews and a few more assorted neighborhood children.
Known at Vacation Bible School as the “cookie lady”, Rea got to the heart of many through their stomachs. You always knew there would be something good to eat at Sonny and Rea’s and if she knew you were coming, it would be your favorite. Christmas was for cream pies and each son and son-in-law got the first piece of their favorite – no one could cut it until the designated person was there. Once it was cut – it was a free for all! Whatever she made, she made extra, mostly because whatever she made, Sonny tended to give away and she would roll her eyes and huff under her breath…and then she would make more. Her grandchildren have fond memories of decorating cookies, not just at Christmas, but for every holiday, sometimes by the hundreds!
Her hands were never idle. She was a reader…a journalist…a word searcher and crochet was her art. Rea enjoyed travel and having family around and she would tell you it was good to go and good to come home. She would also tell you she liked to have everyone come and she liked to see them leave. Rea would be the first one up – coffee made, Bible read before the rest stirred – and the last one to go to bed. She was Ma to many and an example to all of what it means to show tough love when necessary – paddle at the ready – or a soft heart when needed. Never one to cry, Rea was the first to wipe the tears of others.
Even in recent years, when her mind became locked in itself, her eyes would light up and she served as a joy to others, continuing as an example to all who knew her – and still willing to rebuke those who needed it – including Sonny – who, no argument was and is – the love of her life.
Those who knew Rea are proud to call her family or friend – it was all the same to her. Those who know her influence are better for it – the patience we learned by opening and closing the door ten times because you slammed it, the sense of fairness – if one got it, we all got it (good or bad) and mostly, the unfailing loyalty to those you love. She was preceded in death by her parents; son, Tub Muncrief; brothers: Ray, Dale and Eugene Ellsworth; sister, Mabel “Sis” Kelton.
Survivors are her husband of 69 years, Sonny Muncrief of Carlsbad, NM; daughter, Marilla “Snooks” Denny and husband, Jim of Carlsbad, NM; son, Rex D. Muncrief and wife, Lynette of Las Cruces, NM; 8 grandchildren: Shawn Denny and wife, Tabitha, Deana Corona and husband, Robert, Mindy Turner and husband, Jason, Keeley Muncrief, Christy Muncrief, Kourtney Vaillancourt and husband, Steve, Lisa Nesbit and husband, Curt and Megan May and husband, Chris; 13 great-grandchildren; brother, Bruce Ellsworth and wife, Barbara of Parker, Texas; sister, Patsy Ward of Midland, Texas and numerous nieces and nephews.
Rea left this earth on November 7, 2018. Her work on earth was done, having laid a foundation for future generations with a strong work ethic, an unwavering stand on what is right and a love for God and family. She has fulfilled her purpose.
And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
A graveside service is scheduled for 9:00 AM, Monday, November 12, 2018 at Sunset Gardens Memorial Park with Pastor Dick Means and Pastor Herb Gage officiating. Denton-Wood Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be expressed at dentonwood.com