Mary Haskell Walker

Published 10:04 am Monday, December 7, 2020

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MILL SPRING – Mary Haskell Walker passed from this earth on Friday, October 9, 2020 in Tucson, Arizona.

The daughter of Carolyn Hyde and Melville Hanna Haskell, Mary was born May 31, 1944 in Tucson, Arizona. Her father was renowned for both breeding, training and racing American quarter horses, and organizing, promoting and sponsoring quarter horse racing throughout the Southwest. He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1984, the year of his death.

Mary grew up in Tucson, a real cowgirl. After her high school graduation, she moved to the Southeast where she attended Sweet Briar College in Virginia. She resided in Virginia for many years, then relocated to North Carolina. Mary served as President of Tomlinson of High Point, Inc, a prominent American furniture manufacturing company, for five years.

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Mary had a life-long love of horses – a true horsewoman. She owned Ridgewood Farm in Mill Spring where she raised and trained thoroughbred hunters and jumpers. Mary was an accomplished equestrienne, riding to the hunt and winning numerous trophies in competition.

In addition to horses, Mary always had one or two beloved dogs in her life, usually Golden Retrievers.

She was a world traveler and enjoyed scuba diving as a nice contrast to fox hunts and jumping horses.

Mary’s true home was always the desert. In 2008 Mary sold Ridgewood Farm and moved back to her roots in Tucson, where she reunited with lifelong friends from childhood. Mary was a member of the Mountain Oyster Club, founded in 1948, with a wild, rich and colorful Tucson history.

Mary Haskell Walker will be greatly missed by her family and friends. She was preceded in death in 1997 by her husband Phillip D. Walker.Aunt Mary is survived by her brother, Mark Haskell of Sedona, AZ, and 11 nieces and nephews and their children of the Haskell, Woodin, Greene, Starbuck and Bell families. She will always be remembered for her kindness, generosity, style, grace and loyalty to those she loved.

We want to thank her wonderful caregiver, Elfie Wilson, and her doctor, Dr. Frederick (Bill) Van Hook, for their loving care of Mary during the final years of Mary’s life. Elfie, no one could have taken better care of her, day in day out, than you. Mary was a tiger who repeatedly confounded the doctors and hospitals with her will to live and ability to bounce back (again and again). You helped Mary pull that off with your care, encouragement, optimism and heartfelt love.

A memorial service for Mary Haskell Walker will be held in Tucson sometime in the spring or summer of 2021 when circumstances allow. Her ashes will be spread near Sabino Creek per her wishes. 

Contributions in her memory may be made to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (

Submitted by Cobe Haskell