Mary Lee Graham, 87, of Hopedale, went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Good Friday, April 18, 2014, at the home of her grandson.
She was born Easter Sunday, April 17, 1927, in Belle Rive, to Joseph and Lora Alice Kniffen Glenn. She married Egbert “Gene” Graham Nov, 26, 1946, in Mt. Vernon. Gene preceded her in death on June 28, 2011. Mary and Gene were of the generation of a great migration from Southern Illinois who moved nearer Chicago to find work after World War II.
She is survived by one daughter, Brenda (Russell Lee) Smith of Green Valley; one son, Robert (Diane) Graham of Geneseo; six grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren in Illinois, Colorado, West Virginia and Georgia.
Mary was wife and mother, a homemaker and wonderful cook. A good decorator, Mary also enjoyed flower gardening, bowling, sewing and reading.
After Brenda and Bob were both in school, she worked at Illinois Fabricators in Bradley as a bookkeeper at a filling station and later as an aide at the Manteno State Mental Hospital for 25 years.
She was a member of Bradley Evangelical United Methodist Church in Bradley over 48 years. She was active in teaching children’s Sunday school, vacation Bible school and helped to lead the junior choir. When she and Gene moved back to Mt. Vernon in 1996, they worked together to help their aging siblings and deliver Meals on Wheels. While there, they joined the Central Christian Church. A few years ago, they moved again, this time to central Illinois to be close to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They attended Jefferson St. Christian Church in Lincoln and then Valley Chapel in Green Valley.
Visitation will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. tonight at Davis Mortuary in Hopedale followed by the funeral service at 7 p.m. Pastor Nathan Best will officiate. Burial will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Kankakee Memorial Gardens.
Memorials may be made to Valley Chapel or toward a scholarship fund for Mary’s great-grandchildren.
To express condolences online visit www.davismortuaryinc.com.