Mary Lois McCarnes, age 98, of Petersburg, Illinois, formerly of Monmouth, Illinois, passed away at Sunny Acres Nursing Home, Petersburg, Illinois, on Sunday, November 3, 2019, at 4:44 PM. She was born on May 27, 1921, in Monmouth, Illinois, the daughter of Marion Walter and Theo Mary (Fowler) Stults. Mary Lois began her education in Monmouth elementary schools, later in Lincoln, Nebraska, and graduating from high school in St. Paul, Minnesota. She continued her education at Monmouth College obtaining her degree in French, Spanish, and English. On October 16, 1942, she married Joseph McCarnes in Monmouth, Illinois.
Mary Lois began her teaching career at Monmouth High School where she taught Spanish for a year until they moved to Ft. Benning, Georgia, during World War II. They moved back to Monmouth where she reared her family. She resumed her career, teaching elementary Spanish, Spanish and English at Central Junior High, and Spanish and English at Monmouth High School until her first retirement. She then taught several years at Yorkwood High School and Winola High School. Lastly, Mary Lois taught Spanish at Monmouth College for twenty years, retiring at the age of 82. She was a longtime member of First Christian Church in Monmouth where she served as Sunday School teacher, Primary Sunday School superintendent, Primary Sunday School pianist, and sang in the church choir. After moving to Petersburg, she became a member of Athens Christian Church. Mary Lois is a Golden Arrow Pi Beta Phi, a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, Warren County Retired Teachers Association, and Community Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Her greatest loves were God, family, and teaching.
Mary Lois is survived by three daughters: Kathy (Larry) Richardson of Fairfield Glade, Tennessee, Laurie (Chip) Stanton of Petersburg, Illinois, and Diane (Tom) Gatto of Earlville, Iowa; seven grandchildren: Amy (Dennis) Keeling of Kingston, Tennessee, Wendy (Dave) Arenz of Crestview, Florida, Christine (Trevor) Lehnen of Chatham, Illinois, Marianne (Dave) Gross of Normal, Illinois, Scott Stanton of San Antonio, Texas, Joe (Heather) Gatto of Anamosa, Iowa, and Carrie (Stephen) Mulligan of Spring Hill, Tennessee; twenty-six great-grandchildren; two step-grandchildren: Darin (Shelle) Richardson, and Kris (Phil) Dashler; five step-great grandchildren, and five step-great-great grandchildren; two cousins: Erma Jean Smallwood of Monmouth and Eleanor McClelland of Iowa City. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and three great-grandchildren.
A funeral service for Mary Lois McCarnes is planned for 2:00 PM on Sunday, November 10, 2019, at Turnbull Funeral Home in Monmouth, Illinois. A visitation will be from 1:00-2:00 PM prior to the service at the funeral home. Interment will be at Warren County Memorial Park. A memorial is being established for Ninos de Mexico (Christian children’s home in Mexico).
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