Mary Jane Sims

Born: Tue., Dec. 30, 1919
Died: Thu., Mar. 8, 2012


4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Mon., Mar. 12, 2012
Location: Zehender Robinson Stormer Cookson Funeral Home

Funeral Service

10:00 AM Tue., Mar. 13, 2012
Location: Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church

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   Mary Jane Speckhart Sims, 92, of Good Samaritan Home, formerly of Liberty, Illinois, died at 9:00 a.m. Thursday March 8, 2012 in Good Samaritan Home.

   Mrs. Sims was born December 30, 1919, in Fallcreek Township, to the late Carl J. and Mary J. Spencer Speckhart.  She attended Craigtown country school and graduated in 1937 from Seymour High School in Payson.  After earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri (class of '41), Mary Jane taught home economics at Memphis, Missouri High School.  The onset of WWII meant that her fiance' Dean would be called into service, so on May 30, 1942 at Bluff Hall Congregational Church, Mary Jane became Dean's life partner in marriage.  She would play the role of army wife until his overseas departure during which time she served in Quincy as a nurse's aide at Blessing Hospital.

   After the war, Mr. and Mrs. Sims resided in Burton Township where Mary Jane became a fulltime mother, homemaker, and community volunteer.  She joined Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church and served in numerous capacities as Sunday School teacher, Methodist Youth Fellowship sponsor and officer for United Methodist Women at the local and district level.  As she and Dean raised their four children, Mary Jane served various community institutions and organizations.  She sat on the Retreat House Board and was a camp director for several years.  She led Burton Stars 4-H Club, was elected president of the Liberty PTA, and served as a Chapter Mother of the Liberty High School Future Homemakers.   She was a member, and past Worthy Matron of the Liberty O.E.S.  In Quincy, Mary Jane served on the Chaddock Board, the United Way Board, and Adams County Home Extension Board.  With children in college, Mrs. Sims was active in the University of Illinois Mother's Association, serving as president, from 1975-1976.  She was a member of Chapter IE, PEO.

   Dean and Mary Jane Sims spent twenty winters in Mesa, Arizona, where Mary Jane was active in the East Mesa Christian Church, served as president of the Christian Women's Fellowship, enjoyed tennis, ballroom dancing, and playing her flute in the Silverridge Pops Orchestra. The Sims' retired to Quincy in 1991, where she continued as a Blessing Volunteer, school mentor, and flutist in a small combo entertaining at area nursing homes and the Veteran's Home.

   Mrs. Sims is survived by a son, Douglas Dean Sims, and wife, Nancy of  Keystone, CO; three daughters, Mrs. Patricia Elian, and husband, Ghassan of Grosse Pointe Woods, MI,  Mrs. Susan Maini, and husband , Gino of New Smyrna Beach, FL,  and Mrs. Sara Kelley, and husband, Keith of Urbana, IL.  There are seven grandchildren, Robert Earl Sims, and wife, Sarah of Oakville, Ontario, Anne Sims Folk, and husband, Ben of Bangalore, India,  Nadeem Elian of Chicago, IL, Rema Elian Waugh, and husband, Adam of Chicago, IL, Nada Elian Nakhleh, and husband Elias of Birmingham, MI, Megan Kelley of Chicago, IL, and Gina Maini of Elon, NC. Four great-grandchildren are Graydon Michael Sims, Elliot Douglas Sims , and Amelia Fay Sims, of Oakville, Ontario, and Sofie Jane Nakhleh of Birmingham, MI.; a sister survives, Lois A Koenig of Clearwater, FL; and many loving nieces and nephews.

   Mrs. Sims was preceded  in death by her parents; her husband, Dean; and two brothers, Harlow A. Speckhart of La Grande, OR, and Robert C. Speckhart of Payson, IL.

   Funeral services will be held Tuesday morning at 10:00 in the Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church by the Rev. Sidney Crowcroft and Rev. James Riley. Entombment will be in the Quincy Memorial Park Mausoleum.

   Visitation will be Monday evening from 4:00 to 7:00 in the Zehender Robinson Stormer Cookson Funeral Home in Quincy and Tuesday morning from 9:00 until the time of services at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church.

   In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial gifts be made to one of the following: Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church, Good Samaritan Capital Campaign Fund, or the Chaddock Children's Foundation.

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Condolence Booklet

Nancy Hoffman Ogle and Edna Hoffman
   Posted Fri March 09, 2012
Dearest Doug, Patsy, Susan and Sara...
Not having a mailing address for any of you I feel this is the best way to let you all know that we are thinking of you each during this difficult time.
May you know that we have many, many treasured memories of both your mother and father during our school and church times. Mom and I, both have enjoyed the yearly holiday letters your mother sent to us.
I remember, not all that many years ago, when my parents and yours met accidently at the Quincy Airport while having lunch on a Saturday afternoon. Dean and I had a very interesting chat about my high school years and wanting to be in his agriculture class as I was wanting to become a vet at the time! Mary Jane and I wrote several notes back and forth during the last few years talking of times past and how we felt about life these days...
God bless
I remember your family as one to be exampled during my growing up years. And still today...

Mary Lyn Van Dyke
   Posted Sat March 10, 2012
Dear Doug, Pat, Susan, Sara and families,
I just wanted to say how much I always loved and admired your Mother. She was always such a special part of my life. It is so comforting to know that she is now with our Heavenly Father and with her precious Dean. I am keeping you all close to my heart and saying prayers for all of your family. God Bless you all, Mary Lyn

Richard & Fern Heitholt
   Posted Sun March 11, 2012
Dear Sims family,
We had a sincere respect for Mary Jane and Dean. It was a pleasure to know them and to see them - all too infrequently. Our community and world would be so much richer if there were more people who could match their impact for good to others. We also want to say hello to Lois - having not seen her in years. We are glad we shared some of the Bluff Hall heritage with Mary Jane and the Speckhart family. May your indelible family memories lessen the sorrow you feel at this time. Best wishes and God's Blessings.
Dick and Fern Heitholt

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