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Mary Jane Sims

December 30, 1919 ~ March 8, 2012 (age 92)
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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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