Mary Eileen Gilman, 85, of Mt. Zion passed away on March 12th, 2018 at St. Mary’s Hospital with her family by her side.
A Funeral Service to celebrate the life of Mary will be held at 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 16, 2018 at the Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church with Pastor Mike Wakeland officiating. There will be a visitation from 10:00 a.m. till the time of service for family and friends to call. Burial will take place at the Mt Zion Cemetery following the service.
Mary Eileen was born in October of 1932 in Brazil, Indiana to Lloyd Raymond and Edith May Lawson. Mary graduated from Brazil High School in 1950 as class valedictorian. She was so smart and helped all of her children and grandchildren through their studies. She had several ‘honorary’ college degrees.
Mary met the love of her life, Ernest ‘Ernie’ G. Gilman, at a community square dance where she played in a band with her family. Ernie knew the day he met her she was the one. They were married in August of 1951. They celebrated sixty wonderful years together before Ernie passed in 2012. Their faithful and enduring love has served as a wonderful example for her entire family.
Mary worked as a lunch lady and secretary in Mishawaka, Indiana during her children’s youth. Mary and her family moved to Mt. Zion in 1974 where she was an office manager at the Mt. Zion Farm Store and then worked as an office manager for coin dealer, Steve Eyer. From 1988 thru 1998 she worked at Lazy Days Resort as office manager in Osage Beach, Missouri.
Mary loved to garden, sing, play mandolin, and crochet. Mary enjoyed boating and motorcycling with her husband and she loved to travel with her family. Mary loved spending summers in the Ozarks with her granddaughters. She was a very good friend to anyone she met and always enjoyed helping others. Overall, her family always came first.
Mary is survived by her son, Mike Gilman (Cheryl) of Dalton City, daughter, Lisa Bracken (Craig) of Illiopolis, three grand-daughters, Kelley Bracken, Hilary Gilman and Cara Gilman, brother-in-law Ken (Becky) Gilman, Olin Holt, and several nieces and nephews.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, sister, Ruby Holt, niece, Faith Ann McKean, Brother and sister-in-law and best friends, Jim and Joyce ‘Eileen’ McKean, and her sweet husband, Ernest.
Mary has been a strong woman throughout her life. She spent the past 30 years battling severe diabetes and advanced heart disease and in May 2017 was diagnosed with stage 4 thyroid cancer, never knowing she had it for an unknown number of years. Through it all she truly persevered while her faith remained strong. Her family said she was a cat with nine lives. Mary once said “This old thyroid cancer is spreading fast, I’m surprised I still don’t have any pain. God is being good to me and He has looked after me for lots of years! All of my kids and grandkids are so good to me and I am blessed and so thankful for all of them!”
Mary was an amazing wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother and she will deeply missed by all of those who knew her. She truly was a ‘tough old bird.’
Services have been entrusted to Tanzyus-Logan Funeral Service and Care.