Mary M. Howard, 76, of Coffeen, IL passed away on Monday, April 4, 2022 at 10:25 p.m. at her home surrounded by family. Cremation rites were accorded. There are no services at this time, and burial will take place at Olive Hill Cemetery in Coffeen, IL at a later date.
Mary Howard was born on March 21, 1946 to Drue Luretta Houston and Kenneth George Wilderman at St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, IL. She was the youngest of six children. She married James Clement Howard on April 10, 1963 and they later divorced. She married Mary Kathryn (Blaeuer) Sinclair on December 4, 2013.
Mary is survived by her spouse and chosen partner in life, Mary Kay, and their combined children: Patricia Howard, Sue (husband Brian) Gray, James Allen (wife Cyndy) Howard, Ann Sinclair, and daughter-in-law Christine Sinclair; Eight grandchildren, Jason (wife Aleah) Ginos, Nicole (husband Zach) Lipe, Alexandra Ginos, Shelby Gray, Dylan Gray (fiancée Kelsey), Eric Howard, Alisha (husband Tyler) Heyen, and Emily (husband Andrew) Reck; Nine great grandchildren, Landon Lipe, Sawyer Lipe, Jase Lipe, Tanner Ginos, Luke Ginos, Charli Ginos, Lakyn Gray, Eleanor Heyen, Clark Heyen, and Charlie Reck. Mary is also survived by two siblings, Dean Ray (wife Evelyn) Wilderman and James Edward Wilderman.
Mary has lived in Cape Girardeau, MO; Tulsa, OK; Springfield, MO; Phoenix, AZ; Scottsdale, AZ; Witt, IL; Irving, IL; and the best ever – Coffeen, IL.
Mary worked at Coffeen Coal Mine as a laborer and Monterey Coal Company as a supervisor, from which she retired in 1987. She was one of the first female coal miners in Illinois. She painted the Hillsboro Glass Factory water tower. Mary and Mary Kay founded the Continuing Recovery Center (CRC) in Irving, Illinois. Mary and Mary Kay walked from Irving to Phoenix, AZ as a fundraiser for the CRC. She worked as Clinical Director at Shanti Group in Phoenix, AZ. Mary worked with the homeless and HIV/AIDS population in Phoenix and part-time for the US Postal Service.
She was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, Kenneth Eugene “Gene” Wilderman, Patricia Ann Harlow, and Larry Allen Wilderman, and her step children David Sinclair and William “Bill” Sinclair.
Mary loved her family, talking politics, playing her guitar and listening to music.
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