Mary Lou Knisley, 100, of Hillsboro, IL passed away on Monday, May 24, 2021, at 6:37 a.m. at Hillsboro Area Hospital. A visitation will be held on Monday, May 31, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (noon) at Bass Patton Dean Funeral Home in Hillsboro, IL. Funeral Service will follow at 12:00 p.m. (noon) at Bass Patton Dean Funeral Home, with Father Daniel Willenborg, Pastor of St. Agnes Catholic Church, officiating. Burial will be in St. Agnes Cemetery, Hillsboro.
Mrs. Knisley was born on January 14, 1921, the daughter of the late Olin Kesinger and Violet Buzan Kesinger who had a farm and small grocery store in Wrights, IL in the early 1920s and 1930s. Mary Knisley married her late husband Charles Andrew Knisley in 1938. They moved to Hillsboro in 1942 when Charles got a job at the Montgomery County Newspaper to earn an extra $5/week.
Mary had her first child Ronald Knisley in 1939, second child Carolyn Sue Ginos in 1940, and last child Charles Gene Knisley in 1950.
Mary and Charles purchased the bowling alley in 1948 and ran it until 1974. They bought a shoe store on main street Hillsboro in the 1950s and ran it for a couple years simultaneously with the bowling alley. In mid 1970s they started and ran Knisley’s Produce until 1997. In 1994 her youngest Son Gene purchased back the bowling alley known to this day as Knisley Hillsboro Bowl. Mary worked there from 1994 until March 2020. Oftentimes Mary was seen at the front counter of the bowling alley or driving in her bright red Ford Mustang. She rarely spent a day away from the bowling alley. A career of more than 80 years.
She was preceded in death by her husband Charles Andrew Knisley; son, Ronald Knisley; sister Edie Baldridge; brothers Dale Kesinger; Gene Kesinger, and Hal Kesinger.
She is survived by daughter Carolyn Sue Ginos, son Charles Gene Knisley (partner Rhonda Sanford); grandchildren Robert Ginos (wife Siri), Nancy McDowell (husband Chuck), Laurie Ginos (partner Fred Weiss), Josh Knisley, Michael Knisley (Wife Donna), David Knisley (wife Teresa), Shelly Pearman (fiancé Doug Donaldson), Kevin Knisley (wife Janelle) and Russel Knisley (partner Kimberly Weller); 19 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren.
Memorials may be given to St. Agnes Catholic Church or Cemetery, Hillsboro, IL or Montgomery County Cancer Association (MCCA).
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