SAVOY – Mary Elizabeth (nee Cole) Rose joined her Lord at 7 a.m. Wednesday, May 8, 2013.
All who have known Mary surely agree that she lived a wonderful life, and the world is better for having shared her for the past 82 years.
Mary was born in Ottawa, Ill., in March 1931, daughter of Helen (nee Hoff) and Frank Cole.
Mary was raised in Ottawa, attending Shabbona School and Ottawa High School. Mary was an excellent student and gifted pianist, was a National Merit Scholar, and attended Northwestern University on scholarship, where she received a Bachelor's degree in Music.
Mary's love of music led her to a life of sharing that gift with many people. After graduating from Northwestern, Mary taught elementary school in La Grange, until starting her family, when she left teaching to become a full-time mom. But music continued to be a huge part of her life, and she stayed very active with music and music education.
Mary served as organist at Community Presbyterian Church in Clarendon Hills, then as pianist at the brand-new Hope Church in Springfield and then as organist at Ottawa Presbyterian Church. Her involvement in church music extended to numerous choral groups, both children's and adult.
Mary taught piano to hundreds of private students over the years, in Clarendon Hills, Springfield and Ottawa. The myriad piano students she taught led to more involvement, as she accompanied contestants at state and national music contests over the years.
Mary was preceded in death by her loving husband of more than 50 years, Robert Taylor Rose. Mary shared in Bob's career from the Chicago suburbs to Springfield, back to Chicago, and then to Ottawa over the years.
Mary was mother to four children, Mark (Mary) Rose of Camarillo, Calif., Thomas (who died in infancy), Judi (Jay) Geistlinger of Champaign and Peter (Carol) Rose of Ledyard, Conn. Mary had six grandchildren, Kristi Rose of Los Angeles, Brian Rose of Chandler, Ariz., Ted and Beth Geistlinger of Champaign and Charles and James Rose of Ledyard, Conn.
Perhaps even more than her love of music that she shared with others was the love she bestowed on all who knew her, and the genuine interest she had in the lives of each who were blessed to know her.
Mary was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church and PEO International sisterhood.
A celebration-of-life service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at the First Presbyterian Church, 302 W. Church St., Champaign. Interment will be at a private ceremony at Bronswood Cemetery in Oak Brook. Morgan Memorial Home of Savoy is handling arrangements.
Donations in memory of Mary may be made to the Salvation Army or an organization of the donor's choosing.