Dr. Mary Kate Yntema

Dr. Mary Kate Yntema

SPRINGFIELD — Dr. Mary Kate Yntema, 90, of Springfield died at 3:50 p.m. Thursday (July 26, 2018) at Concordia Village, where she had been a resident since 2009.

Mary Kate was born Jan. 20, 1928, in Urbana, the daughter of Leonard Francis and M. Jean Busey Yntema.

Mary Kate was born in Urbana and grew up mostly in Webster Groves, Mo. The family moved to Waukegan, where she graduated from Waukegan High School. She received a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

She lived in Turkey for four years, during which time she taught mathematics at the American College for Girls. With Turkey as a home base, she traveled extensively in both Europe and Asia.

In the United States, she taught math in various locations, including Roundup and Missoula, Mont., and Columbus, Ohio. She also helped develop a computer system while living in Cambridge, Mass.

After earning her Ph.D., Mary Kate taught math at the college level, including stints at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle Campus and Penn State in State College, Pa. She retired from the then Sangamon State University.

Dr. Yntema was a member of Baha’i Faith for many years and served it in many capacities throughout her life. She and her aunt, Dr. Garetta Busey, English professor at the University of Illinois, were live-in caretakers of the Urbana Baha’i Center for several years. Mary Kate went on a Baha’i pilgrimage to Haifa, Israel, and attended Baha’i World Congresses in London, England, and New York City.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Douwe Busey Yntema.

She is survived by her brother, George Busey Yntema (Connie Chambers) of Connecticut; two nieces, Mary Proctor Yntema of Cambridge, Mass., and Elizabeth Benedict Yntema (Mark Ferguson) of Winnetka; two great-nieces, Elizabeth Ferguson and Claire Ferguson; and one great-nephew, Edward Busey Ferguson.

A private graveside ceremony will be at Farmington Cemetery.

The Baha’i community will host a celebration of life at noon Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, at Concordia Village, 4101 W. Iles Ave., conducted by the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Springfield.

Memorial contributions may be made to Concordia Scholarship Fund, 4101 W. Iles Ave., Springfield, IL 62711.

The family of Mary Kate Yntema is being served by Boardman-Smith Funeral Home, 800 S. Grand Ave. West, Springfield.

Please visit boardmansmith.com to offer your condolences.

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