GIBSON CITY – Maria Stembel, age 85, of Gibson City died at 6:15 a.m. Monday (Dec. 3, 2012) at the Heritage Health in Gibson City. Her memorial service will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, at Lamb Funeral Home in Gibson City, with the Rev. John Hennyson officiating. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial will be at a later date in Drummer Township Cemetery.
Maria was born Dec. 26, 1926, in Lublin, Poland, a daughter to Phillip and Katherine (Androsheina) Rupa. When she was 14 years old, she was taken by the Nazis for slave labor to Germany. She met and married Charles Bane in Germany on Jan. 8, 1947, after the liberation and came to the United States. She then married Byron "Doc" Stembel on Feb. 18, 1974, in Paxton and joined him in his antique business. He died May 4, 1992.
Surviving are three daughters, Mary (Cecil) McCormick of Tolono, Rose Beasley of Gibson City and Patricia (Dennis) Farris of Elliott; one son, Bill (Lovonna) Bane of Florence, S.C.; 10 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and one brother, Phillip Rupa of Poland.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Jeannie.
Maria was a volunteer at Shepherd's Closet and the Blood Bank. She was a member of the Gibson City United Methodist Church, the American Legion Auxiliary, Red Hats and the Order of Eastern Star. She enjoyed sewing and gardening.
Memorials may be made to the Shepherd's Closet or a charity of the donor's choice.