Listen to this article

TUSCOLA — Mary Fern Carlyle, 94, of rural Tuscola passed away at 2:08 a.m. Wednesday (July 10, 2019) at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, near Mattoon.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 17, 2019, at Zion United Church of Christ, rural Arthur, with the Rev. Kenneth Roedder officiating. Burial will be in the Zion Church Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at Hilligoss Shrader Funeral Home, 66 E. U.S. 36, Atwood, and one hour prior to the service at the church.

Mary Fern was born Feb. 10, 1925, in rural Douglas County, the daughter of Orval C. and Leola K. Frahm Heit. She married William H. Carlyle on Aug. 23, 1954, in Pekin. He preceded her in death Dec. 28, 2013.

Survivors include her daughters, Katana S. Ponder of Hammond, Ramona A. Carlyle of Arthur and Marcia G. (Dave) Hackett of Tuscola; 11 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; sister, Darlene (Larry) Harshbarger of Fort Myers, Fla.; sister-in-law, Patty Heit of Atwood; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; son-in-law, Harold Ponder; and brother, Lyle Dean Heit.

Memorials are suggested to Zion United Church of Christ or the Alzheimer’s Association.

Mary Fern attended Millikin University. She was a former school teacher, and she earned her pilot’s license. Mary Fern was a member of Zion United Church of Christ, where she was the church pianist and organist for 70 years. She loved animals, mainly dogs and cats, and she enjoyed gardening. Mary Fern’s family came first and foremost all of her life.

Online condolences may be shared at