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RANTOUL — Mary Lou Pernod passed away Wednesday (Oct. 6, 2021) at Accolade Healthcare, Paxton.

Mary was born in Ethel, Miss., on Feb. 29, 1932, to Hugh E. Bell and Margie (Oliver) Bell, and was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Bettye Sue Stevens.

She married Gene Pernod on Sept. 11, 1952, and followed him across the globe as a military wife.  Mary received her final orders to follow him on their next adventure on Oct. 6, 2021.

She is survived by her brother, David Bell of Ridgeland, Miss.; daughters, Mary Jean of Branson, Mo., Peggy (Johnny) Wells of Apache Junction, Ariz., and Lori (Dale) Busboom of Rantoul; son, Eric of Berwyn; grandchildren, Billy Eaton, Jeff (Kellie) Humphress, Kim (Marvin Caldwell) Busboom and Brent (Shauna) Busboom; great-grandchildren, Joshua, Madelynn, Nicholas, Hunter, Brendan, Owen, Isiah and Isabella; great-great-granddaughter, Emma Grace; as well as one niece, seven nephews and several great-nieces and -nephews.

Mary raised her children on a serviceman's wages and became quite good at stretching a dollar. She made a lot of clothing and was a great cook ... the house was rarely without sugar cookies. She crocheted afghans, doilies, made quilts and loved puzzles of any kind, especially word-search and crossword puzzles. She had a fondness for butterflies, nature programs and John Wayne.

Mary was one of the first employees hired when Combe Laboratories opened in Rantoul, retiring after 20 years.

After a fall in June, Mom passed away peacefully at Accolade Healthcare Paxton Senior Living. Many thanks to Accolade and Transitions for all the care they provided.

Honoring her wishes, there will be no services at this time. Memorials can be made in her name to the National Geographic Society or your local food pantry.

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