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Mary "Tetsa" Mabray, 98, of Champaign passed away at her home on Saturday (Oct. 13, 2018).
Mary was born March 3, 1920, in Chicago, the daughter of Dan and Ruth Semmons. She married Kenneth J. Mabray.
Surviving are two daughters, Mary Anne (David) Flesher of Urbana and Susan Gnaedinger of Champaign; one brother, Christ Semmons of Florida; two grandsons, Michael Andrew Stebbins of New Orleans and John Daniel Stebbins of Urbana; family friend, Jason Knauff of Mahomet; three great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband in 2014; her parents; two sisters, Jane Rollins and Georgia Bridges; and daughter, Patricia (Gary) Stebbins.
Mary moved to Champaign-Urbana as a preschool-age child; she attended local schools including Uni High, Champaign High School and a freshman year at the University of Illinois. Mary was a Marine during WWII, and met her future husband, Kenneth, while stationed in California. They were married for over 70 years. After the war, they returned to Champaign, where they owned and operated Dan's Hat Shop for many years.
Mary was a Girl Scout leader for her daughters' troops; she was an active member of Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church, serving as choir mother, and she enjoyed her guild work. Mary had a strong work ethic and worked full time in the family business until the age of 82. Before joining the Marines, she worked for the power company, often riding the inter-urban to work in Decatur. Mary was an avid reader. She enjoyed various needlecraft hobbies. Mary also loved to visit state and national parks and road trips with her husband.
The family would like to thank the kind caregivers that assisted Mary in her home for many years, and thank you to Gloria.
There will be a family graveside service at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Champaign. The Rev. Christine Hopkins will officiate and military rites will be accorded by VFW Post 5520 colorguard.
Memorials may be made to the Champaign Public Libray, or a library of the donor's choice.
Champaign Public Library
200 West Green Street, Champaign IL 61820