She was born September 20, 1931, in Barry, IL, to George Putnam & Enola E. (Hill) Wheelan. They preceded her in death.
She married Robert "Bob" Williams on November 25, 1950, in Barry, Illinois. He preceded her in death on September 27, 2019.
She is survived by 1 son Richard K. "Dick" Williams of Cupertino, CA, 2 granddaughters, Laura Williams, of Cupertino, CA and Alyssa Williams, of Austin, TX, and several nieces & nephews.
In addition to her parents and her husband she was also preceded in death by 2 sisters, Mrs. Kenneth "Betty" Kendall and Mrs. William "Frances" Croxville.
As a lifelong resident of Barry, Mari attended Barry High School where she was active in numerous extracurricular activities and groups including high school chorus and 1st chair percussionist in the school band. She also competed in public speaking “declam” competitions, which included receiving awards and acclaim for her dramatic reciting of “The Snow Goose”, a story of charity, love, and hope set during World War II – the time when Mari was in elementary school.
After high school, Mari attended Quincy College in literature, and later worked as bookkeeper for Williams Brother Construction. Aside from her duties as mother, homemaker, and a caregiver to her parents, she was active in numerous community groups including the Barry cemetery board, the Barry public library, and the local Nancy Ross Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She also faithfully volunteered her time to work in the Apple Dumplin Inn during the annual Barry Apple Festival.
Mari was a longstanding member of the Barry United Methodist Church where she and her sisters sang in the choir including annual Christmas performances. For leisure, Mari regularly met her friends in “bridge” club. She was also well recognized as an avid cat lover (and for her cat decor). As a loving daughter, she became full time caregiver when her mother took ill, attending her every need and staying beside her until the very moment of her passing.
In the early 2000's, Mari moved to Cupertino CA to assist in raising her granddaughters (and ultimately mentoring all of their classmates as well). Forever young, “Grandma” also loved attending live music concerts with her family. Notable shows she attended include Pink Floyd, The Who, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (of the Beatles), and YES. After surveying the venue and crowd, she often would joke “I'm the oldest one here!”
Later in life, she became a resident in the Sunnyvale Health Care center. Famed for her warm personality, active role in social events, and for always welcoming visitors to the center, Mari was uniquely recognized by the City of Sunnyvale in an article honoring her kindness and uplifting indefatigable spirit.
Mari always took care of others. He love and charity touched the lives of every one she met. The countless emails remembering her life are a testament to how important she was and how much she will be missed.
Visitation will be from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1, 2021, at the Kirgan Funeral Home in Barry.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 2, 2021, at the Barry United Methodist Church in Barry.
Burial will be in Park Lawn Cemetery in Barry.
Memorials are suggested to the Barry United Methodist Church.
To plant a tree in memory of Mari A. Williams, visit the Tribute Store.
940 Greene Street
Barry, IL 62312
720 Perry St.
Barry, IL 62312
Barry, IL 62312