Mary Louise Widick, 83, of McLeansboro, IL passed away Saturday, February 20, 2021 at Wabash Christian Village in Carmi, IL.
She was born July 9, 1937 in Elkton, TN to Georgie Cathron (Whitfield) and Thomas Lawton “Pete” Gregory, Sr. She graduated from Murray State College in Murray, KY in 1959 with a degree in Vocal Music Education and then moved to McLeansboro, IL to begin her teaching career. She married Leland L. Widick of McLeansboro on June 16, 1963.
Mary spent 42 years as a public school teacher. Her specialty was vocal music, but at times she also taught business and math. Relatively early in her teaching career, she completed a Masters of Education degree by attending evening classes at the University of Evansville. Outside of the classroom, she served in various extracurricular capacities throughout the years such as twirler, cheerleader, and color guard sponsor, co-director for high school drama productions, as well as other positions. After retiring, Mary continued her love of teaching as a substitute teacher for Hamilton County Schools, and she joined the Illinois Retired Teachers Association.
Throughout her life, Mary was an active member of her church. She sang in and occasionally directed choirs and cantatas; she provided special music not only for her church, but at other churches as well; and she was a member of various church groups.
Mary was a patient, caring, kind-hearted person who was a devoted wife and mother. She never met a stranger and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Aside from music, she enjoyed sewing, loved flowers (especially sunflowers), and collected various things from Precious Moments to angels to coins. But, most of all, Mary cherished spending time with family and friends, whether they were playing games, working jigsaw puzzles, enjoying a meal, or just talking. She is dearly loved and will be greatly missed.
Mary is survived by her husband, Leland; two children: Eric Widick (Suzann) of Kings, IL and Beth Wilkerson (Scott) of Greencastle, IN; six grandchildren: Lesley Cusumano (Salvatore) of Mt. Morris, IL, Lindsey Widick of Memphis, TN, Robert Widick (Avigale Monroy) of Green Bay, WI, William Widick (Jessica Schult) of Boise, ID, and Zachary and Benjamin Wilkerson of Greencastle, IN; and one great-grandchild: Aria Louise Cusumano of Mt. Morris, IL.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Cathron and Thomas Gregory, Sr. and her two brothers, Thomas Gregory, Jr. and George Gregory.
Funeral services will be held Friday, February 26, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the Gholson Funeral Home in McLeansboro with Revs. Leland Widick, Ron Nelson and Russell Anderson officiating the service. Visitation will be held Thursday, February 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Gholson Funeral Home in McLeansboro. Mary will be laid to rest at Richardson Hill Cemetery near Dahlgren. Per CDC and state guidelines masks are required and social distancing will be observed.
Memorial donations may be made to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and will be accepted at the Gholson Funeral Home.
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