Mary Ann Rillie, 76, of Aledo, IL passed peacefully on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at Unity Point Health Rock Island in Rock Island, IL. Cremation has been accorded and a Celebration of Life will be 11:00 AM Saturday, March 14, 2020 at the Aledo United Methodist Church. Her final resting place will be along Squirrel Ridge on her beautiful family farm in Apple River along with the ashes of her beloved dog, Buddy. Memorials may be left to Fur-Ever Friends or the Aledo United Methodist Church. Fippinger Funeral Home in Aledo is in charge of arrangements and online condolences can be made at www.fippingerfuneralhome.com.
She was born October 22, 1943 in Chicago, IL. She was lovingly adopted by her parents: James and Kathleen Struhs Thompson of Apple River, IL. Mary grew up in Apple River and graduated from Warren High School in 1961. She married her high school sweetheart, Robert Rillie, on March 31, 1962. Together, they raised two sons in Des Plaines and Aledo, IL.
Mary's compassion for others led her to a life-long career in social services. She earned her associates degree from Black Hawk College and her BS in social services from Western Illinois. Mary was the activity director at Georgetown Manor Nursing Home in Aledo and at Oak Glen Nursing Home in Coal Valley. In the latter part of her career, Mary was the director of activities and social services at Hope Creek Nursing Home in East Moline, IL.
Mary embraced life, lived it selflessly, and brought so much joy to all her knew her. She was always active and highly involved in many organizations. She served as president of the Illinois Activities Professionals Association and was the 2009 IAPA Larry Madge Award Recipient. Mary dearly loved her church family. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Des Plaines and the Aledo United Methodist Church where she served on many committees. Mary was awarded as an outstanding United Methodist Woman this past fall. Mary also sang in the Northwest Choral Society as well as the Augustana College choir, was a member of the Young Republicans, served on the board of education for the Aledo school district for seven years, and was a very active and instrumental member of Fur-Ever Friends in Mercer County.
Mary's pride and joy were her five grandchildren. She was an immensely proud grandma at every pageant, dance recital, art show, band concert, football and basketball game, or track meet. She was truly the best grandma who was always unconditionally loving, supporting and encouraging each of her grandchildren.
Mary's hobbies included going to yard sales and flea markets where she collected numerous treasures. She enjoyed spending extended summer weekends at Lake Delevan in Wisconsin for nearly 50 years with friends, Jim and Mary. Mary also enjoyed going to Circa 21, crafting and sewing.
Mary was the heart of her family. She is survived by her husband, Robert Rillie,, two sons and daughter in laws Jim and Lisa Rillie of Aledo and Jack and Colleen Rillie of Morrison, grandchildren Matt Rillie, Brent Rillie and Jenna Rillie of Chicago, Ryan Rillie of Aledo,and Hannah Rillie of Milwaukee, brother and sister in law Jerry and Kathy Rillie of Stockton, two nephews and spouses Tom and Teresa Rillie of Polo, IL and Joe and Stacey Rillie and her great nephew Bobby of Stockton,, IL. She was preceded in death by her parents.
We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to each of the doctors and nurses at the University of lowa Hospitals, Genesis Medical Center, and Unity Point Health Rock Island who cared for Mary during her 3 1/2 year cancer journey.