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First Baptist Church
Thursday July 21st, 2016

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Mary Jean (O'Hara) DeMattei

Mary Jean DeMattei, 85, passed away Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 9:55 pm in her home.  Mary Jean was born in her home in Benton, Illinois, on December 17, 1930, to James G. and Marie (Huelbig) O’Hara.  She graduated from Benton High School in 1948 and attended Bethel Women’s College from 1948 to 1950.  She then earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Southern Illinois University in 1952.  She began her teaching career which lasted over twenty five years.  Her passion was kindergarten and she had a positive impact on hundreds of children and colleagues.  She married her high school sweetheart and love of her life, Clarence E. DeMattei in 1954.  Mary was blessed with six children and eight grandchildren that she treasured.  Mary Jean is survived by her husband of sixty one years.  She is also survived by many beloved family members including: son J.J. and his wife, Teresa, of Centralia, son Clay and his wife, Lety, of Marion, son Mike and his wife, Ronda, of Marion, daughter Gina Crippen and her husband, Larry, of Mooresville, North Carolina, son John of Berthoud, Colorado, and daughter Jenna Fletcher and her husband, John, of Marion.  Grandchildren are Brad and (Britni) DeMattei of Manchester Missouri, Bryan and (Kellee) DeMattei of Marion, Emily DeMattei of Marion, Brody DeMattei of St. Louis, Missouri, Kevin Crippen of Kannapolis, North Carolina, Clay and (McKenzie) Crippen of Athens, Georgia, Caroline Fletcher of Marion, and David Fletcher of Marion.  She is also survived by nephew, Jimmy O’Hara of Marion.  She is preceded in death by her parents, brother James O’Hara, his wife Mary Lee, nieces Jama King and Susan O’Hara, and great niece, Sara Beth Phillips.  Mary Jean was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church in Marion for 60 years where she belonged to the Dorcas class with many old and dear friends.  She was a life member of the Marion Memorial Hospital Auxilliary and later the Heartland Regional Medical Center and was a blood donor for the American Red Cross for many years.  Mary was a member of the Marion Cultural and Civic Center Foundation.  She was a member, volunteer, and the curator of the Williamson County Historical Museum in Marion.  She was a retired member of the National, Illinois, and Marion Education Associations, Alpha Delta Kappa Honorary Sorority for Women Educators, member of the National Society for Daughters of the American Revolution (admitted October 15, 1981).  Mary Jean was a loving, generous lady with a gracious heart donating to multiple charities.  The Native American reservations were one of her favorites.  Mary Jean was an avid reader, enjoyed yard work, uncovering family genealogy, knitting, quilting, manual labor building homes and completing renovations, and had multiple collections.  She spent many hours “coining” with her children and grandchildren and teaching them the history and value of our United States currency.  She worked with her husband to tackle many jobs and was able to help her six children build homes and/or renovate.  In addition to building or fixing up homes, Mary and Clarence spent 10 years restoring and saving the now historic Stotlar-DeMattei Home in Marion.  Their home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.  Mary Jean was a sports’ fan.  She attended her husband’s, children’s, and grandchildren’s multiple sporting events without fail.  If she wasn’t attending a game, meet, or match, there was sure to be one playing on her television.  Mary Jean’s husband, children, grandchildren, and many beloved family and friends made her life rewarding.  She will always be cherished and her legacy will live on.  Funeral services will be Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 10 am at the First Baptist Church in Marion with Dr. Bob Dickerson and Father Richard Mohr officiating.  Burial will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery.  Visitation will be Wednesday evening from 5 – 8 pm at the First Baptist Church in Marion.  Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.  Memorials may be made to the Williamson County Historical Museum in Marion or the St. Labre Indian School in Montana.  Envelopes will be available at the church or by mail to Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home, 800 North Market Street, Marion, Illinois  62959.    

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