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Marilou Putman

August 29, 1920 April 20, 2013
Marilou Putman
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Obituary for Marilou Putman

PEORIA – Mary Louise “Marilou” Neumayer Putman, 92, of Peoria, passed away on April 20, 2013, at Christian Buehler Memorial Home surrounded by her family. Marilou was born on August 26, 1920, in Council Bluffs, IA, to Lucas Frederick and Katherine (Cannon) Neumayer. She married Dr. Harrison Christopher Putman, Jr. in Chicago on October 5, 1946. He preceded her in death on March 17, 1970. She was also preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Clare Neumayer; her granddaughter, Kelly Lynn Blakesley; a great-grandson, Thomas Christopher Clatfelter; and her son-in-law, Col. Charles V. Yarbrough. She is survived by seven children, Mary Katherine P. Yarbrough, Dr. Harrison C. (Mary) Putman, III, Dr. Steven F. (Susan) Putman, Debbie P. (Scott) Blakesley, Julie P. (JD) Comfort, Dr. William D. (Kara) Putman, and Laurie P. (Mike) O’Brien. She is also is survived by twenty-four grandchildren, Christopher Yarbrough, Michelle (Trevor) Clatfelter, Chris Putman, Dr. Melissa Putman, Molly (Brian) Teets, Dan (Lauren) Putman, Ellen (Damien Kuhirtt) Putman, Jamie Blakesley, Kerry (Pat) Klesath, Rachel Blakesley, Cpt. James Comfort, Sgt. Drake Comfort, Caitlin Comfort, Dominic Comfort, Courtney Putman, William Putman, Blake Putman, Lyndsay O’Brien, Katie (Matt Cunningham) O’Brien, Charlie O’Brien, Danny O’Brien, Kellie O’Brien, BG Ret. James (Cathy) Yarbrough, and Shelly (Warren) Yonker; four great-grandchildren, Harrison Clatfelter, Claire Putman, Andrew Teets, and Benjamin Teets; her sister, Katherine Kelley; and many nieces and nephews. Marilou attended Duchesne College of the Sacred Heart in Omaha, NE, majoring in performing arts and theatre. She then began her first career, becoming a successful radio actress in Chicago from 1940 to 1946. Her starring roles included Joyce of the Secret Squadron in Captain Midnight and Stella Carlon in Ma Perkins. She also appeared in many other shows including First Nighter, Road of Life, Shoot the Works, Breakfast in Hollywood, Breakfast Club, and Bachelor’s Children. She starred with Dave Garroway in Chicago’s first commercial television show and worked with many of the other premiere names in early TV and radio, including Mike Wallace, Hugh Downs, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Irv Kupcinet, and Jack Brickhouse. She had signed a screen contract with Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, but retired when she met and married Dr. Putman. Marilou raised funds for War Bonds and appeared in many USO shows during World War II; and she obtained her pilot’s license. After her husband’s death, Marilou rejoined the business world as a realtor with Jim Maloof Realtor, Commercial National Realty, and later Preferred Realty. During her last five years as a realtor, Marilou attended Bradley University, obtaining a degree in social work and counseling at the age of 65. She then joined Proctor Community Hospital as a medical social worker until her retirement in 1992. Marilou was an enthusiastic and giving member of the Peoria community, serving on many boards including OSF St. Francis Community Clinic (37 years, Chair 1992-94), St. Francis Pediatric Resource Center, Upgrade Services Corporation, Mental Health Association of Illinois Valley, Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Fine Arts Society, PARC, Alzheimer’s Association, Peoria Human Resources Commission, and Women Strength. She volunteered with the Junior League of Peoria and Heartland Community Clinic. She served as co-chair of the Bergan High School Building Fund Drive, as an extraordinary minister and grief support group facilitator at St. Thomas Parish, and reading tutor at Garfield Elementary School. During her active years, she was a longtime member of the Peoria Medical Society Auxiliary, Country Club of Peoria, and the Creve Coeur Club. She belonged to St. Thomas Parish for over 57 years. During her lifetime, Marilou’s honors included the Illinois State Medical Society Auxiliary’s Humanitarian Award, the Eliza Pindell Award for Community Service, and the Junior League of Peoria’s Sustainer of the Year Award. Marilou will be remembered for her steadfast devotion to her faith and large family, her gentle kindness to others, and her remarkable resilience. She was above all a loving counselor and lifelong role model to her children and grandchildren. She was a compassionate mentor who quietly reached out with healing words of support to those in need, especially those who, like her, had lost a loved one or faced challenges. Marilou also was the ultimate volunteer, giving generously to her community with humility and love. She faced setbacks with great courage. She was an inquisitive and intelligent lifelong learner, a wonderful companion and a beautiful and gracious lady who lived her life to the fullest. We truly have been blessed to have her in our lives for so many years, and we will love and miss her always. Marilou’s family would like to thank the staff and physicians who so lovingly cared for her at Buehler Home. Her days there were happy, and we greatly appreciate the affection and skill of her caregivers. A funeral Mass will be held at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, April 25, 2013, at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Peoria Heights with Msgr. William Watson and Fr. Thomas Henseler officiating. Visitation will be from 4:30-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at the church. There will be no visitation prior to the Mass. Burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery. Wright & Salmon Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be made to the Msgr. William A. Watson Scholarship Fund at St. Thomas Parish, the Peoria Notre Dame Scholarship Fund, or a charity of the donor’s choice. Tributes and condolences may be submitted to


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