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Mary K. Nelson

September 2, 1929 March 23, 2014
Mary K. Nelson
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Obituary for Mary K. Nelson

PEORIA - Mary K. Nelson, age 84, of Peoria passed away Sunday, March 23, 2014, at her home.
She was born Sept. 2, 1929, in Libertyville, Ill, to Lester and Katharine (Matt) Kennedy.
She attended St. Theresa High School in Decatur then graduated from the Academy of Our Lady in 1947 and married Robert J. Nelson in Peoria on Sept. 16, 1950. He preceded her in death in 2008. She was also preceded in death by her parents; and her brothers, John and Robert Kennedy.
Mary is survived by her children, Deacon John (wife Sonia) and David (wife Kathy Ann) of Peoria, Katharine (husband Jeff) Loman of Downers Grove, Ill., and Dr. Maureen Nelson of Austin, Tx.; and sister, Patricia Snyder of Brownsburg, Ind. She is also survived by ten grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and 18 nephews and nieces.
Mary was employed as a secretary at several offices in Galesburg and Peoria, including the Red Cross and the Pastoral Care Department at St. Francis hospital.
In addition to being involved in many of her children's activities, including Cub Scout Den Mother and Girl Scout Leader. Mary served in several capacities with a wide variety of civic and church groups. Her fascination with infants led her and Bob to take in unwed mothers with their newborns for several years. No little baby would leave her house without a bath in the kitchen sink.
She volunteered with South Side Office of Concern and several church related marriage and family enrichment programs. After retirement, Mary and Bob enjoyed traveling, especially when they could mix in their volunteering spirit, particularly with migrant workers and families in need. Mary was Rectora of Cursillo #99, the first Women's Cursillo held in Rock Island and also served on the Cursillo Steering Committee. She was a member of the Catholic Womens League, the St. Thomas Womens Guild and the St. Thomas Centering Prayer Group. She lately had volunteered with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, making home visits to assist those in need. She was a Benedictine Oblate.
Mary was a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Peoria Heights.
Visitation will be Tuesday, March 25, 2014, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at St. Thomas Church with a recitation of the Rosary at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the church Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at 11:30 a.m. concelebrated by Msgr. William Watson and Fr. Thomas Taylor. Additional visitation will be one hour before services at the church. Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Thomas Parish or Peoria Cursillo.
Tributes and condolences may be submitted to


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