DAHINDA - Mary Lou Baird, 84, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on June 18, 2020 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois.
Mary Lou was born March 31, 1936 in Galesburg, Illinois to Susie and Loren Spencer. She was the youngest of five girls. She graduated in 1954 from Williamsfield High School where she was very active in the F.H.A., chorus, band, school plays and being a cheerleader. Following high school, she attended Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois where she studied elementary education.
On August 25, 1956 at Williamsfield Methodist Church, Mary Lou married the love of her life, Richard B. Baird (Dick) of Williamsfield, Illinois. In the fall of 1956, she transferred to the University of Illinois, where she continued to study elementary education. She graduated in 1959 and immediately began teaching at Mineral Elementary School in Mineral, Illinois. After that year, she began teaching Home Economics at Yates City High School in Yates City, Illinois. Mary Lou’s teaching was interrupted for a few years as she was blessed with three children (Eric, Ian and Amy). She reentered teaching at Elmwood Elementary School in Elmwood, Illinois. While still teaching there, she earned her MBA in 1976 from Illinois State University. Upon retirement, Mary Lou had dedicated 32 years to teaching the young.
Mary Lou was very active in her church and community. She was very faithful and dedicated to her church, the Williamsfield United Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir, rang bells in the bell choir, and served on various committees and held offices. She also was an active member in the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Methodist Women’s Club.
She is preceded in death by her parents and two sisters, Theda Dennison and Grace Thomas.
She leaves behind her loving spouse of 64 years, Dick and 3 children, Eric of Elmwood, Illinois, Ian (Anita) of Yates City, Illinois and Amy (Mike) of St. Charles, Illinois. Mary Lou adored children, especially her nine grandchildren: Sarah, Nikole, Ryan, Karlie, Brianne, Kyle, Jillian, Tyler and Eden. She also is survived by her two sisters, Louise Mackie of Williamsfield, Illinois and Lorna Yelm of Williamsfield, Illinois.
Private family services will be held at the Williamsfield United Methodist Church. Pastor Teri Shane will officiate. Friends may join the family at approximately 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, June 24 at Williamsfield Cemetery for the committal service. Memorials may be made to the Williamsfield United Methodist Church or the Daughters of the American Revolution. Rux Funeral Home in Williamsfield is in charge of arrangements.
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