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Marie DeBates

Published: Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 11:51 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 1:17 p.m. CST

MCNABB — Marie Darlene Nielsen DeBates, 79, of McNabb passed away in her home on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013.

Marie was born to Goldwin and Emma Nielsen on Aug. 14, 1933, in Mineral. She married James R. DeBates on Easter Sunday, April 10, 1955, and celebrated 40 years of marriage before James passed away on March 30, 1996.

Marie graduated as valedictorian and D.A.R. award winner from Mineral High School. In 1955 she received a bachelor of science degree from Western Illinois University, Macomb. While at Western, she was a member of Pi Omega Pi, Kappa Delta Pi, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and was named to Who’s Who Among University students during 1954-1955. In December of 1983, she received a Master of Science degree in Business Education from Illinois State University, Normal, and was also selected as the outstanding graduate student in business education by the College of Business Awards Committee.

Marie loved being a teacher for 35 1/2 years, and spent the majority of those years at Henry-Senachwine High School, Henry. She taught business, speech and English classes and organized a charter chapter of Future Business Leaders of America, serving as faculty advisor. In 1985 she was a nominee for the “Outstanding Working Woman” award sponsored by the Bureau Valley Business and Professional Women’s Club in Princeton. Following retirement, she continued to substitute teach in the Henry and Putnam County school districts.

Serving the community was also an important part of Marie’s life. She was an active member of the McNabb United Methodist Church, a past president of the Putnam County Library board, past member of the Board of Directors for the Starved Rock Library System, a charter member of the Putnam County Ambulance Association and served as an EMT for 2 1/2 years. In addition, she was a member of Eastern Star, a Den Mother, Girl Scout and 4-H Leader; a member of the Marshall-Putnam Fair Queen Pageant Committee, the Putnam County Bicentennial Committee, the Advisory Board for the Henry Chamber of Commerce, the Magnolia Township Board, and a board member of the McNabb Phone Co.

She is survived by her son, Jaye of Granville; her daughter, Janet (Gary) Kemp of Montgomery, N.C.; grandsons Jonathan (Katie) DeBates of Fayetteville, N.C., Noah at home; granddaughter Jessica (Ray) Schultheis of Dixon; four great-grandchildren, James, Shayla, Lilly, and Rayden; one sister, Dotti (Merwyn) Champion of Bradford; and nieces and nephews.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the McNabb United Methodist Church, McNabb, with Pastor Carol Stufflebeam officiating. Burial will be in the Sheffield Cemetery, Sheffield.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Dysart-Cofoid Funeral Chapel, Granville, and from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family.

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