Tomorrow we head to Fairbury to lay my Grandmother to rest. I remember when her husband (Grandpa Pete) passed several years ago, I was consumed by trying to remember conversations and share stories. Marie should be getting that treatment, but I do not have the mental or time resources needed with everything going on. It sucks.
Marie was acknowledging that she might be getting old and told us the last time we saw her, in the “nursing home”, that she needed to share stories.
I am no fool, reality has been slapping me around a lot lately. I was thinking that she should not be waiting so long to start talking about things that nobody knows about when you are 92 and in the hospital. Soon after, she was out and back at her house living her regular life again. In my mind… Those stories could wait because she is probably going to live to be 100!
Well, her optimism fooled me… And all of us a little I think. Nobody lives forever… But Marie had us thinking that she might pull it off.
Below is her obituary. Dad came by this morning and I asked him if they submitted it to any of the newspapers… He said “No”. I was thankfull because it’s damn good and it reads better than Summer’s. I knew I was fighting dollars and cents with every word when we wrote hers. Marie had the freedom of unlimited words! (Sylvia, Carla, and Julies writing?)
As we spend time sitting around chatting and being social with family members over the next week… It should remind us of those times of yesteryear when we would sit around the table or out on the porch and regale family with classic tales. Sure, some of us have heard the same stories a few times… Sometimes over several decades. But there are people in the room who are now hearing them for the first time. They will be the ones who tell your tale “if” anyone ever asks who you were. Give them something to talk about.
Fairbury – Marie Elizabeth Stahl, 92, of Fairbury, IL, passed away on June 25, 2023, at Goldwater Care Nursing Home in Pontiac.
Marie was born on March 5, 1931, to Dominic and Sarah Giancarli. She married Marion Dan Fugate on November 18, 1950. They had three daughters: Sylvia (Joe) Penrod, Bloomington, Julie (Tim) Rathbun, Bloomington, and Carla (Michael) Murray, Fairbury. She married Weldon “Pete” Stahl on April 15, 1971.
Marie graduated from Fairbury-Cropsey High School in 1949 where she was an honors student and a majorette with the marching band. She was an accomplished piano and accordion player, and music was a lifelong passion of hers. She sang with Sweet Adeline’s, she taught piano and organ lessons, and she was a member of the Fairbury Music Club. She loved having her music room filled with family and friends all singing and playing various instruments. In her later years, she enjoyed playing the piano for the residents at the Fairview Haven Retirement Community. During the Covid lockdown, she stayed in touch with family and friends by calling them on the telephone and playing a few tunes on the piano for them.
In addition to her love of music, she was a great friend to animals. She never met a dog she didn’t want to adopt nor a stray cat she didn’t want to feed. Any bird that flew in her yard was welcomed with food and water.
Nothing pleased Marie more than to wear colorful hats and cruise around Fairbury in her vintage Cadillac. She would happily talk for hours on the benefits of fruits and vegetables, and she would proudly brag that she could still stand and touch her toes at 92. She was known for sending out quirky cards and letters, many on very tiny pieces of paper, and all reflecting her dry sense of humor and quick wit.
In her recent years, she often told her daughters she had led a fairy tale life. She said she was lucky to have spent many winters in Florida and then return to Illinois in the spring to see the bluebells in bloom. Most of all, she knew she was incredibly blessed to have the love and devotion of her three daughters and all her extended family.
Marie leaves behind her three daughters; four grandchildren, Eric (Angela) Stahl, Don (Dawn) Stahl, Dan (Cortney) Rathbun, and Sylvia (James) McDonald; six great-grandchildren; three stepchildren, Janice Murphy, Steve (Lisa) Stahl, and Candace Stahl; and five step-grandchildren.
Marie was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Sylvia, her brother Joseph, her two husbands, two stepsons, Don Stahl and Jerry Stahl, and her great-granddaughter Summer Stahl, who lost her battle to cancer on June 23, 2023.
A private family graveside ceremony will be held at the Avoca Twp. Cemetery in Fairbury on Wednesday, June 28. Duffy-Pils Memorial Home in Fairbury is handling the arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Sterile Feral Foundation, P.O. Box 3413, Bloomington, IL 61704-3413, or to the Summer Stahl Memorial Scholarship Fund.