School 30
Official Obituary of

Mary Elizabeth Childress

March 10, 1943 ~ February 26, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old

Mary Elizabeth Childress Obituary

Mary Elizabeth Childress, affectionately known as “Mary Beth”, passed away on Tuesday, February 26, 2024, at the age of 80, at Copper Creek Cottages in Mattoon, IL. She was born March 10, 1943, in Ashmore, IL, daughter of Mac Warren and Meriam Beatrice (Wangler) Childress. She married Steve White in June of 1965 and divorced in 1992. She married Jan Dyke in August of 1995 and divorced in 2018.

Mary is survived by her son, Mac White (Jennifer); granddaughter, Zoey Belle White; sisters, Linda Keeler, Diana Wilson, and Rachel Childress; and nephews, Drew and Holt Walborn. She is preceded in death by her parents Mac & Meriam Childress.

Mary Beth Childress grew up on a family farm in Ashmore, IL. After graduating from Charleston High School in 1961, Mary pursued her passion for education and science at Eastern Illinois University where she majored in chemistry education. She earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees setting the stage for a remarkable career dedicated to shaping young minds.  Mary started teaching chemistry, physics, and math at Media High School. She then taught chemistry and physics her entire career at Aledo, Monmouth and Geneseo High Schools. She loved teaching science. Mary was a dynamic teacher who touched thousands of lives.

Devoted to her faith, Mary was a member of the Mattoon Presbyterian Church. She was also a proud member of the Illinois Chemistry Teachers Association and the National Education Association, embodying a commitment to excellence in her profession.

She was an avid reader who loved mystery novels and watching science fiction movies. She was a big fan of Illinois Basketball and loved Eastern Illinois University. Mary enjoyed travelling and going to the opera; she held season tickets at the Lyric in Chicago. Upon retirement she was an avid quilter who made many beloved items for her friends and family.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 7, 2024 at Adams Funeral Chapel with Reverend Mathew Froeschle officiating.  Immediately following the funeral, burial  will be at Ashmore Cemetery in Ashmore, IL. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 at Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Dr., Charleston, IL 61920.

Because of Mary’s love of chemistry, we are asking in lieu of flowers to contribute to a memorial scholarship established at EIU for a female majoring in chemistry – please make a donation in honor of Mary Childress to EIU Foundation, c/o Sylvia R. Nichols Scholarship, 860 W. Lincoln Ave., Charleston, IL 61920

To view the full obituary, send a condolence message, light a candle, or post photos, please visit Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Dr., Charleston, IL is in charge of the arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Elizabeth Childress, please visit our floral store.

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March 6, 2024

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Adams Funeral Chapel (Charleston)

Funeral Service
March 7, 2024

10:00 AM
Adams Funeral Chapel
2330 Shawnee Drive
Charleston, IL 61920


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