HINCKLEY – Mary C. Chestnut, 85, of Hinckley, Ill., a resident at Shabbona Health Care Center, passed away peacefully Dec. 21, 2012.
Born Oct. 17, 1927, in Boston, the daughter of Socrates and Marion (Anastasio) Colantoni, Mary grew up in Hyde Park, Boston, and graduated from Hyde Park High School in 1945. The eldest of nine children, she worked after school in local plants near the end of World War II to help support the family.
Mary was encouraged after high school by her pastor to attend a new college forming in the community nearby. She worked and went to school and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Gordon College of Theology and Missions in 1949. After graduation she took a full-time clerical position with Allis Chalmers.
Sometime later, she decided to enter the teaching field. With completion of course work for that purpose and a few additional hours work, she soon received her Master of Arts from State Teachers College in Boston. After teaching at Sutton, Mass., for four years, Mary applied to the Department of Defense Dependent Schools program. In 1959, she began a teaching position in England, and transferred two years later to a post in Germany. She continued to take coursework and soon had 30 credit hours beyond her earlier degrees.
Travel throughout Europe and the Middle East was often available at vacation times and she participated liberally. After four years in Europe, she received an assignment to Tachikawa Air Base, Japan. Mary met her husband, Wendell, an Air Force civilian employee there, and they were married Aug. 2, 1965. She remained in the local base schools near Tokyo until her retirement.
Mary loved to read nonfiction works, with biographies being her favorite.
Mary is survived by her husband, Wendell; son, Kirk Chestnut and his wife Christine Gatenby Chestnut and two granddaughters, Emily and Jillian, of Oswego. Beside her immediate family, Mary is survived by four brothers, Socrates, Lawrence, Robert and Andrew; and two sisters, Eleanor Saccardo and Rose Mulqueeney. She also is survived by a brother-in-law, several sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Frank and John.
The memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at Somonauk United Presbyterian Church, 14030 Chicago Road, with Pastor Jane Bunnell officiating. Visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the service at the church.
Interment of cremated remains will be at a later date at Oak Mound Cemetery, Somonauk.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Mary C. Chestnut Memorial Fund, sent in care of Anderson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 605, 2011 S. Fourth St., DeKalb, IL 60115.
For information, visit www.AndersonFuneralHomeLtd.com
or call 815-756-1022.