Dr. Laurie Mabry (1929 - 2015)

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Dr. Laurie Mabry passed away on Friday morning Oct. 16, 2015, at the age of 86.
Graveside services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Mabry/Reeter family plot at South Hill Cemetery in Vandalia. Friends are invited to join the family at Vandalia Country Club following the service. Memorials: Illinois State University Athletics, mail to Weisebecker Scholarship Fund, Campus Box 2660, Normal, Ill. 61790-2660; or Vandalia Alumni and Friends Foundation-Women's Athletics Programs, mail to Lori Meseke, VCUSD No. 203, 1109 N. 8th St., Vandalia, Ill. 62471. Mark all donations with "In memory of Dr. Laurie Mabry." Miller Funeral Home in Vandalia was in charge of arrangements. Online memories and condolences may be expressed at www.millerfh.net.
Laurie was born on Aug. 31, 1929, in Vandalia, the daughter of J.E. "Cotton" and Margaret F. (Eller).
Laurie graduated from Vandalia Community High School in 1947 as the valedictorian of her class. After graduation, she attended Northwestern University, where she received a bachelor's degree in physical education. She eventually received her master's degree in physical education from Purdue University and her doctorate in physical education at the University of Iowa. Dr. Mabry taught physical education, coached basketball and golf teams, and was the one and only women's athletic director at Illinois State University in Normal for 25 years (1960-85).
Dr. Mabry served for two years as the president of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, which later became the NCAA. During that tenure, Dr. Mabry played a key role in authoring and sponsoring the Title IX regulations for equality in women's sports, which were enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Gerald Ford.
Laurie was elected to the Illinois State University Hall of Fame and had received numerous awards in her career. She was most recently honored with the raising of a permanent banner at ISU's Redbird Basketball Arena.
After retirement, Laurie moved back to Vandalia in 1991, where she loved playing golf and was a member of the Vandalia County Club. Over the years, she also enjoyed playing cards in various bridge and poker groups. Laurie was also known for being a loving companion to her cocker spaniels and driving around town in her Cadillac. For the past two years, Dr. Mabry had been a long-term care resident of the Vandalia Rehab and Health Care Center. "Dr. Laurie," as the nursing staff often called her, was well cared for in her final days.
She is survived by her three nephews, Charles "Chuck" Reeter, Michael "Mike" Reeter, Scott Reeter; and a niece, Amy (Reeter) Opfer. Laurie had five great-nieces and three great-nephews and 10 great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Margaret A. "Marcy" (Mabry) Reeter; and brother-in-law, Victor E. "Vic" Reeter.
Funeral Home
Miller Funeral Homes - Vandalia
831 N. Fifth St.
Vandalia, IL 62471
(618) 283-3176
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Published in The Leader-Union from Oct. 19 to Oct. 28, 2015