Mary Gray Crockett

Mary Gray Crockett Mary Gray Crockett, 90, of Vernon Hills, IL, passed away Monday, November 19, 2012 at Radford Green Health Care and Rehabilitation in Lincolnshire. She was born on June 11, 1922 in Louisville, KY to Marie, nee Rhoads and Arthur Butler. She graduated from Westminster College and received a Master's Degree in nursing from Yale University. After 14 years at home raising her four daughters, she decided to return to nursing. She wanted to make a difference where she was most needed, so she chose the specialty of psychiatric nursing. She worked as a psychiatric nurse in Ann Arbor, MI and was the author of several publications on her nursing research. After moving to California with her family in the late 1960's, she went back to graduate school and received a Doctor of Nursing Science degree from the University of California at San Francisco. Mary then became a professor at the University of Texas Nursing School, where she conducted research and taught many nursing students until her retirement. During her years as a professor, she was the Editor-in-Chief of The Journal and Issues in Mental Health Nursing. She spent a semester as a visiting professor at a medical school in Taipei, Taiwan. Mary loved classical music and played the piano. She loved flower gardening and travel. She will be remembered for her intelligence, her emphasis on exercise and good nutrition and her compassion for suffering people, particularly those with mental illness. Having seen firsthand the dramatic advances in medical care with the effective use of antibiotics and the vaccinations for polio that eradicated this feared disease in the U.S., she was a great believer in medical progress and very interested in all areas of medical research. Mary is survived by her sister Jean Sibley of Etna, NH; four daughters: Emily (Thomas) Berndt of West Lafayette, IN, Elizabeth Swanson (Jerry Buckley) of Bozeman, MT, Mary (David) Oler of Riverwoods, IL and Sarah Swanson (Al Heinrich) of Austin, TX; ten grandchildren: William Berndt (Shima Roy), Edward Berndt, Brian Berndt, Eric Berndt, Julie Charron, Ann Oler, Jesse Oler, Holly Heinrich, Dan Heinrich and Catherine Heinrich; and her beloved first great-grandchild, Kiran Berndt. Service and interment private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in her memory to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, P.O. Box 62596, Baltimore, MD 21264-2596. For information please call Kelley & Spalding Funeral Home at (847) 831-4260 or

Published in Austin American-Statesman on Dec. 7, 2012