Mary Miller Bley

Obituary of Mary Miller Bley

Mary Arline Miller Bley, age 99½, passed away Wednesday July 12, 2017 at her home in Beardstown, Illinois.

 She was born December 30, 1917 in Table Grove Illinois, the only child of Frederick and Rosa Johnson Miller. She moved to Beardstown as a young child and attended Beardstown schools, graduating from Beardstown High School in 1935. She worked for CIPS in Beardstown and travelled all over the country until her marriage to George Barkley “Bill” Bley on April 23, 1952. He preceded her in death on March 4th, 1986. Arline is survived by 4 children, Christinne M. Bley of Beardstown, George Barkley II “Tad” (wife Michelle Beard) Bley of Palm Harbor FL., Nancy B. Cowen of Beardstown, Jan E. (husband Rick) Rohde of Springfield, IL., and 5 grandchildren, Aurora L. Cowen and Lanora C. Cowen both of Los Angeles, CA., Daniel J. Rohde of Austin, TX, Alison E. Rohde of Springfield, IL., and Aaron W. Bley of Portland, OR.

Arline was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Beardstown, the Beardstown Women’s Club, and was a charter member of the Old Lincoln Courtroom and Museum Commission, where she gave tours and re-enacted the Lincoln Almanac Trial with visiting schoolchildren, and was made Commissioner Emerita upon her recent retirement. She had served on the Board of Director’s at Petefish, Skiles and Co. Bank in Virginia, IL. Arline enjoyed working in the yard and was an avid reader of numerous books, magazines and newspapers every day, and even wrote a weekly column for the local paper for many years. She belonged to the Illinois State Museum Society and enjoyed many bus trips with that group over the years. She was especially fascinated by the space program and watched everything she could, from the 1969 moonwalk to the International Space Station flying overhead in recent years.

Music was always an important part of Arline’s life. She sang in the Methodist Church choir for many years and played the piano. She also was part of a ladies’ singing trio, “The Silhouettes”, who performed on the radio and for special events for many years throughout the area. She was a loyal member of the Beardstown High School Alumni Association, and attended the annual alumni banquet for every one of the 81 years since her graduation until this year, when she was unable to attend for health reasons. Her greatest joy, however, was always her family, and she was at her happiest when everyone gathered together for holidays and celebrations.

A funeral service will be held 10 AM Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at First United Methodist Church in Beardstown with burial at Beardstown City Cemetery following the service. The family will meet with friends at Sager Funeral Home from 4 to 7 PM on Tuesday, July 18. Memorials may be made to the Old Lincoln Courtroom and Museum or a charity of the donor’s choice. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.sagerfuneralhome.com.  Sager Funeral Home in Beardstown is in charge of the arrangements.