Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Mary Faith Sanders Harper

Mary Faith Sanders Harper, born February 13, 1935, departed this life on August 25, 2019, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Mary left this world just as she lived her life, surrounded by her family that loved her dearly.

Mary was born in Vienna, Illinois, the daughter of Tilford and Elzora Grace Sanders, 45 minutes after her twin sister Myra Fay. Mary graduated from Vienna High School in 1954 where she was active in school, cheerleading, and was the Homecoming Queen.

Following high school, Mary married Bobbie Gene Harper on June 12, 1954, in a double wedding with her twin sister Myra & Howard Ray Powell. Through 65 years of marriage, Bob and Mary lived the great American love story, living each day side by side. The Lord blessed them with a daughter, Kathy René and son, Bob Kelly. Bob and Mary were further blessed with five grandchildren, Jerrah René, Kyler Harper, Kelsey Ann, Keeley Faith, Robert “Bob” Kelbey, and one great granddaughter Milianah Maryn, named after her. Mary was “Meme” to her grandkids and was the center of her entire family. She loved to watch her kids and grandkids grow and enjoyed seeing them active in sports, recitals, and watched their graduations. Mary was proud of her family, something she instilled in each of her children and grandchildren.

Mary is survived by her husband, Bob, her daughter, Kathy (and son-in-law Jerry Stevens), Kelly (and daughter-in-law Shelia Harper), granddaughter Jerrah (and grandson-in-law Jason Henson), grandson Kyle (and granddaughter-in-law Miranda Stevens), granddaughters Kelsey and Keeley Harper, grandson Kelbey Harper, great granddaughter Milianah Maryn Henson, sisters Jane McClellan, Judy Nutty, Sally Taylor, Sharon Folkman, and Myra Powell, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and her dog Lil’ Bit. Mary was predeceased by her parents, brothers Jim Sanders and George Sanders, sisters Betty Daniels, Connie Garner, Vicki Webb, and Holly Colleen Sanders.

Mary loved her church, Reynoldsburg Church, where she led the choir and shared her gift of singing each Sunday Mary was an accomplished baker and cook, her peach cobblers and chocolate pies were always the first to go at family reunions and potlucks. Mary’s favorite pastime was being Meme to her grandkids and great granddaughter.

For friends and those she loved, a funeral service honoring the life of Mary will be held at the Reynoldsburg Church, 1065 Reynoldsburg Road, Tunnel Hill, Illinois, at 11 AM Friday, August 30, 2019.  Pastor David Nelson and Pastor Jerry Schell will officiate.  Burial will follow in the Reynoldsburg Cemetery.

Visitation will be held Thursday, August 29, 2019, from 5 PM – 8 PM at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna and from 10 AM – 11 AM Friday, August 30, 2019, at Reynoldsburg Church.

Memorials may be made to the Reynoldsburg Cemetery and may be left in care of Bailey Funeral Home, P.O. Box 695, Vienna, Illinois 62995

To share a memory of Mary or to leave an online message of condolence for her family, please visit

Arrangements have been entrusted to Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.

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