Maryellen Galyen, 84, visited her Lord and Savior, Jesus, and her best boyfriend, Dwight, on July 10. Even though the whole family spent days and nights caring for her, she continued her goal of taking care of us. She said her job wasn’t done yet because she had more sewing to do, a book to finish, and more laughs to have with family and friends.
Please help us celebrate her life in the place where she has devoted so much of her time and service, the Central Church of Christ. A visitation will be held Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. with the funeral service performed by Michael Mallick starting at 11 a.m., with interment to follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park. The bearers will be Tate, Tyler and Tanner Galyen; Justin Durdan; Ryan Sokol; and Collin Wilson. The honorary bearers are great-grandsons: Billy, Nico, Trace, Tripp, Kai, Ian, Hugh and Hank. Memories can be made to the Central Church of Christ in the name of Mary.
Mom will be sadly missed by her four children: Teena (Andrew) Downey, Todd (Jamie) Galyen, Tracy (Pat) Sokol and Troy Galyen. Eleven grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren will be missed by their Gigi as she had a special bond with each of them and their spouses.
Mary was born in Sidell, IL on April 18, 1937 to Emmett and Agnes (Sheppard) Mingee. On August 7, 1955, she married the love of her life, Dwight Galyen, who preceded her in death and welcomed her to the gates of Heaven. Mary was also predeceased by five siblings.
Defining mom according to her career is impossible because she has taken on so many roles: dressmaker, interior designer, Bible studies teacher, President of the Ladies Christian Fellowship, business owner, grief counselor, biggest fan of Bears and Blackhawks, Certified and Registered Nursing Assistant, Parish and School Nurses. Graduating from Illinois Valley Community College as a registered nurse at age 52 was probably his proudest and most difficult accomplishment. But there was never any question of the title. It was about his need and his purpose to serve others.
Mom had an eye for antiques and knew the story behind each one. She could also coordinate the colors of a room, design a quilt, sew clothes for a fashion show, bake a serious gourmet cake, and learn a foreign language. But a little-known fact is that she got her Concealment and Carrying License at the age of 80, earning the highest score in the class of all the younger men.
Even with all of these talents, mom’s greatest gift was the ability to connect on a very personal level with everyone, regardless of age, background, or religion. She had a fantastic race with the greatest gift of all: love. God accelerates Gigi. We love you more.
Winterrowd Funeral Home will make the arrangements.
Winterrow Funeral Home
305 S. Park St.
Streator, IL 61364