Mary E. Knowles Bonebrake went to be with the Lord at 12:26 p.m. Jan. 31, 2017, in her home surrounded by family.
She was born the daughter of John W. and Elizabeth (Owens) Jones.
Mary first married Jack Knowles on Feb. 14, 1942, at Free Methodist Church in Danville. He passed Sept. 12, 1973. She later married Orville Bonebrake on June 7, 1991.
ary graduated from Danville High School in 1937. While in high school, she was on Student Council, the girls' basketball team (which she lettered), and the traveling softball team. She attended and graduated from Utterback and Brown Business School. Mary was office manager for Barkman Chevrolet and later Carson Pirie Scott and Co.
After Mary and Jack were married, they moved to Elkhart Ind.; they moved back to Danville a few months later. When WWII began, the two moved to New Orleans and then San Antonio, Texas. When Jack shipped out to the European front, Mary was pregnant with their first child, Judy, and moved back home to her parents' home for the duration of the war. When Jack returned, they moved into their own home and built a new one, in which Mary remained until her passing. The two had two more daughters.
When their daughters Jane and Marianne where in grade school, Mary went to Danville Beauty School, graduated, and was a beautician until 1976 when she finally decided to retire.
After Jack's death, Mary married Orville Bonebrake. Orville added five more children into the life of Mary. They traveled and spent the winters in Phoenix, Ariz., where Mary took up golf at the age of 78.
Mary was raised in the Free Methodist Church. After the death of her parents, Mary took her children to her husband's family church, Lincoln Methodist. Mary is a 50-plus year member of her church, which is now Danville First United Methodist Church.
Mary was active in the PTA at Roselawn School, a troop leader for Brownies and Girl Scouts, Eastern Star Past Worthy Matron (among other offices), High Priestess of White Shrine, and past president many times of the Danville Hairdressers Association. Mary was very active and proud of her church, First United Methodist, where she served on many boards including The United Methodist Women. She was awarded IRD Woman of the Year in 2015.
Mary was a compassionate and loving person, and was proud to help serve the free community dinners at her church each month; serving for the Lord was a passion.
Mary loved spending time with her family. She enjoyed cooking, baking and having dinners for everyone. She was "famous" for her baked mac' n cheese and her homemade noodles. When she turned 95, the mayor dedicated Sept. 21, 2013, as Mary Knowles Day.
She will be missed greatly by her daughters, Jane (James) Hall and Marianne (Andy) Monson; son-in-law, Louie (Chris) Klaman; stepchildren, Charles (Bernadine) Bonebrake, Sandra (John) Sykes, David (Pam) Bonebrake, James (Kay) Bonebrake and Donna Sue (Jan Cusak) Bronebrake; and nieces and nephew, Susan Day, Carol (Gordon) Manchester, Glenda (Randy) Campbell, Lisa Hawkins, James (Tina) Honey. She also will be missed by her 25 grandchildren, 51 great-grandchildren, 15 great-great-grandchildren and numerous great- nieces and great-nephews. She also leaves behind her special friends Mildred and Clair Astell, Richard and Nadeane Weller and Joann Wheeler.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; both husbands; her daughter, Judy Klaman; a granddaughter, Patty Anderson; sisters Selma Jones and Ethel (Ben) Aikin; a brother, Glenn Jones; nieces Ethel Aikin and Pam Bush; and a nephew, David Harrison.
Mary requested in lieu of flowers memorials be made to Danville First United Methodist Church, 1400 N. Vermilion, Danville, IL 61832.
Mary's services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, at Pape Family Funeral Home with visitation 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday. Services and internment will follow, and she will be laid to rest beside her husband Jack at Sunset Memorial Park.
Messages and memories may be left on our website at www.papefuneral.com, or on the Pape Family Funeral Home Facebook page.