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Mary Tavis

July 8, 1926 -
July 1, 2019

After a short illness, Mary Louise Tavis of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, died on July 1, 2019 at the age of 92. At the time of her death she was surrounded by her loving family. They had gathered to help her through her final days, and now remain in town to celebrate her life.

Mary was born in Fargo, North Dakota on …read more

After a short illness, Mary Louise Tavis of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, died on July 1, 2019 at the age of 92. At the time of her death she was surrounded by her loving family. They had gathered to help her through her final days, and now remain in town to celebrate her life.

Mary was born in Fargo, North Dakota on July 8, 1926 to Hubert and Doris Harrington. She graduated in 1947 from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree. While attending college, she met Richard L. Tavis, who was also studying for his bachelor’s degree. They were married in Fargo in 1948, beginning a wonderful and love-filled relationship that would last until Richard passed away in 2004.

Richard and Mary moved occasionally over the years. Richard completed a master’s degree in Architecture at MIT in 1952, then pursued a career path that included several teaching positions and work in the private sector. Mary and Richard were a dynamic team, supporting each other the whole way with mutual love and support. Over the years, their five children were born. Their shared life brought them to Urbana in 1971, where he assumed a position in the Department of Architecture at the University of Illinois.

For nearly half a century Mary was active in the St. Patrick Parish community, the University of Illinois Women’s Club, and the Architectural Wives Group. Some of her special interests for many years were sewing, gardening, and knitting. She was also active in the community at large and was always heavily involved with her children’s education and activities.

Mary is preceded in death by both her parents, her husband, Richard, and her beloved sister-in-law Lou (Pat) O’Day. She is survived by her sister Ruth (Harry) Stuart of Orlando Florida, her brothers-in law Ron (Marty) Tavis of Indianapolis, Indiana and Fr. Gordon Tavis, OSB, of Collegeville, Minnesota. She is also survived by all of her five children, Richard H. Tavis of Oceanside, California, Margaret (Ron) Royer of Backus, Minnesota, Ann (Alan) Herbach of Skokie, Illinois, Mary B. (Robert) Twohey and Sarah Tavis, both of Champaign, Illinois.

Mary so loved all of her eleven grandchildren, Kate (Tavis) McCarthy, and Andrew Tavis; Dan, Emily, and Noah Royer; Jesse and Jacob Herbach; RJ, Zach, Nick, and Caleb Twohey; and great-grandchildren Ava, Morgan, Maggie, Malka, Moshe, Devorah, and Yehudis.

To honor her memory, there will be a funeral Mass at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 708 W. Main Street, Urbana Illinois, at 10:00 AM, Tuesday, July 9, 2019. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Champaign.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

—From an old, Irish blessing, a favorite of Mary’s

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made in Mary Tavis’s name to the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, PO Box 648, Champaign, IL 61824. Telephone: 217-356-7687. This organization reflects values deeply held by Mary, and your donation would directly benefit a local non-profit.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Morgan Memorial Home, Savoy, Illinois.

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Service Information

Service Information

Date: Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Time: 10:00 am

St. Patrick Catholic Church

Address:

708 W. Main St.
Urbana, Illinois 61801

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