Mary Ann Roediger | Obituary

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Mary Ann Roediger, 100, of Columbia, died  of pneumonia at Red Bud Regional Hospital Sept. 17, 2022. She was surrounded by family and friends the days before her death. Mary Ann had celebrated her 100th birthday on April 5, 2022, and continued to live in her Columbia home until just before she died, reading novels, following the news and, listening to learn all she could about the lives of her caregivers. 

She was born as Mary Ann Lind in Cairo and orphaned by age five. A loving grandmother and aunts raised her through her graduation from St. Joseph High School in Cairo. Having skipped grades, she entered Southern Illinois University in Carbondale early. At the time. two years of college was sufficient to secure a teaching certificate. She started her teaching career in Columbia public schools as World War II began. In all she taught 49 years, overwhelmingly in fourth grade, sometimes educating three generations of the same family and keeping touch with many former students. 

After a quarter century of taking classes while teaching – as time and money permitted –at SIU’s East St. Louis and Edwardsville campuses, she completed her B.S. in education with high honors. She was also a dedicated member and leader of her Illinois Education Association union local. After retirement at 70 she served another dozen years as a volunteer in the infant and childcare center serving workers at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

Mary Ann was an active member-and eventually the oldest member–of Immaculate Conception Parish in Columbia. She was an iconoclast in many ways: a Cubs fan fifteen miles from Busch Stadium, a new Deal Democrat in a Republican county, and a believer in the rights and abilities of women and of the poor. She touched thousands of lives.

Mary Ann married twice, to Arthur Roediger, a Columbia Quarry worker who was in the Navy when they wed and, later in life, to Orville Williams, the superintendent of Columbia’s schools. She had one child, David Roediger of Lawrence, Kansas, and two grandsons, Brendan of University City, Mo., and Donovan, of Minneapolis. Lights of her last two years have been her grandsons, Julian and Kieran Roediger. 

Her twin brothers Ed and James Lind pre-deceased Mary Ann. 

At her request, there will be no public services.

Mary Ann had gifted her remains to the St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis. 

In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions be directed to: Western Egyptian – Meals On Wheels, Waterloo; Eugene Schorb – Immaculate Conception School Education Fund, Columbia; or American Cancer Society.

Arrangements were handled by Leesman Funeral Home.

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