On February 27, 1932 Ruth and Robert Drake welcomed into the world Mary Alice Drake. Together they lived on a small farm in Moorhead, Minnesota with her many siblings - Mabel, Terri, Ester, Daniel, Russell, Ruth and later Hazel. Mary’s farm life was filled with stories of sibling antics, adventure, excitement, hardship and love. After her father passed, Mary moved to Chicago with her mom and sister to be closer to her brothers before they went off to serve our country in WWII. And this is where the story of Mary, the caregiver, begins.
As a teenager, Mary was often called upon by her older brothers and sisters to care for her many little nieces and nephews. And she loved it! She also took her first job caring for a family with her sister by her side. She went on to hold other jobs, but taking care of others was always most important. The job that gave Mary the most pride was as a nurse’s assistant at Elmhurst Hospital. There she met the man she would marry and bring her greatest joys in life – her children, Edward and John Fondel.
She raised her sons as a single mother - not ever an easy task. And she did so with love and determination. The family was blessed to have Mary’s mom Ruth living with them, and Mary took great care of her mom while also raising her boys. Mary’s sons grew up and married. Edward to Margaret and John to Jennifer. Mary was always so proud of her boys and took care of their wives as her own daughters. The grandchildren arrived - Ed and Peggy gave her Mary; John and Jennifer brought into the family Jake and Sarah Ruth. She affectionately became known as GrandMary. She loved and cared for her family, and her family truly loved her. In her early senior years, Mary was blessed to have met the love of her life, Ed King. Together they were a bond of friendship, admiration, gentle kindness and immeasurable love.
Mary enjoyed family, dancing, Westerns, country music, travel and living life. She loved her family, her friends and kept God at the center of all. In her later years, Mary crocheted baby blankets for the local hospitals. She moved in with one of her son’s and his family and would crochet blankets for some of the neighbor kids. Always sharing. Always giving.
To remember Mary Alice Drake is to remember a woman of deep faith who lived a tough yet good life. When life got hard she just did what needed to be done keeping a quick wit, strength and positive determination. People who met her consistently said she was the strongest person they had ever met. And that is truth. Mary loved her family fiercely. Her love and generosity unselfishly spilled over to everyone, as she shared all that she had. Always smart, sassy, sarcastic, incredibly generous, having a great sense of humor, and making delicious apple cake.
Most importantly, Mary Alice Drake will be remembered for teaching a family the importance of taking care of each other. Love wins. However you knew her - Mary, aunt, grandma, GrandMary, mom was and always will be deeply loved.
Services are private. Please omit flowers.
Arrangements by Brust Funeral Home, 135 S. Main St., Lombard.