Marie Elizabeth Stahl, 92, of Fairbury, IL, passed away on June 25, 2023, at Goldwater Care Nursing Home in Pontiac.
Marie was born on March 5, 1931, to Dominic and Sarah Giancarli. She married Marion Dan Fugate on November 18, 1950. They had three daughters: Sylvia (Joe) Penrod, Bloomington, Julie (Tim) Rathbun, Bloomington, and Carla (Michael) Murray, Fairbury. She married Weldon “Pete” Stahl on April 15, 1971.
Marie graduated from Fairbury-Cropsey High School in 1949 where she was an honors student and a majorette with the marching band. She was an accomplished piano and accordion player, and music was a lifelong passion of hers. She sang with Sweet Adeline’s, she taught piano and organ lessons, and she was a member of the Fairbury Music Club. She loved having her music room filled with family and friends all singing and playing various instruments. In her later years, she enjoyed playing the piano for the residents at the Fairview Haven Retirement Community. During the Covid lockdown, she stayed in touch with family and friends by calling them on the telephone and playing a few tunes on the piano for them.
In addition to her love of music, she was a great friend to animals. She never met a dog she didn’t want to adopt nor a stray cat she didn’t want to feed. Any bird that flew in her yard was welcomed with food and water.
Nothing pleased Marie more than to wear colorful hats and cruise around Fairbury in her vintage Cadillac. She would happily talk for hours on the benefits of fruits and vegetables, and she would proudly brag that she could still stand and touch her toes at 92. She was known for sending out quirky cards and letters, many on very tiny pieces of paper, and all reflecting her dry sense of humor and quick wit.
In her recent years, she often told her daughters she had led a fairy tale life. She said she was lucky to have spent many winters in Florida and then return to Illinois in the spring to see the bluebells in bloom. Most of all, she knew she was incredibly blessed to have the love and devotion of her three daughters and all her extended family.
Marie leaves behind her three daughters; four grandchildren, Eric (Angela) Stahl, Don (Dawn) Stahl, Dan (Cortney) Rathbun, and Sylvia (James) McDonald; six great-grandchildren; three stepchildren, Janice Murphy, Steve (Lisa) Stahl, and Candace Stahl; and five step-grandchildren.
Marie was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Sylvia, her brother Joseph, her two husbands, two stepsons, Don Stahl and Jerry Stahl, and her great-granddaughter Summer Stahl, who lost her battle to cancer on June 23, 2023.
A private family graveside ceremony will be held at the Avoca Twp. Cemetery in Fairbury on Wednesday, June 28. Duffy-Pils Memorial Home in Fairbury is handling the arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Sterile Feral Foundation, P.O. Box 3413, Bloomington, IL 61704-3413, or to the Summer Stahl Memorial Scholarship Fund.