Mary Mayer

October 23, 1931 ~ November 19, 2020 (age 89)


Mary Mayer, age 89, of Geneva, passed away Thursday, November 19, 2020 at Greenfields of Geneva.

She was born October 23, 1931, in Garden Plain, IL, the daughter of Bruce and Josephine (Parker) Slaymaker.

Mary grew up on her family’s farm in Whiteside County, Illinois.  She graduated as Valedictorian in 1949 from Fulton High School and went on to graduate with high honors from Northern Illinois Teachers College in 1954.  She taught briefly in Polo, Yorkville, West Chicago and Geneva High School as a Home Economics teacher and Child Development teacher. She was also an accomplished tailor and made custom clothing for herself, her family and clients. Later in her life, she was a representative for the Center for Cultural Interchange – helping high school students from foreign countries during their year abroad and hosting many students over the years. Her skill at dealing with young people and challenging situations made her a great asset to the exchange students and the host families alike.  Mary Anne had a gift for kindness and understanding.  She made people feel at home.

She enjoyed playing bridge, caring for children and babies, cooking for her family, traveling, meeting new people, visiting with old friends, her pets, and reading. She was dedicated to being a good Christian and helping as many people as possible.  She will be dearly missed by her family and those lucky enough to have known her. 

She supported her family and friends with her beautiful spirit, loving kindness and willingness to be there when it mattered. 

She is survived by her children Linda (Scott) Abernethy of West Chicago, Andrew (Lillian) Mayer of Geneva, and Amy (Davin Wickstrom) Mayer of Geneva; daughter-in-law Cynthia Mayer of Glen Ellyn; grandchildren Ben (Heidi) Popovich, Carolyn (Jeff) Oldham, Jake Abernethy, Kelly (Peter) Berardi, Alexander Mayer, & Nathaniel Wickstrom; great-grandchildren Ellie, Noah and Henry Oldham, and Emma Popovich; sister-in-law Betty Slaymaker; and her nieces Charlene Cross, Jane (Jeff) Hunn, Dana (Steve) Sharer, Susan (Bob) Steckel, and Nancy (Steve) Smith; and many other dear relatives and friends. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, dear son Tom, nephew Jim Cross, siblings Robert B. Slaymaker and Betty Jo Cross, and her loving husband of 63 years James Mayer who passed away in 2018.

Due to Covid-19, services will be held in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, memorials would be appreciated to Fox Valley Presbyterian Church, 227 East Side Drive #1544, Geneva, IL 60134 where she was member for over 60 years.   

Arrangements handled by Malone Funeral Home in Geneva.  For information 630-232-8233 or

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