Mary Carol (Thoma) Day passed away peacefully at her home on February 5, 2021, after a short battle with cancer. Mary touched many lives over her 80 years on this earth. With her beautiful smile, kind heart, and a warm conversation, she never met a stranger. Many of her acquaintances even became lifelong friends. She always looked for the good in people and would go above and beyond showing kindness and compassion to all. She put everyone’s needs before her own.
Mary was born to Carl and Dorothy (Depke) Thoma, both deceased. She was the middle child of seven children sisters: Anne (William) Bailey, both deceased; Ellen (Fred) Morris, both deceased; Judy, deceased (John) Henry; Sarah Lloren; and brothers: Carl Thoma Jr.; and Edwin (Sharon) Thoma.
Mary attended St. Patrick Grade School and Schlarman High School. She met Tommy L. Day when she was a sophomore and he was a senior at Danville High School. They were married at St. Patrick Catholic Church shortly after she graduated in 1958 and Tom got out of the Navy. It was the beginning of their 62+ years of marriage. God blessed them with five children: Kathy Day, Donna (Steve) Knarr, Susan (Terry) Everingham, Gary (Jenny) Day, and Ronnie (Nadine) Day. She said she really had been blessed with nine kids.
Mary was a very proud Grandma and Great Grandma to: Daniel (Christina) Becker and daughter Hannah; Tyson (Angela) McGullion and children, Tye Lynn and Brody; Jay (John) Mauro and children, Lincoln and Gianna; Jason (April) Knarr and daughter, Kate and soon-to-arrive, Hannah; Jeremy (Amanda) Knarr and daughter, Melody; Christopher (Jenna) Everingham and daughters, Anna and Fletcher; Rachael (Travis) Vice and sons, Oakley and Wyatt; Elizabeth (Cole) Craft and son, Clay; Wesley, Mitchell, and Sarah Day; and Nalani Day. Mary loved her family deeply with all her heart. (But, we lovingly know that Ronnie was always her favorite! HaHaHa!) She would and did do anything for her family.
While raising her family, Mary was active in Girls Scouts, PTA, and Religious Education. While living in Vermilion Heights, Mary and Tom created and ran Day’s Novelties, putting on carnival and festival games all around the county. She even set up a neighborhood candy store in her hallway for all the “Heights Kids” to enjoy. The family moved to Rabbittown in the late 70’s and lived there for 22 years. Mary loved her large historic home there with the big front porch, swing, lead glass windows, as well as the beautiful woodwork and fireplace. The front yard would be decorated at Halloween with life-size characters, a cemetery, and other scary scenes. She loved passing out candy to hundreds of kids that would come by for a scare. The yard would then get converted into a Christmas theme complete with a manger, three kings and a choir. After her kids were all in school Mary worked part-time for Danville School District #118. She then worked part-time at St. Elizabeth Hospital Pediatrics Department for several years. In 1983 Mary started working at Super X DrugStore which became Hooks, Revco, and CVS Pharmacy. After 19 years of a full-time schedule, she changed to part-time at the age of 62. Mary finally retired from CVS at the age of 74. Mary loved working at CVS greeting her many favorite customers and friends.
Mary and Tom had moved to Leisure Time Estates and lived there for 10 years before returning to Vermilion Heights in 2009. Mary loved living in the Heights and was continually active in her community. She was a big part of the Vermilion Heights Group organizing events and meetings and much more. Mary had a passion for all things Danville. She started with collecting Danville picture postcards and that evolved into anything related to Danville. She had quite the collection, some even called it a museum and she was proud to show it to anyone that was interested and give them a little history
lesson. Mary was a collector of many things: Suncatchers, which adorned her sun room, Indian beads, arrow heads, marbles, and puzzles. She loved to put puzzles together, especially with her grandkids. She had completed many, then passed them on for others to enjoy.
Mary was a constant face at rummage sales on weekends. Besides picking up her favorite collectables, she would find things she thought friends or family would like. If she knew of someone in need of something she would look for it and usually keep looking until she found it. Mary enjoyed working in her flowerbeds, resulting in the most beautiful flowers. She would then share the seeds or dig up starts to share with others. She also loved feeding and watching the birds and wildlife in her back yard. Mary and Tom liked to travel and visit with family and friends. They would drive all over God’s creation just to go to a sporting event or concert of their grandchildren or other family members.
Family, friends, neighbors, entire sports team, and many others benefited from her love of baking. She had a desire to help others with food whether it was after an illness or just to put a smile on their face. There have been many, many, many of her Rice Krispy treats ate over the years. Mary’s absolute favorite thing to do was to capture the lives of the people she loved through the lens of her camera. She had taken and compiled thousands of memories over the years putting them in yearly albums for everyone to enjoy. What a wonderful gift she has left for generations to come. Mary has left a legacy of love in many ways for many people.
Mary was strong in her faith. She was a good Christian woman, always living by the Lord’s example. She will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all. A quote she lived by – “Live your life to the fullest each day, remember each moment is a gift from God.”
Mary was an incredible person. She did not want us to be sad or to cry at her funeral service. She did not want long lines waiting at a visitation. She wanted a remembrance celebration with music and fellowship. While it will be hard not to cry for this beautiful soul, her wishes will be honored. A celebration of her life will begin with a Funeral Mass on Friday,
February 12th at Holy Family Catholic Church, 444 E. Main Street, Danville, IL at 10:30 a.m.; the mass can be viewed via live streaming at https://www.holyfamilydanville.net. Her immediate family will be at the church at 9:45 a.m. to greet her family and friends before mass. There will be a private burial at Danville National Cemetery following mass. A luncheon will be held at Vermilion Heights Christian Church, 725 Oakwood Ave.,
Danville, IL immediately following mass from 12:00 – 2:30.
Those we love don’t go away,
They walk beside us every day,
Unseen, unheard, but always near,
So loved, so missed, so very dear.
A few days after Mary was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she said, “I love my family, it’s been a good ride. Life goes
on, our memories are here.” Thank you, Mary, for all the memories.
Arrangements are under the direction of Rortvedt Funeral Services.
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