School 30

Mary S. (Shackleton) Demling

April 1, 1953 ~ September 25, 2022 (age 69) 69 Years Old

Obituary

Mary Shackleton Demling, 69, of Glen Ellyn, IL passed away on September 25th, 2022 surrounded by family, after a courageous 2 year battle with cancer.

Born in Philadelphia, PA, Mary was the daughter of Allen and Rachel Shackleton. Her parents instilled in her a strong sense of family, a love of the outdoors, sports, and education. 

Mary attended Harriton High School in Rosemont, PA, and received her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Muskingum University in New Concord, OH, where she was a member of the Delta Gamma Theta sorority. It was at Muskingum her life changed forever when she met John Demling in a chance encounter by the school pond. The couple were married 47 years at the time of her passing. 

After graduating college Mary moved to Glen Ellyn, IL to be closer to John. Here she began her career in education, teaching 2nd graders at Palisades Elementary School. When she became pregnant with her first son, Allen, she decided to take a leave from teaching to raise him, much to the sorrow of her students. Son Morgan and daughter Kara followed, and the family settled into the home Mary would spend the rest of her life in raising and educating her three children. When the kids grew up, moved out and graduated college, Mary returned to teaching, this time at Pilgrim Place and Rainbow Place preschool, finding great joy in helping to shape the early lives of her students. 

Mary had a large personality that made it almost impossible to ignore. She never met a stranger that she couldn’t chat with, and she could make sure there would never be a lull in conversation. This infectious spirit led to many lifelong friendships that culminated in book groups, investing clubs, game nights, group travels, and more. 

Mary’s love of education extended into her philanthropic endeavors, when she joined PEO, an organization dedicated to providing women with both financial and moral support to attend higher education. Besides the ability to help other women, PEO also led to many lifelong friendships that Mary kept up for decades. 

Mary kept herself busy with many personal pursuits and hobbies. She stayed active by walking, often with her dachshund Dolly in tow (and sometimes even pushed in a stroller). Her favorite spots were Lake Ellyn, Panfish Park, and the Morton Arboretum. In addition, she was a voracious reader, borrowing upwards of 5 books at a time from the library, often sending her favorites to her children to read. She was often glued to the TV when the Bears, Bulls, Cubs, or any of her children’s alma maters played. One of her most joyous moments was the Chicago Cubs World Series win in 2016, propelling her into a full on dance of joy. Later in life Mary found great comfort in attending to her gardens and decorating her house as the seasons changed. 

Most of all Mary loved being with her family. Whether spring break trips with her grandkids, summer trips to their Wisconsin cottage, or Christmas with the extended family, nothing brought more joy to her than being with loved ones.  

Mary is survived by her husband John W. Demling; son Allen Demling; son Morgan Demling and wife Kelly Nesler; daughter Kara Demling; grandchildren Miah Nesler, Logan Holmes and Sam Demling; sister Kay (Bill) Britton; and brother Jim (Lynne) Shackleton; brother-in-law Gordon Demling; and 9 nieces and nephews and their children. She is preceded in death by her parents, Allen Roy Shackleton and Rachel Harris Shackleton, her sister Ann Harris Shackleton Cook

In lieu of flowers we ask that you continue her championing of education and justice by donating to either PEO at donations.peointernational.org/peo-donation-foundation (Fund Name: Illinois Chapter AU-100 Fund), or the DuPage Legal Aid Foundation


A Memorial Gathering is scheduled on Thursday, October 6th from 4-8 PM with a remembrance service at 7:30 PM  at Leonard Memorial Home 565 Duane Street, Glen Ellyn, Illinois.


Services

Memorial Gathering
Thursday
October 6, 2022

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Leonard Memorial Home
565 Duane St.
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Service of Remembrance
Thursday
October 6, 2022

7:30 PM
Leonard Memorial Home
565 Duane St.
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

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