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Mary Baker Gruner

GALESBURG-Mary Baker Gruner, 61, Galesburg, died suddenly at her home Thursday, April 2, 2009.

She was born March 27, 1948, in Western Springs, the daughter of Marion and Woody Baker. She married Ernest Gruner in 1973. He preceded her in death in 2003.

She is survived by a daughter, Andea Gruner Jennings, Reedville, Va.; three sisters, Rossann Baker-Priestley, Galesburg, Adele Davis and Dorothy Tressler, Western Springs; two brothers, Richard (Hwa) Baker, Henderson, Nev., and David( Barbara) Baker, Avon; four nieces, Shari (Joe) Robinson, Galesburg, Cynthia (Lorene) Mann, Sandwich, Linda (Brian) Korbel, Addison, and Michele Roberts, Las Vegas, Nev.; five grandnieces, Katy and Megan Robinson, Galesburg, Madeline Wroczynski, Sandwich, and Kerri Korbel, Addison; and three grand nephews, Nicholas Robinson, Galesburg, and Benjamin Wroczynski and Thomas Mann, Sandwich.

She was preceded in death by her husband and her parents.

In 1974 Mary received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Roosevelt University. She also attended the Chicago Art Institute. She was a professional artist and owner of Pen and Inks Drawings and a social science researcher for NORC at the University of Chicago and Research Triangle in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

Mary lived in Frankfurt, Germany, for two years where she worked for the Armed Forces Network. She also worked for the Palmer House Hotel and Heinold Commodities in Chicago. She and her husband Ernie lived in Avon, Western Springs, and LaGrange Park. After Ernie died, Mary moved to Galesburg in 2004.

She was an avid Gardner and an animal advocate with special concern extended to the Manatees, elephants, baby seals, and the National Wildlife Federation.

Mary was a member of the Universalist Church.

Cremation was accorded. A memorial celebration will be held at Mary’s home in June 2009.

Memorials may be made to Prairieland Animal Welfare Shelter, 1855 Windish Drive, Galesburg, and the American Cancer Society.

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