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Mary Frances Proffit
Mary Frances Proffit
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Mary Frances Proffit

WILMINGTON-Mary Frances Proffit "Babe," 94, of Wilmington, passed away Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012 at her home.

Born Aug. 17, 1918 in Joliet, Babe was a daughter of Melvin and Agnes Burrill-Fitzhugh. She was raised and educated in Coal City and graduated from Saint Francis Academy in Joliet. On April 13, 1940, Babe married John Proffit in Missouri, and it was in 1942 that they moved to Wilmington to make their home. John preceded Babe in death on Oct. 31, 1982. Prior to marriage, Babe worked for the Boston Store in Joliet, where she was a 'popcorn girl'. She later co-owned and operated The Oasis Drive-In in Wilmington with her husband, and was a gate keeper at Wilmington Recreation Club for many years. Babe was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Wilmington, where she was involved with the First United Methodist Women. She was a past Worthy Matron (1959) of the Wilmington Chapter of Order of the Eastern Star #176 and belonged to the Holly Chapter #183 in Braidwood. Babe was also a member of the Brookside Mother's Club; served on the PTA and was a room mother for 13 years. She delivered for Meals on Wheels and was a huge sports enthusiast, which included football, baseball, basketball and the Olympics. Babe was a great Wilmington Wildcat fan and attended most all of her grandchildren's activities. She was an artist, who enjoyed working with oil paints and her enjoyments included watching Jeopardy, cooking, baking, making candy and reading. It was Babe's family that meant more than anything, and she truly cherished spending time and attending gatherings with her family, children and grandchildren.

Survivors include eight children: Jack (Leticia) Proffit of Ozark, MO; Judy (Doug) Barry of Canton, GA; Karen (Tom) Wallen of Crystal Lake, Tom (Anita Perry) Proffit and Pat (Tim) Meents, both of Wilmington; Becky (Dave) Altic of Bloomington, Kim (Gerry) Jansen of Wilmington and Toni (Chuck) Peitzmeyer of Edwardsville, IL; grandchildren: Eric (Jessie) Aguilera, Yvette (Jamie) Farris, Lynn Aguilera, Marty Barry, John (Amy) Barry, Eric (Monique) Wallen, Mark Wallen, Nathan (Kristy) Wallen, Adam (Ashley) Wallen, Matt (Ellen) Proffit, Amanda (Brendan) Gill, Andrew (Colleen) Proffit, Frank (Robyn) Meents, Kyle (Jen) Meents, Nick (Kristi) Meents, Anna (Pat) Walsh, Luke (Celia) Altic, Abbie (Nick) Trammell, Maggie Trammell, Emily (Ben) Wishall, Seth Jansen, Alex Jansen, Will Jansen, Mary (Tony Mendoza) Peitzmeyer, Carley Peitzmeyer and Zach Peitzmeyer; great-grandchildren: Doug, Olivia, Jamie IV, Nicole, Alex, Nik, Rian, Hannah, Natalie, Nolan, Maddux, Ian, Mykela, Isaac, Ainsley, Declan, Maeve, Taylor, Zander, Maddox, Raemon, Skylar, Hunter, Dawson, Tysen, Ryder, Brysen, Finley, Oliver, Wren, Eliza, Henry, Pearl and Kylor, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Babe was preceded in death by her parents, husband, John; son, Melvin Proffit; grandsons: Dougie Barry, Jake Wallen and Doug Aguilera; great-granddaughter, Sarah; daughter-in-law, Laura Proffit and brothers and sisters: Walter Fitzhugh, Ann Zella Fahrner, Margaret Lindholm, Claire Crowe and Melvin Fitzhugh.

Funeral services were held Monday, Sept. 24 at the First United Methodist Church in Wilmington. Burial was in Oakwood Cemetery, Wilmington.

Pallbearers were Judy Barry, Karen Wallen, Patricia Meents, Becky Altic, Kimberly Jansen, Toni Pitzmeyer. Honorary pallbearers will be: Jack Proffit and Tom Proffit.

Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Babe's memory to the First United Methodist Church in Wilmington, Kuzma Care Cottage, Wilmington School District Foundation for Excellence or Wilmington High School Library.

Friends may sign the online guest book or send private condolences to the family by logging onto

Funeral services and arrangements were made under the direction and care of Freitag-Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Home in Wilmington.

Related Links:
• Freitag-Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Home

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