Mary Emily Simon, 74, of Goodfield, died on Monday, July 31, 2023 at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home – Peoria. Her funeral will be held at 10:30 A.M., August 21st at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Atkinson. Deacon Nick Simon will officiate. Burial will follow at St Anthony Cemetery, Atkinson. Memorials may be made to Easter Seals of Central Illinois or St Luke Catholic Church in Eureka by mail to the “Mary Simon Memorial Account” at Goodfield State Bank, 201 S Eureka St. Goodfield, Il 61742.
Mary was born June 20, 1949, the daughter of Harry and Elsie (Vandersnick) Simon in Geneseo. She graduated from Geneseo High School in 1967 and attended Illinois State University as a theater major until auditioning for Chaunce Conklin and his dinner theater operation in Bloomington in 1969. She was involved with the various Conklin theaters ever since, taking over the operation and ownership in 1995. Over the years, Mary mentioned her roles in “Smoke on the Mountain,” “Cemetery Club”, “Rumors”, “The Foreigner”, “Perfect Wedding,” and “Funny Money” as her personal favorites. Mary produced and directed over 200 productions. She felt blessed to have made her living doing live theater in Central Illinois for over 40 years.
Mary enjoyed fishing and she loved animals especially her dog Snugger and was always feeding the stray cats in her neighborhood. Mary was very active promoting her community especially fundraising for Easter Seals, and she will surely be missed.
Mary loved her family, her Barn family and her many friends, and she loved the Lord. Her Faith was strong and she trusted the Lord in good times and in bad. Her business model and her goal in life was to treat others the way she wanted to be treated. After 40-years at the Dinner Theater, one might think that Mary’s legacy was the Barn but her friends, family, associates, cast and crew members and those who knew her would lovingly tell you that Mary’s legacy is not the Barn, but her legacy is the positive way that she changed people’s lives.
She is survived by her brother Nick and her sister-in-law Norma Simon, Nieces Nancy (Rich) Kiphuth and Amy Simon and grandnephews; Adam (Mia), Troy (Katie), Kenny and Shane and grandnieces; Emily (Darren), Elaina (Brandon) and Claire. She was preceded in death by her parents, her step-mother Loretta Simon and her nephew Neil Simon.