Mary Nell Draper, 97, died Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, at Rosewood Care Center in Alton.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Pitchford Funeral Home in Wood River with the Pastor Alan Abert officiating. Burial was held in Rose Law Memory Gardens in Bethalto.
Mrs. Draper was born July 1, 1922, in Montgomery County, the daughter of Jesse and Laura Vogel. She married Kenneth M. Draper in 1946, and he preceded her in death in 2005.
Upon marrying her husband, she left her job as a beauty operator in Wood River. They made Hartford their home, raising their family, attending Hartford United Methodist Church and participating in their community.
She joined the Hartford United Methodist Church, taught Sunday school and Bible school. She belonged to the United Methodist Women and she quilted. She became the church historian and oldest member. She was a Girl Scout leader for many years.
Caring for her family was primary. Growing up with ten siblings and having children of her own, she cherished all family members. Family gatherings were frequent with fellowship and good food. She was known as the family historian and genealogy became her passion and challenge.
After retirement, she and her husband traveled frequently west to California and Kansas, and to northern Illinois to be with their children and grandchildren.
She cared for her husband after he developed serious health issues. She remained in their home until 2017, moving to Foxes Grove Supportive Living in Wood River. Her failing health required skilled care in January of 2020 at Rosewood Care Center.
Mrs. Draper is survived by three sisters, Irma Wysong, Lois Foster, LaWanda Johnson; one brother and sister-in-law, Fred (Elaine) Vogel; three children and their spouses, Terry (Deanna) Draper, Richard (Elizabeth) Draper and Carole (Wayne) Stucky; seven grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; twin great-grandchildren on the way; and many nieces, nephews and their children.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by four sisters, Lorene Sammons, Murl Blaine, Jessie Storey and Evelyn Ballard; and three brothers, John Vogel, and Lewis and Jackie Vogel in infancy.
Memorials may be made to the Hartford United Methodist Church and will be accepted at the funeral home.
Online condolences may be left at www.pitchfordfuneralhome.com.