Mary Raker

Mary RakerMary Kathryn Raker, 94, of Heartland Healthcare Center in Canton, formerly of Lewistown, died at 5:45 a.m. Oct. 19, 2009.

She was born June 6, 1915, in rural Lewistown, a daughter of Oliver “Ollie” and Laura Maude Arnett Bowman. She married Rev. Wilmer Clarence Raker on May 9, 1939, in Montrose, Iowa. He died May 5, 2002.

She also was preceded in death by one sister and one close cousin.

Surviving are one daughter, Kathleen (and Larry) Williams of Lewistown; one dear friend, Naomi Day of Montpelier, Ohio; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; two step grandchildren; six step great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

She was an accomplished vocalist and musician, traveling with her husband throughout the U.S. and West Indies. She was an ordained minister in Church of the Nazarene holding pastorates in Morris and Astoria in the 1940s and 1950s.

She was one of the first Illinois Licensed Practical Nurses, and worked under Sigma Thomas at Graham Hospital in the late 1940s. She also taught private piano lessons.

She was a charter member of Lewistown Church of the Nazarene.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at her church with Rev. Phillip Riley officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the church. Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery in Lewistown.

Memorials may be made to Lewistown Church of the Nazarene Sanctuary Piano Fund.

Condolences may be sent to


Published in the Astoria South Fulton Argus on 10/21/2009