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TMCNet:  Hamburg Mayor Mary Jane Wilson dies at 75

[December 11, 2009]

Hamburg Mayor Mary Jane Wilson dies at 75

HAMBURG, Dec 11, 2009 (The Telegraph - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Village Mayor Mary Jane Wilson died unexpectedly at her home Wednesday night, leaving family and friends grieving. She was 75.

"I enjoyed her so much and the time I got to spend with her," her husband, Don Wilson, said Thursday. "Right now, it is really hard." Mary Jane Wilson was in her first term as mayor of the village, having served as village clerk for 12 years prior to becoming mayor.

"She really will be missed," Village Trustee Jean Benoist said. "She was a good person, dedicated to the village and always there to help out with whatever was needed." Don Wilson said he met his future wife while she was working at J.C. Penney in Alton.

"I had run into Penney's to buy a pair of gloves, and when I came out, her vehicle was stuck. I got it unstuck, and she bought me lunch at a nearby diner as a thank-you," Don Wilson said at his Hamburg home Thursday. "That is how it started." Don Wilson said that after they met, he began going to watch her bowl, noting that she loved the sport. They wed in November 1985 and were married for 24 years.

"She worked hard as mayor, and personally, I think she worked too hard at it," he said. "She was busy on so many things." Wilson said his wife's mother, Etta Hancock, was admitted to an Alton hospital Tuesday. They spent the night in a nearby hotel, returning home to Hamburg on Wednesday.

"When we got home, Mary Jane stayed busy, was on the phone. Throughout the day, she did keep putting her hands on her chest but never complained of anything," Wilson said. "She was on the phone talking to her daughter, Theresa, and told her she felt light-headed, and fell over.

"Theresa called 911, and the next thing, one of our local EMTs was here. But they couldn't revive her. She was gone. I miss her." Mary Jane Wilson was pronounced dead at her home at 9:37 p.m. Wednesday by Calhoun County Sheriff Bill Heffington, who also serves as coroner.

Village Clerk Koni Proctor said Thursday that Mary Jane Wilson was really excited about preparing for the village's Christmas party, set for Dec. 19, and looking forward to it, as she did all village events.

"This is a great loss for the whole town, and it was such a shock," Proctor said. "She will be missed." Mary Jane Wilson's funeral arrangements are being handled by Hanks-Gress Funeral Home in Hardin. Her obituary and funeral arrangements may be found in today's obituary column.

maggie_borman@thetelegraph.com To see more of The Telegraph or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.thetelegraph.com/. Copyright (c) 2009, The Telegraph, Alton, Ill.

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