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Mary Elizabeth Skaar

December 26, 1952 - June 11, 2021

Mary Elizabeth Skaar Mary Elizabeth Skaar
    June 18, 2021 | 4;00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
  • Yurs Funeral Home 1771 West State Street (Rte 38) Geneva.
  • Funeral
  • June 19, 2021 | 12:00 P.M.
  • Little Home Church by the Wayside 32W128 Army Trail Road Wayne, Il
  • Burial Location
    Oak Hill Cemetery


Mary Elizabeth (George) Skaar crossed the finish line of her life’s journey at her home in Geneva on Friday, June 11, 2021 with her family by her side.

Mary was born on December 26, 1952 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Leroy “Gene” George and Joan (Burggraf) George, the second oldest of four children and the only girl. The George family moved to St. Charles in 1956 and settled into a little white house on Elm Street, where Mary made many fond memories with her parents and three brothers, Michael, Tom, and Steve. (Mary always said that there’s a special place in Heaven for women who only have brothers.) She attended St. Patrick Catholic School in St. Charles, where she met her childhood best friend, Rose Murphy, and graduated from St. Charles High School in 1971. Mary went on to enroll at Western Illinois University, where she met many dear friends, including lifelong friend Karla Guilfoil, and certainly didn’t do any drinking whatsoever (that’s what we were told, anyway). After graduating with her master’s degree from WIU in 1977, Mary returned to her hometown of St. Charles to work as a speech-language pathologist for Mid-Valley Special Education Cooperative, where she remained for her entire 35-year career. Mary worked primarily with students with special needs, touching the lives of many young people and their families. Special education was Mary’s calling and her passion, and she was an angel to her students.

Mary met her husband, Jim, at a wedding in 1973; Mary was the maid of honor and Jim was the best man, and the rest is history. Jim and Mary had a fairytale wedding of their very own on August 1, 1981 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in St. Charles, followed by a beautiful reception at the Hotel Baker. They welcomed their daughter, Laura, in 1993, and later added to their family with miniature dachshunds Chloe (2002-2016) and later Annie and Lucy (2017). Their little family grew again in October 2020, when Jim and Mary celebrated Laura’s marriage to their beloved daughter-in-law, Lauren; Jim officiated the wedding and Mary was the maid of honor.

Mary was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in October 2010. In light of her diagnosis, Mary told her doctors that her goal was just to see Laura graduate from high school. Having achieved that goal, Mary set her sights on Laura’s college graduation in 2016, her law school graduation in 2019, and then Laura and Lauren’s wedding in 2020. Not only did Mary live to share these milestones with her family, but she really made the most of those 10 amazing years — taking piano lessons with Larry Dieffenbach and performing in the American Grands, helping to organize a 50-year reunion of her eighth grade class at St. Pat’s, publishing her children’s book “Fun with Annie and Lucy,” meeting new friends at dachshund play group “Weenie Wednesdays,” and, of course, making precious memories while sipping vanilla lattés on the deck with her family and friends. Mary showed incredible courage and grace throughout her cancer journey, navigating every new situation with her head held high and never complaining. She inspired so many other cancer patients with her bravery, showing us all that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. Mary’s family is more proud of her than words can say. She will be remembered by many for her sense of humor, her welcoming spirit, and, of course, her magic wand.

Mary was welcomed into Heaven by her parents and brother, Michael George, her mother- and father-in-law, Lillian and Loren Skaar, and many others.

She will be watching over her beloved husband, Jim Skaar of Geneva and their dogs, Annie and Lucy, also of Geneva; her daughter Laura (Lauren) Skaar of Batavia; her best friends Rose (Mike Heller) Murphy of Geneva, and Karla (Jack) Guilfoil of Palatine (to whom Mary’s family will be forever grateful for helping us take such good care of her in her final days); brothers Tom (Debbie) George of Wheaton and Steve (Mary) George of Racine, Wisconsin, and sister-in-law Dawn (Michael) George of Spring Hill, Tennessee; nieces and nephews Kelsey George, Nick George, David (Nicol) Skaar, Samantha (Roger) Cooper, and Matt (Krystle) Skaar; great-nieces Lilly Cooper and Kylie Skaar and great-nephew Ryan Skaar; all of the wonderful doctors and nurses who guided and supported Mary and her family throughout her 10-year cancer journey, including Dr. Daniela Matei and nurses Karen Novak, Drucella Stringley, and Nancy Anderson, all of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, nurse Sara Covert (now of American Health Network), Dr. Diljeet K. Singh (now of Kaiser Permanente), Dr. Mario K. Pineda (now of Ironwood Women’s Centers), and the entire gynecologic oncology staff of Northwestern, past and present; Mary’s former students and coworkers at Mid-Valley Special Education Cooperative; her two-legged and four-legged friends of the Weenie Wednesdays group; and the countless other family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, students, and so many others who helped to enrich Mary’s life journey. Mary will be dearly missed by many, but her magic will live on in all who knew and loved her.

A visitation for Mary will be held at Yurs Funeral Home in Geneva on Friday, June 18 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. We also invite all to join us in celebrating Mary’s wonderful life on Saturday, June 19 at the Little Home Church By The Wayside in Wayne. We will begin the day with vanilla lattés (in true Mary fashion) in the courtyard of the Little Home Church starting at 11:00 AM, because Mary wouldn’t have wanted us to get up too early; feel free to stop by any time before the memorial service begins at 12:00 PM. We would love to hear everyone’s colorful stories about Mary, so anyone who would like to say a few words is more than welcome to do so at the service. This will be informal, so spontaneous stories are welcomed and encouraged, but Mary’s family asks that those who do plan in advance to speak let Laura know so that we can get an approximate head count. The memorial service will be followed by interment at Oak Hill Cemetery in Geneva, complete with a magical farewell to Mary. We will then return to the Little Home Church (around 1:30 PM) to toast to Mary and spend the afternoon sharing stories and laughing together, just like she would have wanted. Parking for the Little Home Church is available along Army Trail Road and on School Street north of the church. We think that Mary might have been a little bit honked off that she couldn’t participate in these festivities, because she would have loved them so much, but we do hope that you will join us anyway. For planning purposes, we would appreciate it if anyone planning to join us on Saturday could RSVP on our Facebook event using this link () so that we can ensure that we will have adequate seating for everyone in attendance.


Donations in Mary’s honor may be made to the Gynecologic Oncology Department at Northwestern:



To leave an online condolence or remembrance to the family, visit the funeral homes’ obituary page at For more information, please call Yurs Funeral Home Geneva, 630-232-7337.


David. Schonback’ from Geneva , IL

"Never complained, she shall be dearly missef"

Jerry and Linda Seablom from St Charles, IL

"Jim, So very sorry for the loss of your beautiful wife. We know the earth is saddened but the heavens are rejoicing. Grateful for God's promise that we will see each other again. If there is anything we can do for you please let us know! Praying for you and all the family."

Willard Thompson from Huntington Beach, CA

"Mary was a beautiful woman and made everyone feel welcome like part of the family. She will be missed 😢"

Daniela Matei from Chicago, IL

"I am humbled to have been part of Mary's and her family's life for the past 5 years. I will remember her always smiling, waving her magic wand and marveling that she had defeated cancer for so many years. She embodied courage in the gentlest way throughout her daily battle."

Mike from Smith, WA

"I have been blessed to be a part of Mary's and Jim's lives since they began their journey together. Mary, I've come to realize since hearing of her passing, was my hero. I have worked the last 5 years in cancer research, clinical trials for patients just like Mary. The courage and selflessness Mary displayed during her remarkable battle can not be understated and I will never forget her. Jim, my old friend, words cannot express how sorry I am."

Bill Grabarek from Elburn, IL

"Jim: My deepest condolences to you and to everyone in your's and Mary's family and friends."

Dj Kent from Tinley park , IL

"Jim and family please except my deepest condolences. Mary was one of a kind and her sense of humor was priceless. I will never forget all the time we spent together."

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