Mary Ellen Partelow

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Mary Ellen Partelow, nee Foran, 81, of Belleville, IL, born September 6, 1939, in East St. Louis, IL, died Friday, December 25, 2020, at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, O’Fallon, IL.

Mrs. Partelow was a retired installment loan programmer. She was an avid St. Louis Cardinal fan, and bingo player.  She loved making rosaries and crocheting for the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and enjoyed spending time as a volunteer tutor. She was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church and choir.

Mary Ellen was the oldest of four children.  She attended Holy Angels Grade School in East St Louis and the Academy of Notre Dame High School in Belleville.  She married at 20 and had five children in eight years. While the children were young, she worked part-time as a bookkeeper, was a room mother and a cub scout den leader.

After life and family changes, Mary Ellen realized she needed to be able to support her children better as they grew older, so she enrolled at Belleville Area College.  She received an Associate Degree in Computer Programming, then used this degree successfully for over 20 years at banks and programming institutions.  She retired in 2000.

During her retirement, she travelled to Rome with the church choir; she has also been to Hawaii and Las Vegas.  Mary Ellen loved to spend time with her children and grandchildren and to tutor grade school children in math.  She was an avid St Louis Cardinals fan and followed the Big Red and the Rams.  She loved to play bingo and occasionally took trips to the casino.  Mary Ellen spent numerous hours crocheting hats, scarves, and lap blankets to donate to the homeless.  She was also a prolific producer of afghans for shower and wedding presents.

But by far, her favorite thing to do was to talk, interact with people.  Whether it be family, friends, church members or new friends, Mary Ellen could nearly always be found at a church picnic, family reunion, or holiday celebration talking, sharing, and laughing with people.  Second, she had an uncanny ability to recognize anyone from her past or her kid’s lives and immediately recall vivid details that she used to make connections between that person to another we knew.  These characteristics and many others made her generous, warm, and hospitable; she will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Partelow, Sr.; her parents, Edward T. and Loretta, nee Gain, Foran; her brother, Edward (Mary Lou) Foran; and a sister, Betty Ann (Tom) Ganey.

Mary Ellen is survived by her loving children, Thomas (Tina) Partelow, Jr., Yvonne McClintock, Timothy (Missy) Partelow, Gregory Partelow, and Patrick (Beth) Partelow;
23 loving grandchildren and great grandchildren;
and a sister, Alice (Larry) Kopp.

In lieu of flowers, during a shortage, the family asks that you make a donation to an organization that shared her love of helping others:  Catholic Urban Programs, P.O. Box 3310, East St. Louis, IL 62203-3310; (618) 398-5616; Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation: Due to Covid-19, private visitation will be held Friday, January 1, 2021 at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL.

Funeral: A private mass of Christian burial will be held Saturday, January 2, 2021, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Fr. Christopher Anyanwu officiating.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Burial will be held at Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Belleville, IL.


18 Comments on Mary Ellen Partelow

Les Weissert said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 4:03 PM

My sincere condolences to the entire Mary Ellen family on your loss. My name is Les Weissert and my deceased wife, Marie Baum, was somehow connected to Mary Ellen as a cousin I believe. (Not sure of the details.) I always liked Mary Ellen and had great admiration for her. I know she had challenges in life but she seemed to handle all of them very courageously. My prayers are with her and you the family. Again, please accept my sincere condolences on your loss. Les Weissert

  • Freeburg
  • Illinois
Ginnie Fraser said : Guest Report Jan 03, 2021 at 7:51 PM

With my very deepest sympathy on the loss of someone so dear to you. My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this difficult time. May time ease your pain and grief. Rest in Peace Mary Ellen.

  • St. Louis
  • MO
Jeanne Haar said : Guest Report Dec 31, 2020 at 8:33 PM

What a beautiful lady to begin and end the working day riding to and from downtown St Louis on a bus or the Metro! Always a smile, always a crochet needle, in her hands, always a sharied happening. Six weeks ago, I past her house in the evening ... and I smiled. This is what she always gives to me! Thank you Mary Ellen! My heart and prayers are with you ... and with your family. You touched my heart whenever I was with you!

  • Swansea
  • Il
Suzette Greaves said : Guest Report Dec 31, 2020 at 3:54 PM

Never has there been a person so welcoming, so loving and so genuine as Mary Ellen. Mary Ellen's infectious smile and her sense of humor were two of her (many) wonderful qualities that will be missed by me as well as everyone else blessed enough to have known her. Mary Ellen made the world a better place not only by being in it, but also by raising a wonderful family of children and grandchildren and endowing them with her compassion, honesty and loving spirit. My prayers go out to that family as well as the rest of us that she treated like family. She was very special and we all suffered a heartbreaking loss on Christmas Day. Heaven, however, received the gift of a smiling new resident. One so many of us loved and look forward to seeing again. Rest in peace, Mary Ellen. I loved you so much.

  • Ballwin
  • MO
jill otruk said : Guest Report Dec 31, 2020 at 9:24 AM

As a child, I have fond memories of Mrs. Partelow calling the kids in the house from our outdoor neighborhood activities. As an adult, I fondly remember her asking about my Grandma Ernie and filling me in on her children's lives. She was so proud of her children. My sympathy for your family.

  • IL
Gloria Miller & Sr. Shirley said : Guest Report Dec 31, 2020 at 8:11 AM

Our sincerest condolences to all the Partelow family during this time of loss. Mary Ellen was a woman full of life who lived life to the full with her family and friends. Mary Ellen and all of you are being held in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Donaldson
  • IN
Barbara ruhl said : Guest Report Dec 30, 2020 at 9:11 PM

Mary Ellen was my next door neighbor for many years . Our children grew up together, I had 3. We shared good times and bad times. Mary Ellen was a treasure to have as a neighbor. God be with her family and I know she will be greatly missed.. my love to her family.

  • Belleville
  • Il
Carolyn (Weissert) Wottowa said : Guest Report Dec 30, 2020 at 12:51 PM

So sorry for your loss. I first met your mom through my cousin Esther Weissert Reardon who just recently died, Mary Ellen was selling avon at the time and my mom was glad to help her out! Our paths crossed many times over the years and she was always very friendly as so many have shared. My mom Lucy Weissert was at St. Paul’s home in Belleville for many years before she died at the age of 103 in 2017. It seems like that summer one of the aides identified herself as one of Mary Ellen’s relatives. It’s always nice to have some connections. You are all in my prayers.

  • O’Fallon
  • Ill
Joseph J Werner said : Guest Report Dec 30, 2020 at 12:26 PM

Our condolence from our family. I was one of the cub scouts and also have fond memories. As well as so many wonderful memories from St. Philip's & Troop 22.

  • Fairview Heights
  • IL
Marianne Bassler said : Guest Report Dec 30, 2020 at 12:00 PM

Mary Ellen was such a sweet person, always with a smile even when times were tough. My friend Alice, I know you will be lost without her. Prayers for you and your family

  • Belleville
  • IL
Bonnie Schanherr said : Guest Report Dec 30, 2020 at 9:41 AM

You will be missed. We played cards together for at least 20 years at Fishers restaurant.

  • Smithton
  • Illinois
Marilyn Buehlhorn said : Guest Report Dec 30, 2020 at 6:36 AM

Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I remember Mary Ellen from St Mary when I taught Pat. She was caring and outgoing...always smiling. God bless you at this time of loss.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Lynn Jarman said : Guest Report Dec 30, 2020 at 6:13 AM

Tim, Greg and Tom, please except my condolences on the loss of your Mother. I always enjoyed talking to her and her love for her family. Sending prayer for all during this time of sorrow.

  • Swansea
  • IL
Kelly Murphy Boone said : Guest Report Dec 29, 2020 at 10:27 PM

Partelow Family- Deepest condolences to you all. She was such a kind lady selfless lady.

  • St Charles
  • MO
Dianne Hutchings said : Guest Report Dec 29, 2020 at 6:33 PM

Dear Partelow Kids, I am very sorry for the death of your mom. Mary Ellen was a wonderful person and at one time helped me try to get through PRE Algebra. I barely made it! Stay Safe and so sad for your loss. Dianne Hutchings

  • Belleville
  • IL
Mary K (Voegtle) Carroll said : Guest Report Dec 29, 2020 at 5:15 PM

My sincere sympathy to the Partelow Family. I remember your mom when you lived on A Street and from St. Mary's. She was such a sweet lady and raised a good family. May she rest in peace.

  • Fairview Heights
  • IL
Phil and Sue Rolfe said : Guest Report Dec 29, 2020 at 5:08 PM

So very sorry for the loss of a very special person to so many. I know you all will miss Mary Ellen beyond what words can express but know she was welcomed into heaven by so many loving family members and friends. I am sure she is very busy catching them up on everything they have missed this past crazy year. Feel comforted that she is smiling down on everyone she loved and carefully watching over each and every one of you. My prayers and thoughts to you at this difficult time. May the thought of her smile carry you all through the difficult days ahead.

  • Waterloo
  • IL
Sue and Mike Luck said : Guest Report Dec 29, 2020 at 11:57 AM

We are so sorry for the loss of Mary Ellen. She was such a joy to have known and always wore a smile no matter what! We know she will be missed greatly by her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and her sister and best friend, Alice Kopp. We are sure she is in heaven amongst the angels looking down on her family and friends. Rest In Peace, Mary Ellen.

  • St. Louis
  • MO

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