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; www.catholicurbanprograms.org. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
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.