Mary Lou Cameron, of Carbondale, formally of Springfield, died peacefully at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale 15 days short of her 100th birthday.
Mary Lou was born in 1919 during the great flu pandemic. She had deep Christian roots from her farm family upbringing, and asked Jesus to be her Savior as a teenager at a country church revival in Browning, Illinois. Following High School, she attended Beauty College and worked briefly as a beautician.
Mary Lou met Harold Cameron whom she encouraged in becoming a Christian. They were married during World War II and she accompanied him as he served in the Air Force in Louisiana and Texas. After the war ended, Harold felt called to preach, and for the rest of their lives Mary Lou and he both worked as a team living and breathing Christian Mission work. She completed training at Moody Bible Institute with Harold, and then moved to Louisville, Kentucky where Harold completed his seminary training.
A son, Jerry was born while they were in Kentucky. She and Harold moved back to Illinois in 1952, in what would become 29 years of service being involved in starting churches in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Mary Lou was active in Mission oriented groups throughout this time and into retirement years. She was active in the Women's Missionary Union for 66 years, and served as a WMU president for several years in Elgin, Carbondale, and Chatham churches.
Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents, Ellsworth "Bob" and Faye (Ambrosius) Reno, two brothers who died shortly after birth, and her husband Harold.
She is survived by her son, Jerry Cameron and his wife Cindy; grandchildren, Heather Ledford and son-in-law J.R., great granddaughter Elise Ledford; Rustin Cameron and daughter in law Diana and great grandchildren Ethan, Ezekiel, and Allyria.
Visitation will be held at Chatham Baptist Church in Chatham, Illinois on July 30 at 9 am with service following at 10 am. Memorial contributions may be made to the Scholarship fund of the Baptist Foundation, or Illinois Baptist State Missions, either c/o the Illinois Baptist State Association in Springfield, Illinois.
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