Mary Alice Giles, 86

Published 5:27pm Sunday, April 14, 2013

Born: Sept. 27, 1926

Died: April 12, 2013

Mary Alice Giles, 86, of Dowagiac, passed away at 1:30 a.m. on Friday, April 12, 2013, at her home.


Mary Alice’s life began on Sept. 27, 1926, in Fort Wayne, Ind., the daughter of Newton F. and Regis (Stier) Wyatt.

She was united in marriage to James P. Giles on Sept. 13, 1947, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Fort Wayne.

Mary Alice was employed as a secretary for 33 years at Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac.

She was a faithful parishioner of Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church, and a member of the church choir. She was an active volunteer at the St. Vincent de Paul Society and Women of the Moose Lodge 933.

Mary Alice enjoyed volunteering in the gift shop at Lee Memorial Hospital.

She was an avid Notre Dame athletics fan, attending Mass at Notre Dame, visiting the grotto and going to cheer on the Irish football team every chance she had.

Mary Alice’s loving family includes: her husband of 65 years, Jim Giles of Dowagiac; children, Maureen (Gary) Kohlheim-Keeling of Cape Coral, Fla., Stephanie First of Dowagiac, Pegeen Zygaitis of Eugene, Ore., Patrick (William Chapman-Nyaho) Giles of Seattle, Wash., Kevin Giles of Fort Myers Beach, Fla., Sheila (Bill) Krohne of Keeler, Shelaigh Elrod of Dowagiac, Mary Kate (Dave Phillips) Serignese of Dowagiac, Christine (Lloyd Styburski) Owsiany of Watervliet, Caroline (Kevin Rank) Kusa of Dowagiac, Molly (Don) Bonomo of Dowagiac and Martha (Joe) Hassle of Dowagiac; 36 grandchildren; 42 great-grandchildren; sisters, Carol Dangler of Naples, Fla., Kathleen Weigman of Tacoma, Wash.; and brother, Terry Wyatt of Naples, Fla.

She often said her children were her greatest accomplishments.

Mary Alice is preceded in death by brothers Ray and Joseph Wyatt.

Her family will gather with friends on Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Yazel and Clark Chapel and Cremation Services.

Her Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday at 11 a.m. at Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church led by Father Kevin Covert. She will be laid to rest in Calvary Catholic Cemetery.

Please sign her guestbook and leave a memory of Mary Alice at

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