Mary Jane Gay Skinner, of Niles

May 22, 1928 — July 13, 2020

Mary Jane Gay Skinner, 92, of Niles, passed on July 13, 2020.

Mary was born May 22, 1928, in Niles. She was one of two daughters of the late Percy and Doris Gay. She attended the public schools and graduated from Niles High School. Mary also earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Western Michigan University,

Mary married Osceola Wilson Skinner on Nov. 23, 1950.

She was employed by the then Micheal Reese Hospital in Chicago. The family moved to Compton, California, where Mary was employed at Harbor General Hospital in Los Angeles, as a Supervisor of Medical Records Librarians. Mary’s love of education inspired her to continue her education to receive a master’s degree in elementary education. She taught at Broadacres Elementary in Los Angeles. When Mary returned to Niles, she joined the staffs at Southside and Oak Manor Elementary Schools where she retired with 22 years of service.

Mary and her husband bought the Old Post Office Building on Fourth street, renovated the building and rented office space for nine years.

She was active in her community. She was a Trustee at Franklin African Methodist Episcopal Church, a Board Member of Lakeland Hospital Foundation, a Deputy with the Berrien County Posse-Horseback Riding Division and a member of the Senior Bowling Team — bowling three times weekly. Mary established MarSta Stabes where she and her friend Starla Miller rode horses and taught children how to ride.

In 2002, the Niles Community voted Osceola and Mary Senior King and Queen of the Apple Festival.

Survivors include daughters, Leslie Skinner and Cynthia Edwards, both of Niles; grandson, Christopher; and great-granddaughter, Janayah.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Osceola; and a sister, Helen Jones.

The family request in lieu of flowers donations in Memory of Mrs. Skinner to Franklin African Methodist Episcopal Church or Caring Circle of Hospice.

Private services will be hosted.

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