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Melissa Ciota

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012 1:45 p.m. CST

Mrs. Melissa (Marr) Ciota, 75, passed away peacefully Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, at her residence.

Funeral services will be Saturday, Aug. 25, at First Presbyterian Church, 200 E. Jackson Street, Morris, where visitation will take place from 10 a.m. until the services begin at the church at 2 p.m. Interment will follow at Evergreen Cemetery.

The daughter of George and Audrey Marr of Pleasant Plains, Ill., Melissa was born Oct. 23, 1936. She grew up on the family farm near Springfield, Ill., and attended local schools, graduating from New Berlin High School in 1954. She then attended Illinois State University, where she was an honorary member of Sigma Tau Delta, and earned a bachelor of science degree. She also met her husband, Robert, there.

She later earned her master's degree from Governor's State University.

Mrs. Ciota began her teaching career at Springfield High School in Springfield, Ill. She thoroughly enjoyed teaching, particularly presenting the lesson and interacting with her students. She also taught at Virden High School, Mazon Junior High School, and Shabbona Junior High School in Morris, retiring in 1994.

She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and served as deacon and elder. She was a member of the honorary teacher organization Delta Kappa Gamma for over 25 years. She loved gardening and served as vice president of the Morris Garden Club, as well as serving as chairperson of the garden walk for several years.

She also played tennis regularly with three of her friends. She enjoyed reading and was an avid reader of all kinds of books. She played the piano and appreciated all types of music. She also played bridge for many years.

Her special loves were her children and grandchildren. She was devoted to them all and they were devoted to her.

She is survived by her three sons, Steven (Lisa) Ciota of Downers Grove, Ill., Mark (Allison) Ciota of Albert Lea, Minn., and Douglas (Catherine) Ciota of Willow Springs, Ill.; and seven grandchildren, Alexandra, Rebecca, Morgan, David, Gianna, Savannah and Michael Ciota. Other survivors include her sister, Marjorie Sebring of Springfield; several nieces, Melissa Freeman of Arkansas, Renea LeMar of Chatham, Ill., Alicia Boesdorfer of Auburn, Ill., and Sara Conwill of Modesto, Ill.; two nephews, Randy Marr of Springfield and Jason Marr of Pleasant Plains; and two sisters-in law, Nancy Marr of Pleasant Plains and Jeanne Marr Fagg of Springfield. She is also survived by her good friend and companion Don Harvey. He was her volunteer caregiver.

Mrs. Ciota was preceded in death by her husband, Robert (1991); her parents, George and Audrey Marr; two brothers, George Jr. and Thomas Marr; and one brother in-law, Charles Sebring.

Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Morris or to the donor's choice.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, Morris. For additional information, call the funeral home at (815) 942-5040 or log onto www.fredcdames.com.

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