Cover photo for Mary Nell Chew's Obituary
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1937 Mary Nell 2024

Mary Nell Chew

July 1, 1937 — June 25, 2024

CARBONDALE - Mary Nell Chew, age 86, passed away on Tuesday, June 25, 2024 at Integrity Healthcare of Carbondale.

Mary Nell was born on July 1, 1937 in Olney to James and Mary Alice (Nix) West. Mary Nell married Harold Lavern Chew on October 19, 1957 at Crab Orchard Christian Church. He preceded her in death on February 12, 1989.

She and her husband owned and operated their own truck driving company for over 40 years.

Mary Nell was involved in numerous organizations over her lifetime. She touched countless lives through her dedication to the community. She was honored to be part of the following service groups: Jackson County Board Chairman, Township Board, Jackson County Workshop Board, Volunteer at Anna Veterans Home, Marion Veterans Administration Medical Center, Scott Air Force Base. American Legion Auxiliary, named 5th annual Citizen of the Year in 1981 by Southern Illinois Conference of the National Association of Social Workers, 1984 4-H Alumni Winner, 2019 Outstanding Service to Country and Community Award by The Carbondale Lions Club, 2019 Leaders Among Us.

She worked as a bookkeeper and administrator for numerous business in southern Illinois, notary public, deputy registrar, federal income tax preparer, accomplished organist, deputy sheriff, election judge, member of Daughters of the American Revolution, Carbondale Garden Club, Egyptian Ramblers, Farm Bureau, Energy Service Communications Team, National Travel Club, National Association for Female Executives, League of Women Voters, Jackson County Republican Women, Illinois Women's Association, Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission, Jackson County Historical Society, Jackson County Taxpayers Association, Jackson County Community Workshop, Carbondale Census Commission, House Resolution #412 offered by Terri Bryant for her contribution to the Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois, Red Hat Society, member of the Carbondale Elks Lodge# 1243, Order of the Amaranth, Order of the Eastern Star Electa and Ruth Chapter #379, Southern Illinois American Guild of Organist, Lifelong member of Woodmen of the World and many more.

Mary Nell is survived by her sons, James Chew and wife Lynn Dilley-Chew of Carbondale, and Larry Chew of Carbondale; grandsons, Steven, Robert, Reed and Austin Chew; and two great-grandchildren. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold Chew; father, James West; mother and stepfather, Mary and Maurice Burgett; and step-brother, David Burgett.

Funeral Services for Mary Nell will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, June 29, 2024 at Meredith Funeral Home with Rev. Jim Barnett officiating. Prior to the service there will be an Order of the Eastern Star rites presented. Burial will follow at Oakland Cemetery in Carbondale. Visitation will be held from 11:00am until the time of service on Saturday at the funeral home. 

Memorials may be made in Mary Nell’s name to Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale assisted the family with arrangements. To leave a story or memory of Mary Nell visit

To order memorial trees in memory of Mary Nell Chew, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, June 29, 2024

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, June 29, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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