Mary "Ruth" Lessar

Mary "Ruth" Lessar, 86, of Tamms, died at 9:44 a.m. Monday, May 16, 2016, at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau.

She was born on Jan. 22, 1930, in Tamms, the daughter of William Edward and Carrie Illman Newell.

She married Edward E. Lessar on March 4, 1948, in Elco. He preceded her in death on Feb. 19, 2007.

She is survived by her two children, Yvonne (Gary) Birk of Jonesboro and Dwayne Lessar of Tamms; two grandchildren, Andrew (Cassandra) Lessar and Kara (Scott) Green; two great-grandchildren, Philip Lessar and Sara Lessar; other relatives and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Edward E. Lessar; a half-sister, Stella Swain; and three brothers, Henry Lee Newell, Roy Newell and Glenn Newell.

She was a member of the Tamms Pentecostal Church. She loved vegetable gardening and fishing. She was unable to attend high school but in later years she was very proud to obtain her GED. She later went on to work for the Shawnee Development Council as a caretaker.

Funeral services for Mrs. Lessar will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, today, at Rendleman & Hileman Funeral Home in Jonesboro, with Andrew Lessar and the Rev. James McLane officiating. Interment will be in St. John's Cemetery near Dongola.

Memorials can be made to the Parkinson's Foundation.

To leave online condolences for the family, visit

Rendleman & Hileman Funeral Home in Jonesboro is in charge of arrangements.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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