Mary Elizabeth (Beck) Unkefer passed away on November 16, 2020 from a long illness. She was the oldest daughter of the late John D. and Gertrude W. (Wolf) Beck. She lived in Stark County all of her life and was a resident of the memory care unit at the Villages at Whitewood, North Canton, OH. She was born on July 14, 1932 in Massillon, Ohio. Mary was the widow of Joshua Hahn Unkefer whom she married on December 28, 1958, and passed away on March 12, 1996.
She graduated from Brewster High School in 1950 and from Bowling Green State University in 1954 with a degree in Education/Teaching. She taught in Canton City Schools all of her career until she retired in July 1, 1984, after 30 years of continuous service. Mary was a member of Kappa Delta Pi Sorority and a lifetime member of the Retired Teachers’ Association. She also was a member of St. Stephen Martyr Lutheran Church in Canton, Ohio. After retiring, she served as their treasurer for many years.
She was a devoted Christian as well as a vigilant patriot. Mary contributed to many charities on a regular basis. She enjoyed serving as treasurer of the McFarren Class Reunion and traveling all over the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. In 2010, she vacationed in Europe with her son. However, her favorite place to visit was Williamsburg, VA. She collected flags and coins as well as colonial memorabilia. Mary was a great fan of gospel music and her favorite group was Legacy 5.
In 1962, she and Josh adopted their nephew, Rex Unkefer, who would become their only child. Her husband owned and operated Alliance Motors, Inc., where she served as Payroll Administrator from 1965 until 2016. Mary spent her leisure hours in the summer by mowing her own lawn as well as weeding, tending to her flower beds and shoveling snow. She was an avid reader in the winter and a year-round walker who averaged 3 miles a day, 7 days a week. She also enjoyed the company of her dogs, Jodi, a terrier and a poodle, Bridgette, whom she loved dearly.
She is survived by her son, Rex W. Unkefer, of Louisville, OH, her sister, Margaret Alexander, of Brewster, Ohio, her sister-in-law, N. Marie Beck of Canton, Ohio, and several nieces and nephews. Besides her parents, she is preceded in death by her only brother, John Edward Beck, Sr. There will be a graveside service at Forest Hill Cemetery, Wednesday, November 18th, at 11 a.m. with Rev. Dr. Bruce R. Roth and Pastor Herbert S. Garnes III of St. Stephen Martyr Lutheran Church officiating.
In lieu of flowers please donate to a favorite charity.