Mary Elizabeth Challman

Obituary Reports the death of an individual, providing an account of the person’s life including their achievements, any controversies in which they were involved, and reminiscences by people who knew them.

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Mary Elizabeth Challman

Mary Elizabeth Challman, 63, passed away on May 21, in Palos Hills, Ill.

Mary Beth was born on May 20, 1961, to Florence E. and Ronald F. Challman in

Omaha, Neb. She subsequently moved with her family to Colorado Springs, Colo. and Yorktown Heights.

After she graduated from Yorktown High School in 1979, Mary Beth went on to study at SUNY Cortlandt and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy. While completing her undergraduate education, Mary Beth worked at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, a reflection of her natural talent and commitment to the education of children. Working with special needs children was a lifelong career vocation. She earned a master’s in special education from Northeastern Illinois University in 2003, and continued as a special education teacher for more than 25 years in the Chicago area.

Mary Beth was enthusiastic about sports, playing rugby in college and afterward, and was an avid supporter of her college and professional teams. She was talented in creating ceramics and pottery. She also enjoyed beadmaking, and gifted her beautiful rosaries to her family members. She doted on her many nieces and nephews and loved sharing family reunions, graduations, weddings, baptisms and other family events.

Mary Beth was predeceased by her father, Ronald, in 2004. She is survived by her mother, Florence E. Challman, sister Laura (Thomas) Anderson and brothers Rev. Stephen Challman, Michael (Joanne) Challman and Dr. Thomas (Barbara) Challman. She is also survived by 13 nieces and nephews, Ryan Challman, Caitlin Anderson (Ayo Olanrewaju), Mary Challman, David Anderson, Rachel Challman (Forrest Faerber), Matthew Challman (Jessica), Andrew Challman (Emily), James Challman, Peter Challman, Mark Challman, Anne Challman, Kevin Anderson (Cole) and Anita Anderson, two grandnephews, Jaiden Olanrewaju and Callan Faerber, and two grandnieces, Hunter Anderson and Lily Anderson. Mary Beth’s family, friends and colleagues will deeply miss her loving, lively personality and fun-loving spirit.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, June 22 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Church in Yorktown Heights, followed immediately by interment at Amawalk Hill Cemetery. Please wear white or bright colors as a tribute to Mary Beth’s joyful personality.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Ronald F. Challman Endowed Scholarship in Computer Science at the University of Texas at El Paso. Please call 915-747-8533 or e-mail for donation information.

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