Mary Ratliff Rooks

January 18, 1946March 12, 2021

Mary Ratliff Rooks

Mary Ratliff Rooks, 75, a long-time resident of Wilmette, Illinois, died on March 12, 2021 at Covenant Care at The Holmstad, Batavia, Illinois.

Ms. Rooks was born in Evanston, Illinois on January 18, 1946. She attended New Trier Township High School, graduating with the Class of 1964. Mary received her Associates of Arts Degree from Centenary College, Hackettstown, New Jersey in 1966 and her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign, in 1968, majoring in English and minoring in French. Mary was inducted into the National Honorary Scholastic Society for Junior Colleges and the National Foreign Language Honorary, and was on Dean’s List at both institutions of higher learning. While at the University of Illinois, Mary was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority. Following college, Mary held a variety of positions, working in the fields of publishing, advertising, healthcare, and education, completing her career working in alumni and charitable relations at Northwestern University, Evanston. After college, Mary resided in Chicago and Wilmette, before moving to Batavia in 2017.

Mary loved music, had a beautiful singing voice and was active in various stage musicals and singing groups throughout her high school and college days, as well as singing with the Apollo Club of Chicago. In addition to Mary’s interests in music and singing, she loved the cinema, going to see plays, and traveling in the world. Mary held most dear her family and friends. She was also a great dog lover, concerned for the welfare of all animals, and a long-time supporter of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and PAWS Chicago.

Mary is survived by her sister, Melissa D. Rooks, and her niece, Amy B. Russell, Wilmette, IL; and by her brother, John N. (Mary N.) Rooks, of Geneva, IL, and her nephews, John N. (Bridget) Rooks, Jr., Chicago, and Thomas N. Rooks, Downers Grove, IL.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Mary’s name may be made online to or to its address at 424 E. 92nd St. New York, NY 10128-6804; or to PAWS Chicago, 1997 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago, IL 60614; or to the charity of donor’s choice.

An online guestbook has been made for the family, where you may share a memory. You can access this by visiting Arrangements have been entrusted to Wm. H. Scott Funeral Home, 1100 Greenleaf Ave., Wilmette, Illinois 60091. Telephone: 847-251-8200. Interment will be private at a later date at Memorial Park Cemetery, Skokie, IL.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Mary Ratliff Rooks

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Melissa Rooks

March 17, 2021

My dear sister, Mary, had a wonderful sense of humor. She also had a beautiful singing voice. Mary, we will all miss you so much but are happy that you are no longer suffering. It gives us peace that you are in Heaven with Mom and Dad. With all my love from your big sis, Melissa.

Bennett Hart

March 15, 2021

Mary was one of the most caring and personable people I have ever known. She always had a kind word for others and I would always laugh at the Rubber Chicken and Muriel cartoons she would send. We went to the University of Illinois together and spent many hours contemplating the world problems and campus events. We would meet after college for a few drinks.... one of the best true friends a person could have. She was a very special person and I will long remember her with the deepest affection.

Cindy Thomas

March 15, 2021

I loved Mary’s laugh and as she put it her baughty since of humor.
We always had such a good time when she came to Missouri.
The family almost had fights to see who she would stay with. We loved to get together as the Missouri family as she would keep us in stitches with her snide remarks about most every thing.
She has certainly been missed the last few years but we could not wish her back .
I’m sure she will have a good time with the Lord and be made chairman of humor. Good by my dear friend.

Susan Stanton

March 14, 2021

I am Susan Stanton, Carol Akright's sister and first cousin to Mary Rooks. Like Carol I have wonderful memories of Mary, her wonderful sense of humor, her laughter, and her thoughtfulness in sending cards to our mother, Elizabeth Akright.

I so remember our get togethers with our Illinois cousins in the summers growing up - going to their home in Wilmette and days at the beach at Lake Michigan; and their coming to Bartlesville to enjoy the "summers that were warmer than they were used to" and cookouts at Aunt Marietta and Uncle Ed Kendall's nearby house. And throughout all our visits, Mary kept us entertained with funny stories and jokes, and made us feel close with her warmth, laughter. and acceptance.

We will miss her!
Susan, Paul, Scott, and Mark Stanton

Carol Akright

March 14, 2021

I'm Carol Akright, first cousin to Mary, and I will miss her twinkling eyes and infectious laugh. She especially loved to send fun greeting cards to her Aunt E, my mother, in her later years, and they always made Mother chuckle with humor and warmth.

In graduate school, when I was getting my Master of Arts in Radio/TV/Film at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, I lived with Mary's parents, my Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Newt. Mary would come over for dinner, and we always had great laughs recounting family stories.

I convinced Mary to star in my grad school 7 minute film, 'Dinner for Two," which we filmed in the dining room at the Rookses home in Wilmette. I captured Mary fixing a fine dinner for two--cooking away, setting the table, and finally sitting down to the fish supper.
The camera widens out to see Mary--and her feline companion--yes, a cat--sitting at the opposite end of the table--and relishing the fish Mary had prepared. We had a great laugh over this epic ending!

Many a summer Mary and her sister, Melissa (Missy) and brother, John, would come down to Bartlesville Oklahoma and visit with my sister, Susan, and me and our parents--and also the third Darling sister/aunt and uncle, Aunt Marietta and Uncle Ed. We splashed in the small round swimming pool and played on the jungle jim in our side yard. So many great cousin memories!

Mary loved her family--and we all got to be the lucky recipients of her charm, her wit, and her deep well of love.

We will miss you, Mary, but we will always remember your loving countenance and smile among us.

God Bless You. Carol