Mary Jo Pillars, 75

Mary Jo Pillars, 75 of Martin, passed away peacefully on Oct. 3, 2014, at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Rapids, after a long battle with ovarian cancer.
The daughter of Herchall and Elsie Bender of Martin, Mary Jo was born on Feb. 9, 1939. She graduated valedictorian of Martin High School, class of 1957, and spent her entire life in the Martin area.
For more than 25 years, Mary Jo was a clerk at the Wayland Hopkins Livestock Auction, along with helping to run the family farm.
A devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend, she is survived by her husband of 49 year, Claude; son Rodney (Laura) Pillars; grandsons, Austin and Blake Pillars of Martin; daughter Roxanne Pillars of Sleepy Hollow, Ill; brother Harvey (Bonnie) Bender of Martin; and several nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be at East Martin Cemetery on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 1 p.m., with Pastor Donna Buckman officiating. A time of remembrance will follow at Martin United Methodist Church, 969 E. Allegan, Martin.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to a charity of one's choice. Memories may be shared with Mary Jo's family on her memory page at


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