On March 1, Mary Farris of Clark County passed away at the age of 100.

Back in 2017, our Good Day Live crew sat down with Mary to reflect on her accomplishments. We now take a look back at the legacy those achievements will leave behind.


When Mary Farris enlisted in the Armed Forces at the age of 24, she was faced with some push back from her bosses.

“The generals I was working with were very unhappy, well if you wanted a commission, we could’ve gotten you a commission, well I didn’t want a commission, I didn’t want to boss people around, but I got to anyway.”

Mary went on to serve as part of the Women’s Army Corp during World War II. She said the daily job of locating sites for military hospitals and staffing them was mostly mundane.  

“Nothing stands out too exciting, except one time, we were strafed by an 11 o’clock Charlie who wasn’t a good enough shot any way, he never did hit us.”

Mary also served as a tech sergeant and was in Washington D.C. during the building of the Pentagon, where she later worked as secretary to Generals, a role in which she demanded respect. 

“One time I was taken in a meeting and there were so many high ranking people were round the table smoking cigar pipes and cigarettes and it was making me sick. And I got up and walked out and my boss came out to find out what was going on. I said if you want me to take meetings like this they got to act like gentlemen.”

Mary said the job wasn’t always easy, but she did what had to be done. 

“It was hard, but as you’re living it, it’s just day to day, and I don’t recall feeling sorry for myself, ever.”

And after 99 years of living, Mary had a message for young women, and young people in general, about making their own way in the world.

“I think it’s a good idea to get out among people away from family so you can establish yourself decide who you are and you go from there. If you stay at home all the time there’s someboday to just fall back on. There isn’t always somebody to fall back on. You have to learn to stand on your own two feet. And I think I’ve done that pretty well.”

Mary was laid to rest Thursday morning at Farris Cemetary in Dennison, IL, where graveside services including military graveside rites were conducted in her honor.