In loving memory of Mary Jane Reed
Reprint from Chicago Daily Herald, Wednesday, June 30, 1948.
"Mother tells of fine traits of slain girl."
Oregon, Illinois - Not even midday's sun could pierce the gloom in the little brown cottage on the tree lined gravel lane.
This was where Mary Jane Reed had lived.
It was where her brother Warren Lee, 5, now was asking:
"Why doesn't she come home? Mama, why doesn't Mary Jane come home?"
The little boy could not read his mother's eyes that told starkly that Mary Jane would never come home, that she had been shot and killed. But for what reason?
"She is a wonderful daughter," Mrs. Ruth Reed, 52, said tonelessly. "She was always doing things for me. Since I had arthritis she did everything about the house to make it easier for me."
There was a bible on the living room table. "Mary Jane got that when she finished Bible college," her mother explained.
The slain girl's name was lettered in gold on the cover. The book opened to a page with this passage underlined.
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul."
Mary Jane had satisfied one ambition - to be a phone operator - and was eyeing another - to be a beauty operator - when death overtook her and her escort on a lovers' lane Thursday night.
Generous at home
She quit school in her sophomore year at Oregon High School "to help out the family," Mrs. Reed said, pointing to an electric mixer in the kitchen, "She bought that - and she bought other things for the house and gave money regularly, too."
"Mary Jane got her job at the phone company about five months ago. She wanted to stock up on clothes and then take a beauty culture course," her mother said.
"Last week, Mary Jane was never happier," Mrs. Reed recalled, "because of the approach of the wedding of her brother, Donald, 19."
She'll wear flowers
She had bought a new dress and white gardenias for the occasion, since postponed. "She'll wear the gardenias," Mrs. Reed sighed so softly ahe scarecely could be heard.
The mother couldn't bring herself to explain, in so many words, that the gardenias would adorn Mary Jane's hair when she is buried Wednesday in Daysville Cemetery.