Cover photo for Mary Virginia Howard Chesney's Obituary
Mary Virginia Howard Chesney Profile Photo
1971 Mary 2023

Mary Virginia Howard Chesney

June 21, 1971 — September 23, 2023

Davenport, Barrington

Mary Howard Chesney, 52, died on the morning of September 23, 2023, succumbing to a long illness.  She was at home in the presence of her husband, Colonel Michael Chesney, U.S. Army Retired, and their son, Walter, age 18. Mary was born on June 21, 1971 in Salisbury, Maryland.  Because her father was in the U.S. Army, she was raised with the mantra that “Home was where the Army sends you.”

She grew up across the United States: in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas; Ft. Sheridan, Illinois; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania; and Ft. Ord, California.  Mary graduated from West Potomac High School in Alexandria, Virginia and Salisbury State University in Maryland.  Even as a child, Mary was an aficionado at story telling.  Her ability to convey mundane happenstances into entertaining stories enthralled her audience.   She was passionate about reading good literature and then writing down her thoughts about what she had read.  Later in life, she showed an affinity for the underdog and those less fortunate.

Mary was a social worker for the Pennsylvania housing authority where she was able to help those who were down on their luck.  Following Mike’s retirement from the Army, the family moved to Barrington where he assumed leadership at the Department of Homeland Security in Chicago and Mary worked for the National Safety Council and later a local Catholic charitable organization.  As Walter entered high school, she stayed at home to support him during his last years in the “nest.”  She found great joy in volunteering at any local animal shelter.  True to her nature, she eschewed cute puppies for the unwanted old dogs.  Over the years, the family adopted several of them.  She especially enjoyed walking the dogs in the Barrington forest preserve and gardening, where the dogs dug more holes than she needed.  Her bright spirit endured throughout her life.

In addition to her loving husband and son, Mary is survived by stepdaughters, Nicole and Rosalie Chesney, her sister, Mindy Butler (Bill), her parents and Bob the Dog.  Memorial visitation will be from 4-8pm Thursday, October 12 at Davenport Family Funeral Home, 149 W. Main St. (Lake Cook Road) Barrington.  A Celebration of Life will be held at 10am, Friday October 13 at the funeral home.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Paws Chicago www.pawschicago.org  in her memory.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Virginia Howard Chesney, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Visitation

Thursday, October 12, 2023

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory

149 West Main Street, Barrington, IL 60010

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Friday, October 13, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory

149 West Main Street, Barrington, IL 60010

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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