Mary Lou Mead, age 83, of Loves Park and formerly of Byron passed away at her home on June 16, 2022. She was born on November 2, 1938 in Salem, IL the daughter of Verl and Velma (Akes) Lenington. She enjoyed working at K-Mart for 25 years where she made many friends who became like a second family to her. She leaves her family with cherished memories of Saturday night popcorn and movie nights when her children were growing up, always keeping a refrigerator stocked with her famous sweet tea and potato salad, and making every moment a memorable one. She loved to cook and bake for anyone and everyone and would make sure nobody ever left her house hungry. She enjoyed traveling with her family and friends and having big family gatherings. Mary Lou would spend time antique shopping and she always had an eye for spotting the perfect piece. She enjoyed gardening in her younger years. She loved to go gambling and was good at picking the winning machine which always brought a big smile to her face. But, more than anything Mary Lou lived for her family. Her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were the highlight of her life. She is survived and missed by her children, Pam (Troy) Turvold of Roscoe, Debbie Crabb-Schultz of Rockford, Tim (Marina) Schultz of Ridgeville, SC, Scott (Teri) Schultz of Oregon, Gene (Susan) Mead of Belvidere, Larry (Helen) Mead of Oregon, and Gary Mead of Oregon; sister, Evelyn (Leroy) Jourdan of Rock Falls; 10 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents and a great granddaughter. A service will be held at 12:00 PM at the pond in Oak Knoll Cemetery in Sterling on June 21, 2022 with Pastor Lance Mitchell officiating. In lieu of flowers memorials are established for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.