Mary Tchoukaleff

Alton | Monday, September 17 2012

Mary Tchoukaleff, 81, died Monday morning, Sept. 17, at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Alton.

Mary was long known in the area as an animal rights activist and served as an investigator for Human Society of Illinois.

She was born on Feb 3, 1931, in Alton to the Kiril and Ismene (Kodros) Tchoukaleff. She graduated from Alton High School and attended Monticello College in Godfrey and the University of Miami in Florida. There, she received a BA in Art and Design.

She had a varied career, first working as a fashion model in New York City, modeling furs. She returned to the St. Louis area, working as a producer for KMOX radio. She later worked for WOKZ radio in Godfrey as a producer, ad sales person, and co-host of the popular “Bob and Mary Show.” She was later employed by Halpin Music of Alton, in the business office.

Mary, a long-time vegetarian, was an outspoken animals rights advocate. She was widely hailed for her work in that area. She included St. Louis Zoo curator, the late Marlon Perkins, and the late author, Cleveland Amory, among her friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Kiril and Ismene Tchoukaleff, a brother James, who died in childhood, and her sister Chrisanty BeDell. She was married twice, both ending in divorce. She is survived by her nephew, Andrew BeDell, of Ann Arbor, MI, and great niece and nephew, Claire BeDell, of Chicago, and William BeDell, of Ann Arbor, MI.

A memorial service is planned for a later date. Donations in Mary’s name can be made to the Metro East Human Society at

Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home in Alton, is in charge of arrangements.

Obit Provided By:
Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home

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