Ila Miller Swartzendruber passed away at Pleasantview Home, Kalona, Iowa, on October 27, 2019, at the age of 93. Visitation hours are 2 – 6 PM, Saturday, November 2, at Sunnyside Mennonite Church. Burial will be held Sunday, November 3 at 1:30 PM at the Fairview Cemetery in rural Kalona with the memorial service at 3 PM at Sunnyside. Memorial gifts may be sent to Pleasantview Home Building Fund. The Beatty Peterseim Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Ila was a loving mother and grandmother, known for her kindness, quick wit, sense of humor, and friendly personality. She was an excellent cook, gracious hostess, and volunteer in the church and community. Ellis and Ila were charter members of Sunnyside Conservative Mennonite Church from its founding in 1955. She taught Sunday School and Summer Vacation Bible School for many years, and frequently joined Ellis in teaching Summer Bible School classes in Minnesota. The couple served several years on the Food Committee for the annual Mennonite Central Committee Relief Sale. Ila particularly enjoyed extended family gatherings and quilting with her church friends. Each of her grandchildren treasure the quilt she made for their high school graduation. Over the years Ila was employed part-time at the Kalona Sales Barn lunch counter, as a nurse aide at Pleasantview Home, and custodian at Sunnyside. For many years Ila and Ellis volunteered on Sunday mornings at Pleasantview
She enjoyed assisting Ellis in the annual “taking of the inventory” at the Washington County Farm Store, the family business founded by her father. Ila was born in Kalona on May 2, 1926 to Ben M and Cora Miller who preceded her in death in 1964 and 1959, respectively. She was married to Ellis Swartzendruber on December 25, 1945. They were married 70 years when he died in May 2016. The couple were life-long residents of Kalona following their first year of marriage in Terry, Montana, where Ellis served as a conscientious objector through Civilian Public Service during World War II. Over the years they enjoyed maintaining friendships from their CPS days and traveled to many reunions.
She is survived by three sons, Loren (Pat) of Harrisonburg VA, Darwin (Tina) of Kalona, and Larry (Connie) of Kalona, 10 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren. One brother and two sisters survive, Cecil of Kalona, Grace Miller of Kalona, and Marjorie Roth of Julesburg, CO. She is also survived by in-laws, Henry and Ethel (Swartzendruber) Miller, Vernon Ropp, and Arthur Roth. In addition to her husband and parents, Ila was preceded in death by her oldest sister, Alta Miller Swartzendruber, and twin sisters who died in infancy.
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