Illah-Lee Willuweit

Funeral services for Illah-Lee Willuweit were held on Friday, May 5, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Jamison, NE. Jennifer Ngugi, Katie Kalenda, and Addie Willuweit were in charge of registration. Casket bearers were Lonnie Schultz, Craig Willuweit, John Ngugi, Brian Kalenda, Duane Staack, and Gary Kortmeyer. Honorary casket bearers were David Talsma and Don Talsma. Interment was in the Graceland Cemetery in Burke. Clausen Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. On September 4, 1925, Ilah-Lee Staack Willuweit was born, the first of two children, to John Walter and Bernice Eliza (Fisher) Staack on the family farm south of Herrick. Ilah-Lee graduated from Burke High School class of 1943. She got her teaching certificate from Southern State Teachers College. Ilah-Lee taught her first year at Shattuck School in 1943, then two years at the Klug School, two years at the McCumber School, all in Gregory County, and one year at District #66 School, Keya Paha, NE, until her marriage. On March 1, 1949, she married Ervin H. Willuweit at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Naper, NE. They began their life together on the family farm south of Herrick where they raised their two children Roland Dean and Carol Jean. They farmed there together for forty-five years. Ilah-Lee, every part a farmer’s wife, worked side by side with Ervin as they raised dairy cows, beef cattle and crops. They also raised chickens and pigs for family use. Ilah-Lee canned meat, fruits, and vegetables. Ilah-Lee was confirmed at the Immanuel Lutheran Church, Jamison, NE, June 23, 1949, where she remained a member until her death. She was an active member of the Lutheran Ladies Aid, taught Sunday School and organized and ran many summer Bible School programs. She was an active member of the State Liners Homemakers Extension Club and enjoyed the programs and activities of that group. Ilah-Lee and Ervin enjoyed bowling at the Burke Lanes, trips to Burke and visits with family and friends. She began quilting at a young age and continued her craft until she was well into her eighties. She was a member of the Rosebud Quilt Guild of Burke and made many quilts for family and friends. Ilah-Lee and Ervin farmed until October 1994, when they retired from farming and moved into Burke. After Ervin passed she remained in her home in Burke and provided a home for granddaughter Katie. During her years in Burke, she volunteered at the Rummage Center (Thrift Store) and was on the board of the Burke Senior Citizens Center. In 2010, she became a resident of Whispering Pines Assisted Living for several months before moving to Avera Rosebud Country Care Center in March of 2011. Ilah-Lee Staack Willuweit died Sunday, April 30, 2017 at the Avera Rosebud Country Care Center, Gregory. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Ervin Henry in 1998 and daughter Carol Jean 1996. She is survived by her brother Larry Dean Staack and wife Irene of Boise, ID; son Roland and wife Anne and their children Craig and Addie, all of Farmingdale, NJ; the children of daughter Carol, Lonnie Schultz and fiancée Foster Rolf of Fort Pierre, Jennifer Ngugi and husband John of Winona, MN, and Katie Kalenda and husband Brian of Gregory; four great-grandchildren; three sisters-in-law, Doris (Lew) Bailey of Tyndall, Inez Jones of Burke, and Elsie Kortmeyer of Bonesteel; brother-in-law, Delbert Miller of Bonesteel; plus many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. Memorials may be made to the Community Memorial Hospital Building Fund.

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