Ila Ferne Kathleen “Sirne” was born November 26, 1924 in Hunter, Kansas to Otto and Hattie (Remus) Seehafer. Ila Ferne Streit Nelson of Beloit, formally of Tipton, died, August 1, 2020, at Hilltop Lodge at the age of 95 years, 7 months and 6 days.
She attended grade school at Engalls School, 4 miles east of Hunter, and graduated from Hunter High School in 1942. She continued her education by attending college at the University of Colorado, Boulder. After her time at college she taught in country schools in the Hunter area.
Ila Ferne was united in marriage to Gerard Streit on November 12, 1946 at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Tipton, Kansas. They were the parents of two children, Dan and Jean Ann. Gerard died on April 7, 1980. On November 26, 1999 (her 75thbirthday), Ila Ferne married Paul L. Nelson of Glasco, Kansas at St Boniface Catholic Church. This union was later dissolved.
Ila Ferne was a homemaker, gardener and Gerard’s partner in all endeavors. In addition to caring for two children she was always busy on the farm milking cows, raising chickens, and adopting cats. This last activity earned her the name of Kitty Grandma. She also had a love of the Kansas City Royals and you would often know where she was on the farm due to the sound of the game coming from her radio.
After marriage, Ila Ferne worked part-time as a substitute teacher. While Dan and Jean Ann were in school, she became the first head cook for the newly formed hot lunch program for the Tipton school. She worked there thirteen years. After Gerard’s death in 1980 she became a CNA and worked in local nursing homes.
Ila Ferne raised purebred racing greyhounds. She enjoyed taking flight instruction, playing cards with many ladies in Tipton, gardening, collecting rocks, and dancing. She was the last surviving charter member of the original Tipton EHU which became FCE and is now Tipton TAG
She made and decorated wedding cakes for many years; she always made extra frosting for the grandkids to have with graham crackers.
Her passion was her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. She enjoyed all of their school and sporting events. She attended many baseball, volleyball, basketball and football games as well as numerous recitals and school programs.
During her time at Hilltop Lodge Assisted Living she enjoyed playing cards and dominoes, participating in music group, being pampered with manicures and pedicures and attending religious activities. When she moved to Hilltop Nursing Home her card playing and domino games continued.
During Ila Ferne’s final days, Solomon Valley Hospice joined the staff of Hilltop Lodge to provide expert and compassionate care
Ila Ferne is survived by her children; Dan (Vera) of Beloit, Kansas. and Jean Ann (Larry) Mace of Madison, Nebraska. Grandchildren; Michelle Streit of Miami, Florida, Brian Streit of Beloit, Kansas, Stephanie (Bob) Jones of Tipton, Kansas, Anthony (Jessica) Streit of Layton, Utah, Nathan Dixon of Manhattan, Kansas, and Jerard Mace (Stephanie Stanley) of Storm Lake, Iowa. Great-grandchildren: Raegan (Devin) Dame of Salina, Kansas, Meaghan, Emma, and Owain Jones of Tipton, Kansas, Isabella, Graeson, and Rylea Streit of Layton, Utah, Harlee Thompson (Garrett Nelson) and Royce Dixon of Manhattan, Kansas, Cale Libolt and Kaimberlyn Mace of Storm Lake, Iowa. Great-great-grandchildren; Easton March of Salina, Kansas and Kannan Thompson of Manhattan, Kansas. Brother; Melvin of Hilltop Lodge, and numerous nieces, nephews, and lifelong friends. She was preceded in death by husband Gerard and parents Otto and Hattie Seehafer.
A celebration of her life will be held at a later date,
Memorials can be made to Tipton Catholic High School and/or Tipton Community School in care of Schoen Funeral Home and Monuments 302 N. Hersey Ave. Beloit, KS 67420.
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