Ila Mae (Gilfillan) Arnold was born on April 16th, 1929 at the family farm near Mound City, MO. She was the youngest of the six children blessed to Eugene Ray and Emma Helen (Buntz) Gilfillan.
On March 1, 1934, when she was four years old, her family moved to the 80 acre farm that her father purchased from her grandparents, Charles Stewart and Barbara Ellen (Black) Gilfillan, located three miles west and two and one half miles south of Verdon, NE. She walked one and a half miles to county school, District #45, from 1st through 8th grades. She then attended Dawson High School in Dawson, NE, graduating with 17 classmates in 1947.
Ila Mae married her high school sweetheart, Walter Eugene Arnold, Jr., on August 1, 1948. They lived at several rural places south and west of Verdon, when first married, later moving to Falls City, NE. In 1956, they purchased a farm located two and one half miles south of Morrill, KS where they raised three children. They tended to their cattle, hogs, and chickens, and operated a Grade B Dairy. Ila Mae farmed alongside her husband planting and harvesting corn, soybeans, milo, wheat, oats, and alfalfa. When they retired from farming in March of 1978, they moved back to their present day home in Verdon. Walt passed away on November 17, 1979. Ila Mae began working as an in home health care provider for several elderly couples in Falls City, as well did housekeeping for residents in Verdon and Falls City for many years.
Her faith with Christ was evident as she was a member of the Verdon Christian Church where she and Walt were married. She was baptized in and became a member of the church of Christ in Sabetha, KS and later in Falls City.
Ila Mae was an avid farmer and gardener all of her life. She loved growing, canning, freezing, and sharing her produce. Cooking and baking, sewing, crocheting, quilting, carpentry, and mechanics also filled her life with purpose, but there was nothing more important to her than all of her family.
She lived in Verdon until August of 2016, and then became a member of Falls City Healthcare Community and later a resident of the Apostolic Christian Home in Sabetha, KS because of complications following surgery. She was the oldest living resident in Verdon and will be greatly missed by her neighbors, friends, as well as many relatives.
She is survived by: her daughters, Nancy (Zane) Painter of Sabetha, KS; Cynthia (Phillip) Fritz of Verdon, NE; and a son, Daniel (Regina) Arnold of Atwater, CA; grandchildren, Nick (Crystal) Painter of Topeka, KS; Jennifer (Sid) Ewing of Hutchinson, KS; Melissa (Joe) Chavez; Laura (Don) Hyler, III, Jon (Jennifer) Arnold, all of Atwater, CA; Erin (Zak) Harrington, Spicewood, TX; Jed (Rachel) Fritz, Verdon, NE. Her sixteen great-grandchildren, Faith, Reyna, Joe Jr., and Uriah Chavez; Braeden, Reagen, and Dallas Hyler; Eliana, Logan, and Weston Arnold; Aubrey and Layla Ewing, Finley and Garrett Harrington; and Halleigh and Casen Fritz, her sister, Maxine Arnold of Sabetha, KS; many nieces and nephews and their families.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, her siblings and their spouses; Warren (Nancy) Gilfillan, Wayne (Bessie) Gilfillan, Clyda (Harold) Schmidt, Evelyn (Dick) Wilhelm, and a brother-in-law, Norman Arnold.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 2:00 P.M. at the Dorr and Clark Funeral Home with Dave Clark officiating. Interment will be held at Verdon Cemetery.
Family will receive friends from 7:00-8:00 P.M. on Friday, January 27, 2017 at the Dorr and Clark Funeral Home.