Ila May Graham

(March 12, 1928 – June 13, 2020)


Ila May (Vredenburg) Graham, 92, was born March 12, 1928, to James Monroe Vredenburg and Nina Gertrude Kemmish, near Pisgah, Iowa. The family moved to the Bowling Green, Missouri, area where Ila grew up. Ila passed away on June 13, 2020 at 12:10 a.m.

She was the youngest in the family — James Kenneth, Donald Arthur, Charles Bernley, Dorothy Marie, Amos Scott and Ila May. She attended Hartford, Gazette, and Estes country schools and then attended Leavenworth Community High School.

Ila worked at a garment factory in Bowling Green and then worked at Sears. She lived in a boarding room in Leavenworth, Kansas, where she met Edwin Graham. Ed and Ila were married on June 1, 1946, and shortly after moved to Powell, where they became the parents of Linda Lou, Vince Edwin, Andy Vern and Evan Lee. Ed and Ila farmed in Powell before moving to Oroville, California, and later to Eagleville, Missouri, to become closer to family. After Ed’s death in 1993, Ila moved to Crown Colony in Lamoni, Iowa.

She loved family get-togethers with her mother, siblings, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loved sewing, making quilts, gardening, canning, reading, doing puzzles, playing cards, games and visiting with people. She had a big heart and a fierce independent streak. She often said to her children “Eat it, it won’t kill you.” When asked if something bothered her she often replied,“I just let it go in one ear and out the other since there is nothing I can do about it.”

Ila was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Edwin; her daughter Linda; brothers, Kenneth, Donald and Bernley; her sister Dorothy; sisters-in-law, Lucille, Sadie, Rose, Eva Lou, Irma, Bettina and Marge; and brothers-in-law, Vern Graham, Kenneth Graham, Everett Graham, James Graham and Orville Grable.

Left to treasure her memory are her sons Vince (Dixie) of Eagleville, Missouri, Andy (Jeannie) of Oroville, California, and Evan (Theresa) of Lamoni, Iowa; her brother Amos Vredenburg; grandchildren, Sheila Siddall, Shonna Cartwright, Matt (Amanda) Graham, Jodie (Will) Graham, Andy (Jamie) Graham, Parker Graham, Rebecca Graham, Dustin Graham, and Kirk Graham; and 13 great-grandchildren, eight great-great-grandchildren, sister-in-law Jacqueline Graham, as well as many nieces, nephews and dear friends.