Ileen Gyda Smith
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Ileen Gyda Smith
Ileen was born to Ole M. Solem and Ida (Haugse) Nelson on a farm in Allamakee County, Iowa near the Minnesota state line.
She grew up with two brothers and a sister in a Norwegian immigrant family in a Norwegian immigrant farm community. Her family attended a Norwegian Lutheran Church where worship services were regularly spoken in Norwegian. She is the last survivor of her generation of family.
She told interesting stories about riding 10 miles on horseback to attend church confirmation classes. In the winter, her family rode to church services in a horse-drawn sleigh.
During World War II, she moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa where she worked in a defense factory making Collins radios for Navy ships. There she met the late William F. Smith of Shelby County, Indiana who was stationed there training cadets for the Army Air Corps. They married on July 20, 1944 in Shelbyville, Indiana. They were married for 65 years until the death of William F. in 2010.
She is survived by three children: William O. [Lynda] Smith, the late Franklin D. [Deborah] Smith, both of Decatur County and Susan J. Pieper of Evansville. Her grandchildren include Christopher W. Smith, Ann Smith, Amanda Smith Meyers, Robyn Wood Enneking and Michael Pieper. She also has four great grandchildren.
Ileen was a charter member of both the Decatur County Rural Couples Club and the Circle City Lodge of the Sons of Norway.
Since 1957, she and her late husband were hosts to hundreds of events and thousands of guests at their 1836 log cabin on 40 acres in Franklin County.
She and her late husband lived in Rushville, Indiana from 1947 to 1970 and then lived at Lake Santee until 1995 when they moved to Greensburg.
A brief visitation will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, July 20, 2018, 2018 at the Kingston Presbyterian Church followed by a memorial service at 2:30 at the church. Burial will follow in the Kingston cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be given to the donor's choice or the Arc endowment for mentally disabled persons at the Decatur County Community Foundation, 101 East Main Street, Greensburg, Indiana 47240.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Gilliland-Howe funeral home in Greensburg, Indiana. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.gilliland-howe.com.
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