Ila Whitsel passed away on May 13, 2018, at the Oklahoma Methodist Manor in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Arrangements are under the care of Dighton-Marler Funeral Home of Stillwater. A memorial service will be held at a later date at the First Christion Church in Stillwater. A visition will be held on Friday, May 18, 2018 from 9:00am to 8:00pm at the funeral home with family greeting guest from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.
She was born Ila Jane Akin on May 5, 1929, in Kiowa, Oklahoma, to Ernest and Phyllis Akin. She attended Kiowa schools and graduated from Kiowa High School in May, 1947. She graduated from Oklahoma A&M in May, 1951, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics. She married James Jim Minter Whitsel on June 16, 1951. Ila and Jim made their home in Stillwater.
Ila and Jim were long time members of First Christian Church and the 3Ms Sunday School Class. Ila was also a member of Beta Sigma Phi sorority and the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Ila liked reading, crossword puzzles, crocheting and knitting. She enjoyed studying her family tree as well as Jims and left behind several notebooks filled with research about their families.
When her sons, Warren and Alan, reached junior high, she went to work as a payroll clerk for the Stillwater Public Schools. After she had worked in that position for a few years, she became involved in the Stillwater chapter of the Education Support Personnel of Oklahoma. She would go on to become state president of that association. Eventually she left her job with Stillwater schools to be the state executive director. This job took her all over the state organizing local chapters and to the state capitol to work on legislation affecting public school support personnel. She found great fulfillment in this work and believed that this organization positively benefitted school support personnel in Oklahoma. She also served as an officer in the American Association of Classified School Employees and the Oklahoma Coalition for Public Education.
In retirement, she did volunteer work at the American Red Cross and served on the board at Brentwood Estates where she lived for several years.
Ila is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Jim, and her three sisters, Irene, Joan and Ruth. She is survived by her sons, Warren Whitsel of Tulsa, and Alan Whitsel of Wellington, Kansas, her grandchildren, James and Morgan Whitsel, both of Tulsa, and numerous nieces and nephews. She is also survived by many friends among them those at First Christian Church, Brentwood Estates and Primrose Retirement
Community who reached out with letters, cards and prayers of support during the last few months. Her family thanks them for their kindness.
Memorials may be made to the First Christian Church, 411 W. Matthews, Stillwater, OK 74075.
Published on May 14, 2018