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Ila Mae Benedict

March 4, 2021 | 4 comments

Ila Mae (Luken) Benedict passed away, Monday morning, March 1st, 2021, at the age of 87.  She was born October 24, 1933, at home to Emil and Agnes (Knutson) Luken in Larkin Valley and was baptized, May 6th, 1934 at Zion (West) Lutheran Church in Blair; Confirmed June 27, 1947 at Trempealeau Valley Lutheran Church.  She graduated from Blair High School, May, 1951 and married Vilas Benedict on December 19,1951 at Blair First Lutheran Parsonage. They were blessed with four children.  She & Vilas were married 49 years.  They bought and farmed the Benedict Homestead in Trump Coulee, until they moved to Blair in 1996.  Ila worked at the Grandview Nursing Home, as a cook for 17 years and provided home healthcare for members of the community for many years.

Ila is survived by 4 children:  Susan (Giloy), Eau Claire WI; Jeffrey (Joann) Merrill; Steven (Rayma),Dripping Springs Texas; Michael (Kristy) Blair; 8 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren; 1 sister,  Bernice Evenson, Plover WI; 2 sister-in-laws, Carol Benedict, Blair, and Lillian Luken, Minneapolis MN; 2 special nieces, Terry Knabb and Penny Johnson, and special nephew Jerome Johnson who made their home with us for several years and remain a part of our family.  Also, other beloved nieces and nephews and special neighbors and friends.

Ila was preceded in death by her husband, Vilas, her parents, Emil & Agnes Luken, brothers Alvin, Lloyd and Lester; sister Elsie, son-in-law Dale Giloy, brother in-laws and sister in-laws, Levin & Janice Benedict, Freeman & Gladys Benedict, Aymaar & Vivian Axness,  Merrill Strawn, Mary Lou Luken,  John Evenson and a great granddaughter Savannah Hill.

She was a member of Blair Lutheran Church and former member of WELA & its Circle, also Grand View Auxiliary.  She loved watching & feeding the birds, taking care of her flowers, spending time with her family and grandchildren, cooking & baking for them and others, enjoyed watching the Green Bay Packers & the Wisconsin Badgers.  She collected plates, cups, saucers & spoons from various states.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 13, 2021.  Visitation will be from 9:00am-11:00am followed by a private funeral service at 11:00am for family members at the First Lutheran Church in Blair.    Burial will follow the funeral services at the Resthaven Cemetery.

Masks are required as well as social distancing due to COVID.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to the Trempealeau County Humane Society or St. Croix Hospice.



  1. Penelope Johnson

    Aunt – as she will always be referred to by me was the kindest, loving, and caring woman I have ever known. Her smile and laugh was infectious. I remember as a child waiting patiently in the kitchen for the freshly baked bread to come out of the oven. She would cut the heal off for me and I’d have a mayonnaise sandwich. Memories like that will forever be in my heart. She will forever be in my heart. My warmest condolences to all. With love – Pen

  2. Carol (Luken) Berk

    My dear Aunt. This woman would do anything for you. When we would visit her, there was no end to her gracious hospitality. She had a ready smile and always kind words. She will be greatly missed.

    • Beth Willers

      Ila was a sweet lady. She will be missed.

  3. Vicki Otterson

    Ila was a care-giver to our Mom, Adeline Anderson. Our Mom always felt safe and loved by Ila.
    She went above and beyond for our Mom. They were actually dear friends. We will never forget her love and kindness. R.I.P. sweet Ila!


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