May 29, 1924 – Sept. 27, 2019
Graduation with Heavenly Honors
STEVENSVILLE — “Encantado con la Vida” and “I’d like to go see LeRoy and the rest of my family now” were two of the last messages Ila left with her family as she prepared to move on. Ila was “Enchanted with Life” both on this earth and in the world to come. Her faith, a deep love of the Savior and her lifelong commitment to live as He lived prepared her to move on to the next life.
Ila was born in Algona, Washington, on May 29, 1924 to Roy Wood and Florence Brown Wood. When the Great Depression started the family moved home to Stevensville to be near relatives. They were enterprising and bought two acres with a barn. They lived in the barn, worked together, played together and became a tight knit family consisting of Roy and Florence with children Ila, LeRoy, and Leona (Bunny). As the years passed the barn was replaced with a beautiful home and Ila became a beautiful young woman.
Four events shaped Ila’s life:
1- At the outbreak of WWII Ila enrolled in the nursing program at Montana State College in Bozeman. It only took one semester to determine that nursing was not for her, but while there she was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She had a firm testimony of Jesus Christ and did her best to serve Him all her life.
2- Ila married Paul Long and together they had three children. Terry, Sheryle and Paul (Sandy) were her life. She loved them completely and did everything in her power to insure their happiness and success. She wrote, “the only regret I have is that I wasn’t able to be at home when my children were growing up”.
3- When her first husband became blind, he and Ila determined that the best thing for her to do was to go to college and become a teacher. She became a gifted and inspirational teacher. She taught business, but she also taught how to live to be a success.
Her professional experience started in Moab, Utah, and included Missoula County High, Modern Business College, Alberton High, St. Labre School and Ricks College (BYU Idaho). Ila continued at Ricks as registrar managing the first of the automated registrations.
She never stopped teaching, she built classrooms on her home to teach struggling students first to read and then to love to read. She worked with youth at church for many years had a powerful influence for good in their lives.
4- While at Ricks College Ila met and married LeRoy Niemann. Together they built a wonderful home where the floor on Christmas night was covered with sleeping children, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandkids, dogs and even a goat or two at times. What fun we had. Together they served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
LeRoy passed on several years ago and Ila spoke of him often and how it would be to be with him again.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Roy and Florence Brown Wood, brothers Carl Rex and LeRoy Gerald, her husband LeRoy Niemann and first husband Paul Long.
Ila is survived by the children: Terry and Hyrum Tatton, Sheryle Richardson, and Paul (Sandy) and Lane Long. Grandchildren: Bill and Mele Tatton, David and Jill Tatton, Jennifer and Kyle Ohnstad, Tanya and Steve Cole, Shawna and Michael Mc Donald, Damon and Mary Richardson, Brandon and Mandy Richardson, Diedre and Laynn Palmquist, Ciara and Jared Gray, Matt and Saundra Long, Jesse and Jolene Long, Zack Long and Toby Long. There are 16 great-grandchildren and a host of great-great grandchildren.
She is also survived by her sister, Leona (Bunny) and Duane Clatworthy, their four daughters and their families. Also, her brother's six children and their families, and cousins.
Ila graduated with Heavenly Honors at 12:20 a.m., Sept. 27, 2019 in her home in Stevensvile with her three children by her side. She was excited about making this trip "On the Rainbow Trail" "Well Done, Thou Good and Faithful Servant." Those of us left behind can only say “Thank you, Grandma Ila”!
Services will be held on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 at 10 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Stevensville.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests you share an act of kindness with someone each day. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at whitesittfuneralhome.com.