Ilah Lee Hebner, age 91 years formerly of Niles, Michigan; mother, grandmother, great- grandmother, sister, administrator, and traveler died peacefully at 7:13 a.m. on Friday, July 7, 2023 with family gathered around her bedside at Pilgrim Manor in Plymouth, Indiana following an extended illness. Her family is grateful for the kind and compassionate care provided by the staff at Pilgrim Manor.
She was born on November 10, 1931 in Cass County to Paul C. and Florence (Gonser) Rough, and graduated from Niles High School. She continued her education at Michigan State University (East Lansing), and Bethel College (now University) in Mishawaka, Indiana. She was an administrator for senior care facilities, and had served at Hamilton Grove near New Carlisle, Indiana, Pleasantview Home in Kalona, Iowa, and Sacred Heart Home (now Ascension Living Sacred Heart Village) in Avilla, Indiana. She has lived in Plymouth since 1996.
Ilah was a great cook at home, keeping her family happy with basic meat and potatoes fare, but was also known for her special chili, and the classic lime Jell-O with cottage cheese and pineapple. She enjoyed traveling, having visited all forty-eight of the continental United States, and completed a tour of Europe which included Italy, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. At home, she could be found reading a wide variety of material, and – most importantly – caring for her family.
Sam and Ilah were married on January 9, 1955 in Niles and celebrated their Sixty-seventh wedding anniversary, prior to Sam’s death just seven months ago on November 21, 2022. She was also preceded in death by her brother, the Rev. Dr. Thomas Rough on December 30, 2020.
Surviving family includes her children, Susan L. Hebner, Lieutenant Colonel Paul “Thor” (& Lisa) Hebner, U.S. Air Force, Retired, and Sandra L. Kemp, all of Plymouth; grandchildren Samantha (& Kayla) Knotts, Jonathan Kemp, Erik Hebner, and Anya Hebner; great-grandson, Oliver Knotts; and Ilah’s siblings, Harry (& Delores “Dee”) Rough of Niles, Lois (& Mark) Hendricks of Texas, sister-in-law Janet Rough of Warren, Indiana, and many nieces and nephews.
The funeral service for Ilah Hebner will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles with Pastor Wyatt Smith officiating. Committal will follow at Mission Hills. The family will receive relatives and friends at the funeral home on Wednesday, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Contributions in memory of Ilah may be made to the Patient Activity Fund of Pilgrim Manor, 222 Parkview Street, Plymouth, Indiana, 46563, https://careageindiana.com/pilgrim-manor.
Online memories may be left at: www.halbritterwickens.com
Ilah used her ninety-one years well, intentionally learning more about life through continuing education, traveling nationally and internationally, and reading. Ilah spent many years caring for senior citizens and staff at nursing homes, and caring for her family; fulfilling the command to Love God and love people.