By HDN Staff
CHESTER Ila Blanche Kossel, 82, died Tuesday, June 11, 2002, at a Conrad nursing home.
Memorial services were today at 11 a.m. at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Chester with the Rev. Peter Erickson officiating. A luncheon was to follow at the church. It was Ila's wish to be cremated. Her ashes will be buried with her husband, John, at the C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery in Kalispell at a later date.
Ila was born on the family homestead near Reedpoint to Ira and Myrtle (Tucker) Myers on Feb. 23, 1920. She received her early schooling at Reedpoint. The Myers family moved to Kalispell and she finished her education at Flathead County High School.
Ila married Oren Stearns in 1937 at Kalispell and they had two children. They lived in Tacoma, where Oren worked in the shipyards during World War II. They returned to the Flathead Valley in 1944. Ila and Oren worked in real estate sales during the early construction years of the Hungry Horse Dam. They divorced in 1949 and Ila moved to Shelby.
Ila married John K. Kossel on April 19, 1952, in Conrad. They lived in Chester where they managed the Golden West Bar & Cafe from 1953-55. In 1955, they purchased Sully's Bar in Galata. Ila ran the restaurant at Sully's for many years before they closed it. They continued to operate the bar in Galata until 1994, when they sold the business, retired and purchased a home in Chester. After 47 years of marriage, John died in Chester on Dec. 27, 1999. Although Ila's eyesight was very poor and she had additional medical problems, she continued to live alone in her Chester home until March 2001. At that time, she sold her house and moved to Valier to live near her granddaughter, Kay. In April 2002, when Ila developed blood clots in her legs, she transferred to the Pondera Medical Center in Conrad for extended care.
Ila enjoyed canning and cooking. Her family will always remember her wonderful pickles, jams and homemade potato soups. Ila loved family dinners, gatherings and holidays, especially those quality times with her grandchildren. Although Ila and John were dedicated to their business, they did take several memorable trips to the West Coast, Seattle World's Fair and Disneyland.
Ila was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John; a son, Larry, who died in infancy.
Survivors include her daughter, Ardith "Tinkey" Cushing of Chester; step-daughters, Bonnie Aman and Donna Hellwig, both of Portland, Ore.; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; brothers, J. Ray Myers and his wife, Vi, and Melvin Myers and his wife, Wilma, all of Kalispell; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel in Chester.