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Ilah M. Bancroft

February 11, 1921 February 21, 2022
Ilah M. Bancroft
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Obituary for Ilah M. Bancroft

Ilah Bancroft’s 101 years on earth ended February 21st 2022 when she joined her heavenly family. Born Ilah Mae Ayers February 11th, 1921, she grew up in Sharpsville IN, graduating from high school in 1939. Ilah met Grant Bancroft and they married April 17, 1941 in Dowagiac MI. They resided in Saginaw MI until 1946 when they moved to their farm at Coleman, WI.
Ilah was a loving mother, housekeeper, care giver, seamstress and pianist. She did all things with kindness while expressing her thoughts with colorful words and phrases never heard before. There were always three good meals a day at home, no need to go out to eat. It didn’t matter if in-laws with kids were vacationing or the Watkins Man stopped in, Ilah always had good food for all. She was an in home care giver for her mother-in-law until she passed in 1956 and again for her father-in-law until he passed in 1974. Grant passed away in 1984 and she moved to Oconto to be closer to family and joined the Oconto Gospel Church. Her church and faith gave her strength to deal with life events and her fun language skills entertained and endeared her to everyone she met. She never seemed to know where her sayings originated, they just flowed from her Hoosier upbringing, or as she would say “I sucked it out of my thumb”. Being a woman of faith, she would never swear. Her way of expressing displeasure would be with sayings like; “Well shades of John the Baptist”, or “If that don’t beat hens picking on a hard board”. If you weren’t feeling well you probably had “appendicitis in your ciswheel”. If someone had too much to drink they were “two sheets to the wind and one a fluttering”. If someone was working a lot, they were “busier than a one armed paper hanger with the hives”. If you asked Ilah how she felt, she would rub her fingers together, meaning she’s feeling with her fingers. Ilah’s favorite drink was Adams Ale (water). If you were wishing for something she would say “if wishes were fishes the ocean would be full”. Fun words like ishkabibble, cyphodlyn, doohinkies and oh bush-a-wa we’re a part of her vocabulary. She has over 100 (forty-eleven different kinds, in Ilah speak) of her famous sayings captured by her grand daughter, Tammie in her book My Grandmother’s Memory Quilt. Ilah also had her own original goodbye wave of kicking her leg high in the air, which diminished through her 70’s, 80,s and 90’s. She had a special bond with her 3 grand daughters (Bonnie, Brenda & Tammie) who spent summer vacations on the farm. Ilah played piano and the grand daughters sang, all the while learning about animals and life on a small farm from Grandma.

Ilah is survived by her children, Sharon (Urban) Johnson of Porterfield, Gary (Kathy) Bancroft of Oconto and Keith Bancroft (LeAnna Franklin) of Kewaunee, grandchildren Deano (Tina) Johnson Green Bay, Bonnie (Jay) Weigelt Oconto, Brenda Bancroft Green Bay, Brian (Celeste) Bancroft Pembine, William (Erin) Bancroft Oconto Falls, Scott (Lauren) Bancroft Oconto, Jeff Franklin Boulder CO, Bryan Franklin (Alexandria Guth) Houghton MI and Sergei (Megan) Holz Kewaunee 14 great, 4 great-great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Russel and Ersie Ayers, husband Grant, brother Max Ayers, all of her brother and sister-in-laws and grand daughter Tammie Tachick.

The family will receive relatives and friends at the United Methodist Church, Oconto, from 9 to 11 AM Friday, February 25, 2022. Funeral services will be conducted 11 AM Friday at the church with the Rev. Sherwin Parmar officiating. Online condolences may be expressed at www.gallagherfuneralhome.net.
The family would like to thank the caring staff at The Bay of Oconto for providing Mom with three years of loving support and also thank Unity Hospice for helping Mom in her final days.

Thank you Mom for being an example of how to live with what life hands you. We love you a bushel and a peck with a hug around the neck, okey dokey palsie walsie!

To plant a tree in memory of Ilah M. Bancroft, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

25

Feb

9:00 AM 2/25/2022 9:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 2/25/2022 11:00:00 AM
United Methodist Church

641 Washington Street
Oconto, WI 547153

United Methodist Church
641 Washington Street Oconto 547153 WI
United States

Service

Friday

25

Feb

11:00 AM 2/25/2022 11:00:00 AM
United Methodist Church

641 Washington Street
Oconto, WI 547153

Funeral service by Rev. Sherwin Parmar.

United Methodist Church
641 Washington Street Oconto 547153 WI
United States
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