Elda Lillian Stillman, age 89, of Arapahoe, Nebraska passed away on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at Good Samaritan Hospital, in Kearney, Nebraska. She was the fifth of seven children born to Emil Gustav and Agnes (Marquardt) Bloch on July 5, 1925, on their farm north of Arapahoe, Nebraska in Gosper County.
Being part of a large family in the 1930’s – 40’s meant much hard work to make ends meet. Elda did her part to support her family by earning wages working in the beet fields along the Platte River, working for neighbors who needed help, and working at a plant in Oxford, Nebraska to process chickens and turkeys.
It was while working at the Derby Café in Arapahoe, Nebraska that she met Kenneth Stillman, who became the love of her life. After a time of courtship, they were married at Immanuel Lutheran Church on June 6, 1948. They made their home on a farm northwest of Arapahoe. A son, James Kenneth Stillman, was born to them on May 2, 1949.
Elda was a very devoted wife and mother. She was also a lover of music. She also derived great pleasure from such outdoor activities as gardening and feeding birds and small animals. In her younger years Elda used her talents in music to play the guitar and organ. She was a member of the church choir, first at Immanuel Lutheran Church, and later at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, where she and her husband were members with their son, James, until its closing in 1965. At that time they became members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Arapahoe, Nebraska.
In 1989, health needs caused Elda and her husband to move from their farm to a home in the city of Arapahoe. Graced with a wraparound porch with white pillars, and huckleberry trees with happy birds, this was a home in which she enjoyed the visits of many family members and friends. Her grandchildren, Alice and Aaron, now live and work in cities around the world. Great grandchildren Josiah and Rachel are born to Aaron Stillman.
In Elda’s favorite treasures we can find well-preserved pictures of many family members and relatives from now to years past. As her favorite way to express care to people, she wrote many greeting cards and notes for their birthdays, anniversaries, and times of sickness in need of healing.
On September 8 Elda entered the Cambridge Hospital suffering from symptoms which developed into pneumonia. The severity of her illness required that she be transferred to the Good Samaritan Hospital of Kearney, Nebraska. She died there from complications of pneumonia. Elda was baptized July 26, 1925 and confirmed May 21, 1939, both at Immanuel Lutheran Church north of Arapahoe. Her confirmation verse was John 14:6 (Jesus saith unto him,” I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.”). She also attended Immanuel Parochial School where she graduated from the eighth grade.
Elda was preceded in death by her husband Kenneth on March 14, 2014. She was also preceded in death by her father, Emil Bloch in 1974, her mother Agnes Bloch in 1987, and brothers Harold in 1989, Leonard in 1977, Walter in 1982, and Emil Jr. in 1989.
She will be greatly missed by her son, James & wife Chun-yen Stillman of Chicago, Illinois, sister Elfrieda Luhman and brother Edwin Bloch both of Arapahoe, and many other beloved relatives and friends. 2 grandchildren & 2 great-grandchildren. Elda lived to be 89 years old, with more radiant countenance at the end of her earthly journey than ever before. She found new joy as she was looking forward to life in a heavenly home.
Condolences or personal reflections can be left at wenburgfuneralhome.com
Viewing and visitation will be Tuesday, September 30, 2014 from 10 AM till 8 PM at Wenburg Funeral Home and prior to the service at the church. Funeral services will be on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 10:30 AM at the Trinity Lutheran Church, in Arapahoe, Nebraska with Rev. James Moshier, officiating. Interment will be at St. Matthews Cemetery at Arapahoe, Nebraska. Wenburg Funeral Home of Arapahoe, Nebraska is in charge of the arrangements.