Dec. 19, 1914 – Feb. 4, 2019
At evening when I go to rest
14 angels I request
2 to guard above my head
2 to watch below my bed
2 to be at my right side
At my left 2 more abide.
2 to lull me into sleep
2 to wake me from the deep
2 to lead me on the way
Where angels always sing and pray.
Ila Maurice Schirm was born in the small town of Adair, Iowa, to George and Clara Schirm on Dec. 19, 1914. She and her brother Dale grew up on their father’s farm northwest of town. There the family ran a dairy, raised hogs and chickens, planted corn and beans. This life taught her the value of hard work which she tried to instill in her children.
Ila attended a one-room schoolhouse where her mother was the teacher. She graduated from Adair High School in 1933. She graduated a year later than she should have because in 1923 her appendix ruptured and she spent several months in the hospital recovering. This is an indication of how tough she was, since the survival rate in those days was pretty low.
After graduating high school in the midst of the depression, Ila worked at a variety of jobs. All this changed one day in 1943. While she was traveling by bus through Kansas to visit a boyfriend, a handsome army Lieutenant from Texas got on the bus, sat in the seat behind her and laid on the charm. Of course, he won her over. Ila and Ewell Maloy were married in Junction City, Kansas, Nov. 7, 1943, at the Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church.
In 50 years of marriage they lived many places in the world courtesy of the U.S. Army. The birth places of their children reflect this - Massachusetts (Monty), Iowa (Joel), Texas (Lea and Kim) and Germany (Arlyn).
After Ewell retired from the Army, they moved to Boerne in 1958. All five children graduated from the Boerne schools. Ila was always busy with the kids’ activities. She was a room mother, a Girl Scout leader, a Cub Scout den mother and a Boerne Band Booster.
Outside of her children’s activities, she was very active in the local American Legion Auxiliary and the VFW Auxiliary, serving in various capacities. She also volunteered many years at Audie Murphy Hospital.
In her church life she was very active in Bible studies and other activities. One of her favorite activities was the Braille ministry. Even past her 100th birthday, she still joined the group that traveled into San Antonio to assist in making Braille books of the Bible.
When writing an obituary about someone 104 years old, it is difficult to choose what to say and what to leave out so here are some random thoughts.
She was an accomplished seamstress. When we were in school, more likely than not we were wearing shirts and dresses she made. She made at least two wedding dresses. Must have been successful. Both couples are still married and have grandchildren of their own.
She loved to cross stitch. For each grandchild, she made a wall hanging with dates, weight, places and animals on each one. In the later years the quality slipped a little but the main ingredient - Love - was still apparent.
She was famous for her Sunday dinners. For many years, family and friends would meet at Mom and Dad’s house for a pot roast dinner. Everyone ate. Anyone we brought with us was as welcome as her own children.
She kept two bowls of candy in her home. The bowl of orange slices was available to everyone but the cup of candy corn she kept by her chair was only for her grandchildren.
She kept up correspondence with many friends for over 70 years. Some were friends she grew up with in Iowa, fellow army wives and even her landlady in Salzburg, Austria, from whom they rented a house when they were stationed there in 1946. Sadly, all this faded out over the years as one by one they passed away. One of the curses of a long life is that you lose more friends than you gain.
She did have her faults.
She was stubborn. Just ask anyone at Riverview. If she didn’t want to take medicines, eat or drink, you might as well go the to the next person. She just wasn’t going to do it.
She could be easily bribed. Just give her a Hershey’s Kiss or chocolate cake and she would be your friend forever, or at least as long as you had chocolate. One of her last meals this final week was two Hershey’s Kisses.
Ila raised her family with love. She loved her husband and children, made sure they were fed, clothed and had a place to sleep. For this we are eternally grateful. Everyone who knew her loved her and will miss her.
Ila was preceded in death by her parents George and Clara Schirm, brother and sister-in-law Dale and Clara Schirm, her husband Ewell Maloy, son Monty Maloy and daughter-in-law Martha Maloy.
She is survived by her son Joel, daughter Lea (Joey) Tupa, son Kim (Maurine) Maloy and son Arlyn (Anna) Maloy; 12 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren and one soon to be born great-great-grandson
Also by numerous nieces and nephews. Three were especially close to her heart. These are her brother’s three daughters. Linda (Ken) Keyes of Illinois and Florida, Carolyn (Dale) Culbertson of New Braunfels and Kris (Steve) Laidley of Iowa.
The family wishes to extend most grateful thanks to the Nurses and Staff of Riverview Nursing and Rehabilitation in Boerne. Your loving care of Mom in the last two years of her life was truly outstanding and was a blessing to Mom and our family.
A church service will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church, 9401 Dietz Elkhorn Rd. Boerne, on Friday, Feb. 8, at 11 a.m.
In memory of Ila, memorials made be made out to Messiah Lutheran Church Building Fund.
Arrangements with Mission Park Funeral Chapels North, 210-349-1414.