Ila was born to Nick & Sissy Brunsdale in Burdett, Alberta. Her siblings are Glen, Pearl and Blaine. Burdett held special memories as her grandparents Solomon & Lydia Ashton lived there. Ila enjoyed visiting the farm in the summer. Childhood activities consisted of skating, skiing (on homemade skis her dad had made), swimming and playing ball. Ila’s family lived in Manyberries, Alberta until moving to Cardston in 1939 and then Calgary in 1941.
Ila began teacher training in 1942 at the Calgary Normal School and taught at various rural schools. Following graduation from CNS, Ila enlisted in the RCAF Women’s Division in 1943. She received wireless operator training in Montreal and was then stationed in Boundary Bay, BC. In September 1944, her mother died, and Ila returned to Calgary. Ila completed a degree in Home Economics from the University of Alberta, Edmonton in 1948 and then went to Bow Island to teach.
Ila met Carl Southerton there. He asked her if she would like to be a farmer’s wife. She thought that would be OK and they were married June 23, 1949. They worked hard on the farm for the next 33 years. Five daughters blessed their lives- Carol, Gail, LaVern, Donna and Carla. Carl and Ila enjoyed social activities such as dances and playing Canasta. They liked to visit with family and friends and Illa cooked many meals for her company. She was a member of the Women’s Institute. Ila liked to sew and make quilts. She was still making quilts in her 90’s. Ila spent many hours doing family history work too. Carl and Ila took family vacations as the farming would allow. Destinations included Utah, Arizona and Indiana as their daughters married and moved away. They liked to travel in their motorhome and camp.
Attending church was an important part of Ila’s life. She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She served in many callings in Primary, Relief Society and as a visiting teacher. Carl joined the church in 1962 and they were able to take their daughters to the Cardston, Alberta temple to be sealed in 1963. Carl and Ila served a fulltime mission in New Mexico in 1984-85.
Carl and Ila sold the farm in 1982 and moved to Taber. They made many friendships there. Carl died in 2000 and Ila later moved to Lethbridge where she lived until her death. Ila always remembered family members-immediate and extended- with birthday and Christmas cards. She liked to write letters. She enjoyed visiting and helping her daughters, her 33 grandchildren and 71 great grandchildren. She never had the opportunity of meeting her only great great grandchild due to COVID.
Ila leaves a beautiful legacy for she loved God, Jesus Christ, and her church, loved family, loved people, valued education and creativity, and set an example of Christlike living. She would end every conversation with her family saying “Bye, bye for now”
So, bye, bye for now Ila, until we meet again.
A private family service will be held.
To send flowers to Ila's family, please visit our floral store.