Ila Vern Sites, 97, passed away on September 15, 2021 in Ponca City, OK. Ila was born in Erick, OK to Clyde Dell and Nova Etta in August of 1924. She was youngest of four children. Soon after Ila’s birth the family moved to Littlefield, TX.
Ila spent her school years in Littlefield. When she was a senior in high school, the family moved back to Erick. It was there that she met Virgil Sites. The two were married on August 16, 1942. Virgil was drafted into the Army in October 1942 and was assigned to the Air Force. He was stationed at Wichita Falls, TX and Ila joined him as soon as possible. The Air Force moved them several times. Ila was very fond of their travels and loved to tell stories about their lives in various cities.
After the war, Ila and Virgil lived in Erick, but they moved to Tucson, AZ in 1948 to be near Ila’s aunt and uncle. They lived in Tucson for 16 years and both of their daughters, Shirley and Deborah, were born there. Although Tucson was close to their hearts, the couple moved back to Erick in 1964, where they bought acreage and built a home. Erick remained their home until they moved to Mannford, OK in 1998 to be closer to their two daughters. Their eldest daughter, Shirley, lived in Mannford and Deborah only lived two hours away. Ila and Virgil remained happily married until Virgil’s death in 2000.
Ila was extremely personable. It is no surprise that the jobs she held over the years were public oriented. After graduating from a beautician school in Tucson, she held a job in a local hair salon. In Erick, she worked at the Erick Honey Farm, but one of Ila’s favorite jobs was at the Welcome Center on I-40 outside of Erick. She welcomed thousands of visitors and was never too busy to answer a weary tourist’s questions. Ila was also an amazing hostess and cook. She planned each meal with care and dessert was never left off the menu. Family members never have a problem naming one of their favorite recipes that Ila made over the years.
An avid churchgoer, Ila volunteered to help cook and work at many church events over the years. She had a talent for singing and enjoyed singing in the church choir. Many of her children and grandchildren inherited her appreciation for singing.
Ila touched many lives. She had an infectious smile and an appreciation for life. Ila’s family was very important to her and family celebrations and holidays were one of her favorite pastimes. After Virgil’s death, Ila split her time between her daughters’ hometowns, and traveling remained a passion of hers throughout her life. Several road trips with her daughters produced many entertaining stories that the family loved to hear.
Ila was proceeded in death by her parents, Clyde Dell and Nova Etta; siblings, Norval, Imogene, and Kinnith; husband, Virgil; and daughter Shirley. She is survived by daughter, Deborah (Todd); grandchildren, Robert, Shawn, Regan (Joe), Angela (Todd), and Jaime; 10 great-grandchildren.
A private family service will be held at Grace Memorial Chapel in Ponca City, OK.