Cover photo for Ila Eliza Geren's Obituary
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Ila Eliza Geren

August 6, 1919 — August 30, 2018

Ila Eliza Geren

Ila Eliza Thompson Geren August 6th 1919 - August 30th, 2018 August 6th 1919, this mortal world in Kalamazoo, Michigan, welcomed Ila Eliza Thompson. Born to Walter Thompson and Eva Goodacre Thompson, she would grow up with sibling brothers, George Earl Thompson, Loyal LaVerne Thompson, and sister Alta L. Thompson, who later became Alta Bitely. When she was 4 her family moved to Washington State for 2 years. Returning to Michigan, she attended Lincoln, Edison, Washington and Lake Center schools, through the 8th grade. Anyone knowing her would never guess she had only an 8th grade education. She was smart, spoke eloquently and could put you in your place with a just a look. As her friend, you became one of her family. In April 1936 she and Glenn D. Geren were wed by his Uncle Virgil Geren. During their 33-year marriage they had two daughters, Jean Arlene Geren Kerns of Wescoville, PA., and Phyllis Eileen Geren Post Carpenter (passed away in December, 2008). Their daughters gave them 7 grandchildren: Kim Kerns Domovich, Phoenix AZ, Debra Carpenter Fields, New Buffalo, MI, Kevin Kerns, Buckeye AZ (passed away in 2013), Keith Kerns, Phoenix, AZ, Kari Kerns Liebman Wyman, Groton CT, Kelli Kerns, Brockington, San Diego, CA, and Kristin Kerns Myrick, Macungie PA. These 7 grandchildren gave them 15 great grandchildren and 10 great great grandchildren. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews. Her niece, Eva Myrick, has been her caregiver and medical advocate for the last few years. Ila was employed at Lerner's, and Jones Brothers, in downtown Kalamazoo. She then worked at W.L. Molding for 23 years. She volunteered at Bronson Vicksburg Hospital Guild for over 21 years. Following the death of her husband Glenn, in 1969, she met Paul Barrett. They were lifetime partners for 45 years. They enjoyed bowling, traveling, playing cards, and watching T.V. rooting for the Tigers. They cherished each other, and numerous friends. In 2015 Paul passed away. She continued to live in their home in Portage, surrounded by beautiful farmland of soybean and corn, and her own personal garden. She always enjoyed the local wildlife: the birds she fed, the squirrels, occasional deer, ground hogs, sandhill cranes, and turkeys. Her last wishes were carried out. She left us peacefully, surrounded by her daughter, niece, granddaughter, grandson, great granddaughter and great niece. She was dearly loved by all. She did it her way! In lieu of flowers, she requested donations be made to your favorite charity or family church. A celebration of her life will be announced at a later time.
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