Beloved wife, mother and grandmother, Ilene Carol (Merrill) Vail, 82, passed away March 24, 2014, in Billings at Canyon Creek Memory Care, surrounded by family and generous caregivers.
Ilene was born June 21, 1931, in Cheyenne, Wyo., the daughter of Edward and Mabel (Harnden) Merrill. She grew up in Cheyenne as a tomboy known as “Teeny,” graduated from high school and began working in a feed store where she met her husband, Dexter Vail. Ilene and Dexter lived in Billings for 14 years before moving to Kalispell in 1972. Ilene raised her four children with wisdom and love, showing us how to live with kindness and humor. While spending most of her time with family, she also enjoyed golfing, reading, knitting and water aerobics.
Ilene was preceded in death by her three brothers, Robert, Delbert and Richard, and husband of 61 years, Dexter. She is survived by her children, Dawnlee (husband Mike Laughlin), of Corvallis, Ore., Barbara (husband Robert Ketchum), of Billings, Robin (husband Alex Ancheta), of Oak Harbor, Wash., Casey (wife Cathy Vail), of Kalispell; sisters Lois Buzard, of Federal Heights, Colo., and Elinor Ronish, of Santa Clara, Calif.; grandchildren, Kori (husband Mathias Forsman), of Vancouver, Wash., Justin (wife Miranda Ancheta), of Vancouver, Christina (husband Valentin Solotych), of Riverdale, Md., and Karena Ketchum, of Billings; great-grandchildren Rylee Ancheta, Shalyn Ancheta, Elijah Forsman, Eliot Forsman.
A memorial service for family will be held in May at Conrad Memorial Cemetery in Kalispell.