Ilahbelle Helen (Wheat) Vorhies, 76, of Augusta, passed away Sunday, April 7, 2013.
Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, 2013, at Headley Funeral Chapel, Augusta. Funeral service will be at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 12, at the Augusta First Baptist Church.
Ilah was born on Feb. 22, 1937, on the family farm in Hope, North Dakota, the first of 10 children. While in first grade her parents moved the family to Cedar Falls, Iowa, where she graduated from school in 1954. Ilah met her future husband, Burlin Vorhies, while attending Iowa State Teacher’s College. They married on June 12, 1955, in Cedar Falls. They had 5 children.
Ilah graduated from Draughn’s Business College in accounting. She was an accounting clerk for Augusta USD 402 and Circle USD 375, and a bookkeeper at Countryside Christian Church in Wichita, retiring early to assist her aging mother-in-law.
Ilah always served others. She traveled to Haiti to build a school and church. She was forwarding agent for missionaries in Puerto Rico. After the Augusta flood of 1998, Ilah cooked meals at the First Baptist Church to feed victims of the flood and other volunteers. Ilah and Burlin led worship services and singing at local nursing homes. Ilah loved working with children. She was a president of the Garfield PTA and the Kansas State PTA. She volunteered as a Girl Scout Leader, a Cub Scout Den Mother, a Sunday school teacher, Youth Group leader, and a girl’s softball coach. She assisted as a teacher’s aide at USD259 where her oldest daughter was a teacher. Ilah enjoyed driving school buses for both Augusta and Bluestem Schools. She also worked as an ambulance attendant.
Ilah was preceded in death by: her husband, Burlin L. Vorhies; granddaughter, Teresa Lynn Linson; parents, William George and Marjorie Ellen (Wright) Wheat; son-in-law, Stanley J. Linson; brother, George W. Wheat; and son, Marshall L. Vorhies.
She is survived by: daughters, Marjorie and husband David Melton of Augusta, Alice Linson of Green River, Wyo., Laura and husband James Deckert of Salina; son, Richard and wife Suzanne Vorhies of Topeka; daughter-in-law, Eulalia “Lil” Vorhies of Tahuya, Wash.; brothers, Harry and Carolyn Wheat of Augusta, Donald and Jane Wheat of Cassellberry, Fla., Marvin and Nancy Wheat of Eureka, David and Debra Wheat of Augusta, Lawrence Wheat of Melbourne, Australia; three sisters, Alice Ann and Dave Follett of Idaho Falls, ID, Mary Ellen Wheat of Augusta, Vanda and Bob Davey of Tyler, Texas; sister-in-law, Marge Wheat of Bettendorf, IA; brother-in-law, William and Holly Vorhies of Keokuk, IA; sister-in-law, Betty Vorhies of San Diego, Calif.; grandchildren, Charissa (Melton) and Mike Williams, Augusta, Chara (Melton) and Brian Skahan, Andover, Paula (Linson) and Ray Torrez, Wichita, Kenneth and Michelle Linson, El Dorado, Rebecca Armendariz, Tahuya, Wash., Joshua Vorhies, Tahuya, Wash., Laurel “Jack” Vorhies, New York City, NY, Shawn Vorhies, Liberal, and Abigail, Naomi, Elijah, and Isaiah Deckert of Salina; 14 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
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