Ilah R. Breitbach
Ilah R. Breitbach, age 88, of Oregon, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, at St. Mary’s Hospital. She was born Dec. 11, 1933, in Blanchardville, Wis., the daughter of Irvin and Janet (Wahl) Olson. She was united in marriage to Norris Breitbach on June 20, 1959.
Ilah graduated from Blanchardville High School and later attended Luther College earning a degree in teaching. Ilah was a lifelong teacher – both in the classroom and at home. She taught music in grades K-12 for several years in Winthrop, Iowa, Moline, Ill., and Brooklyn, Wis., schools. She and Norris moved to Oregon, Wis., in 1961, determining it would be a great place to raise a family. Ilah gave piano lessons for 26 years and later played piano at the Oregon Manor nursing home and at church services. She was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church for over 60 years, serving as the choir director early on and later teaching Sunday School. She also served on the Church Council, volunteered with the Welcome Center and participated in Care Calling, visiting homebound members and those in nursing homes, for over 23 years. As a dedicated Christian, her faith was extremely important to her.
Ilah managed the front desk and did the bookwork for her husband’s chiropractic business in Oregon for many years. She was also a dedicated spectator at her sons’ and grandchildren’s sporting events. No matter what their endeavors, Ilah’s family clearly saw and felt her encouragement and support.
Ilah was an excellent cook. She loved to travel, spending winters in Mesa, Ariz., and touring various European countries. She also enjoyed trips to Canada, Mexico and Alaska. Ilah enjoyed playing cards with their card club friends and especially loved spending time with her family. Ilah wasn’t intimidated by new technology and emailed and texted them all.
Ilah is survived by her husband, Norris; three sons, Jim (Barb) of Cottage Grove, Wis., Jeff (Rachel) of Fitchburg, Wis., and John (Kelly) of Oregon, Wis.; six grandchildren, Ben Breitbach, Sydney and Samantha Breitbach, Alex and Abby Breitbach, and Ryan (Meghan) Blatterman; two great-grandchildren, Payton and Liam Blatterman; her sister, Marilyn (Jim) McKinley; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents.
A funeral service will be held at ST. JOHN’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, 625 E. Netherwood St., Oregon, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. Burial will follow at Oak Hall Cemetery in Fitchburg, with a luncheon to follow at the church. A visitation will be held at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be gifted in Ilah’s name to St. John’s Lutheran Church.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the doctors and nurses at St. Mary’s ICU for their compassionate care for Ilah.
Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
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