lona Leona Marie Wiles, 95, died Thursday, Sept. 5,2013, surrounded by her family.
lona was born July 8, 1918, on the home place northwest of Gordon, Nebraska, to John
George and Minnie (Kreger) Holzberger. lona was the youngest of 3 children; George Ira was born in 1917 and Irt:znewas born in 1913. She spent her childhood working on the farm feeding livestock, planting crops and canning produce; plus her handiwork was near perfect. The kids rode ponies or walked to the district school, which was a mile south of the home place. lona graduated from Gordon High School class of 1935 at age 16. After high school graduation lona stayed on the farm a few years helping with the farm work and also cooked at the Hull and Annett ranches.
In March of 1941 lona attended Hastings Beauty School. After graduating in 1942 she worked a short time for Frances Hall in her beauty shop but her independent nature led her to open her own shop in Gordon. In 1948 she went to Chicago for advanced training and met Bill Wiles. They were united in marriage Aug. 9, 1948, in Gordon at the
Presbyterian Church. They lived in Chicago until 1950 and then returned to Gordon to start their own shop. In 1964 Bill went into the floral business and lona continued in the hairdressing business. She and Bill decided they weren’t busy enough with the floral and hairdressing businesses so to these endeavors they added the greenhouse business. With
Tom and Terrie working alongside each other, the greenhouses were in operation for 15 years. She was a hairdresser until age 91. It was a labor of love; hard work was a way of life.
She loved gardening and shared her bounty with many. She loved her five grandchildren and was Grandma Wiles to their friends. She was an avid Broncos fan to the end. To those who knew her she instilled a love for animals and nature.
lona was proceeded in death by her husband, Bill; parents John George and Minnie Holzberger; sister, Irene; and brother, George.
Those remembering her many kindnesses and love include two children and their spouses Tom and Shirley (Hinn) of Gordon and Terrie and Dex Koehne & family of Rapid City, SD; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, Selena and Josh Hotz of Rapid City and daughter Micah, Tommy Wiles of Lincoln, Tolynn and Melissa (Bumgardner) Wiles of Hastings and their children Braxton, Ava, Cass and Leah; Tanner Wiles of Kansas City, MO; and Taybor Wiles of Lincoln; a niece and nephew; and many friends.
A memorial to Gordon Countryside Care has been established and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343.