Zella Lee Young Whisler was born on October 17, 1924, and grew up on her family's farm north of Ellisville on Curve Road. She died on the morning of Saturday April 25, in the loving company of her daughter, Sarah and Granddaughter, Emily at her home in Avon.
Zella spent 95 years on this planet, and saw a great deal come and go. She experienced the losses of her parents, Lance V and Edith Little Young, her sister, Thelma (Ross) Yeoman, and her son-in-law, Russell Brahmstedt. She is survived by her daughters, Karen (William) Rightor and Sarah Brahmstedt, her granddaughter Emily (Nathan) Gates and their two children, Zella's great-grandsons, Quinton and Miles.
Throughout her various community roles--secretary at the Avon school, among her countless friends, within her family, church and bridge club, Zella was steady, dependable, kind and wryly funny. She was a self-possessed woman with tremendous independence and boundless energy. To this day, she is still known by a large portion of the adult population of Avon as the chief loose-tooth-puller and Band-Aid affixer at the grade school, one of many hats she wore with grace, good humor and professionalism during her 42 years there.
While she was in many ways a grandmother to the community and role model for countless children, to three women in particular she's been a complete inspiration. She was a true pioneer as a woman working outside the home, owning and managing her farm and creating a warm and loving household. As a first-class seamstress known for her one-of-a-kind clothes for her daughters and fantastic Halloween costumes for her grand and great grandchildren, and as a top-shelf cook and baker, Zella's creativity and generosity have been delightful gifts to her family.
After mothering two girls and having a daily role in the life of her granddaughter, Zella was given a brand new challenge with two great-grandsons in her later years.The exuberance and energy of young boys required adjustments, but as always, she rose to the occasion, forging meaningful and loving relationships her great-grandsons will always cherish.
Throughout her lifetime, she continued to own and preserve her family's farm, her childhood home. It is a source of profound joy that she has been able to provide a home for her granddaughter's family, and to receive the gift of renewed love and care for the place upon which she was raised. She was particularly gratified by her farm's recognition as a sesquicentennial farm in 2017.
Due to the viral pandemic that has disrupted all of our lives, there will be no public services for Zella at this time. Those wishing to honor Zella may do so by making memorial donations to the Avon Volunteer Fire Department (first responder unit), Angels in Action Relay for Life team, the Helping Hearts Food Pantry or the Avon Federated Church. Cards and other forms of support for the family that can safely comply with the shelter-in-place order to combat the pandemic are also welcomed and deeply appreciated. Please sign the online guestbook at www.wisefamilyfuneralhome.com. Wise Family Funeral Home Avon, IL is overseeing the arrangements.
In addition, in light of the need for separation at this time, the family would like to invite friends and family to share in a treasured recipe from Zella’s collection. This simple recipe, made with pantry staples, has been enjoyed by Zella’s family for generations. Please enjoy this treat in your home some time soon and share a few “Zella stories” with your loved ones.
— PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES —
1/2 C. Butter 1/2 C. Peanut Butter 1/2 C. Granulated Sugar (white)
1/2 C. Brown Sugar 1 Egg, well beaten 3/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder 1/4 tsp. Salt 1 1/4 C. All-Purpose Flour
Cream butter and peanut butter together. Add sugar gradually and cream thoroughly. Add well-beaten egg to creamed mixture. Sift flour once before measuring. Sift flour, soda, baking powder and salt together and add to creamed mixture. Chill dough well; then form into balls the size of a walnut. Place balls on a lightly greased baking sheet. Flatten with fork dipped in flour, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake 10-12 minutes in a 375° oven. Yield: 4 dozen cookies.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Zella Lee (Young) Whisler, please visit our floral store.