Ila Mae Prestangen, 75, of Watford City, N.D., passed away Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, at her son’s home near Watford City. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service was held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, at First Lutheran Church in Watford City. Pastor Rob Favorite officiated and a private inurnment of cremains took place at Teepee Butte Cemetery, rural Watford City.
Ila Mae (Gilstad) Prestangen was born August 28, 1938, at Watford City, N.D., the daughter of Edgar and Effie (Stedman) Gilstad. She was raised with six sisters and six brothers on the family farm near Keene, N.D. She attended Berg School. Ila worked for several families, all of whom meant a lot to her, around Keene, Grassy Butte and Watford City as she was growing up. It was while she was working at Earl Quale’s, her “second home,” that she met Jon Prestangen. The couple married on Dec. 27, 1957.
The couple lived in Watford City for awhile, where Ila worked as a nurses aide at the local hospital. She also worked at Dakota Clothing and Badlands Hardware Hank. They later moved to a farm three miles south of Watford City where Jon farmed with his father and brother, Einar. In 1968, they moved to their own ranch southeast of Watford City. Ila was quite active in the First Lutheran Church where she taught Sunday School and Bible School for several years, as her family grew. She was a member of the Ladies Aide, and the VFW Auxiliary where she served as treasurer for several years.
Ila loved music and belonged to “The Swinging Grandma’s Band,” entertaining for several events, but most often at the Good Shepherd Home. She became an accomplished poet, writing poetry was a real love of hers. She wrote many poems for friends and family, and read her Cowboy Poetry at Medora for many years. Ila had made many CDs of her poetry and books. She was also an extremely gifted seamstress, western shirts were her specialty and no size was too big or too small for her to sew. She and Jon bowled and were part of a dart league for several years.
“When you leave this earth for a better home someday, the only thing you’ll take is what you give away.” Ila believed that!
Ila is survived by daughter, Jonilla (Terry) Kellogg; son, Rocky (Sharon) Prestangen, both of Watford City; grandchildren, Tabitha (Ted) Schuster, Teryl Kellogg, Tamera (Shane) Blowers, Erik (Sarah) Prestangen, and Elyce (Tyler) Linseth; three great-grandchildren, Parker, Paige and Paxton Schuster; sisters, Lillian Gravos, Geneva Chambers, Eleanor Metzler, and Ida Olson; brother, Raymond (Linda) Gilstad; and many nieces, nephews and close friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jon; sisters, Dorothy Paddock and Myrtle Gravos; and brothers, Albert Gilstad, Walter Gilstad, Merrill Gilstad, Clifford Gilstad, and Norman Gilstad.
Friends may share memories and condolences with the family at www.fulkersons.com.