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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home
101 Gerkin
Gregory, SD 57533
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Memories & Candles

“I remember that "Mrs. Pastian" was one of my favorite teachers in our little 2 room school house in Dallas. With each teacher's responsibility of...Read More »
1 of 12 | Posted by: Kim (Sundquist) Ludemann - SD

“So sorry to hear about your loss. I never had the pleasure of meeting her but Marcia if she was anything like you she had to be a great person. Again...Read More »
2 of 12 | Posted by: Sharon Womeldorf - Winner, SD

“My sister, Jewel, texted me yesterday with the news of Aunt Ila's passing. My thoughts and prayers will be with you all as you pass through this...Read More »
3 of 12 | Posted by: Snook Walker - Independence,, MO

“Mrs Pastian was a very carting teacher for many years in the Hobrook Az school system teaching my children she will always be in our hearts ! ...Read More »
4 of 12 | Posted by: Ladon Mitchell Warner - AZ

“Aunt Ila will truly be missed! Go in peace into Uncle Ray's loving arms. ”
5 of 12 | Posted by: Dennis Pastian - Sioux City, IA

“So very sorry to hear of Ila's passing. Mom (Babe Belak Ryno) passed away this year on April 22. So hard to have them leave us. You are in our...Read More »
6 of 12 | Posted by: Karla Ryno - Wood, SD

“I remember Ila as a gentle soul, always helpful and pleasant to approach. Our own children, Toby and Brittany, called her Grandma Ila - maybe that's...Read More »
7 of 12 | Posted by: Mary Brace - Colorado Springs

“My sincerest & deepest sympathy to Marla & family. Sending prayers of comfort & healing!! ”
8 of 12 | Posted by: Linda Yazzie - Indian Wells, AZ

“Ila Pastian and I worked in the same shool, Hulet Elementary School in Holbrook, Arizona. She was a grade teacher, and I was a music teacher. Ila...Read More »
9 of 12 | Posted by: Betty McGsllisrd - Mesa, AZ

“Sally, Dave, Dale, Marla and Marcia I'm so sorry to hear of your mothers passing, she was a wonderful, talented, and caring person. Praying that you...Read More »
10 of 12 | Posted by: Donna Harrison - Sioux Falls, SD

“So sorry for your loss ”
11 of 12 | Posted by: Doug. Cathy Myers - Pukwana, SD

“Such a lovely obituary for a wonderful lady. Condolences to the family. ”
12 of 12 | Posted by: Marilee Van Asperen - Custer, SD


Ila Jeanne (Whiting) Pastian passed away peacefully on November 17, 2016 at the age of 88 years, 6 months and 16 days at the Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona.

Ila Jeanne (Whiting) Pastian, the first child of Eugene and Agnes (Musilek) Whiting, was born on May 1, 1928 at her parents farm (Blachnik Place) south of Dallas, SD. She grew up on the farm with her siblings, Raymond (Fritz), Patricia, Allen and Sharon. Ila's passion for education was encouraged early on by her mother who was a skilled teacher. She excelled academically at Pleasant Valley Elementary and Gregory High School. She graduated from Gregory High in 1945 at age 17, attended Black Hills State College for the summer and began teaching at the Barker Rural School. While helping a fellow teacher with a Christmas program at Climbing Hills Elementary in 1946, she met Ray Pastian when he purchased her box social meal.

Ray and Ila were married on June 7, 1947. They made their home in Dallas, South Dakota. Five children were born to this union, Sally, Dale, David, Marla and Marcia. Ila was a conscientious wife and mother. While raising her family, she continued teaching at rural schools in Gregory and Tripp County as well as at the Dallas and Gregory Elementary schools. She simultaneously furthered her education by attending night, weekend and summer classes. Ila accomplished her goal of earning a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Education from Southern State Teachers College in Springfield, SD in May of 1974.

In 1974, Ila moved to Arizona to join her husband, Ray, who was employed there. She taught in Tuba City on the Navajo Indian Reservation and at Hulet Elementary School in Holbrook, AZ until her retirement. She continued to substitute and volunteer at Hulet Elementary in Holbrook, AZ. Her teaching career/ involvement with education spanned 47 years.

With boundless energy, Ila donated much of her time in South Dakota and Arizona to her church and community. She was an active member of the Gregory and Holbrook United Methodist Churches, the American Legion Auxiliary, the VFW, the Rebecca's, Delta Kappa Gamma, the Order of the Eastern Star and the Holbrook Lions Club. She was also a CASA worker who advocated for the best interest of abused and neglected children in court.

In 2007, Ila moved to Mesa, AZ with her daughter, Marla, and son-in-law, Jim. Although she enjoyed Arizona, Ila always considered South Dakota as home and spent as much time as she could in Dallas, SD. She kept up to date with Gregory area happenings by reading the Gregory Times Advocate from cover to cover each week.

Ila enjoyed gardening, cooking, baking, reading, cake decorating, traveling, collecting hat pins and other antiques, the slots, bingo and a good game of pinochle or 10 point pitch. She won a car playing bingo in 1988 for completing the black out in 54 numbers. She made king size quilts for each of her children between her 80th and 85th birthdays. Another passion was cheering on her favorite sports teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Cardinals as well as each of her grand/great grandchildren.

She will be remembered for her kindness, independence, witty personality, hilarious take on life, her love and dedication to friends and family, her strength of character, her determination, her generosity, and the tremendous pride she had in her family.

She is survived by her children, Sally (Ron) Lampe of Cortez, CO, Dale (Madeline) Pastian of Gregory, SD, Dave (Patricia)Pastian of Milliken, CO, Marla (Jim) Cassidy of Mesa, AZ and Marcia (Dave) Wranek of Mitchell, SD, and by nine grandchildren and seventeen great grandchildren. Also surviving is her sister, Sharon Lundin of Carrizozo, New Mexico and many nieces, nephews and other relatives.

She is predeceased by Ray; her husband of 55years, her parents, Agnes and Eugene Whiting, her brothers Raymond and Allen Whiting her sister, Patricia Ensley and her grandsons, Mark Teigh and Drew Pastian.

Whenever we smell Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamond perfume or see Black Hill's Gold Jewelry, we will think of her!

She will always be missed and forever treasured.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Funeral services for Ila Pastian, 88, were held Saturday, November 25, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Gregory, SD with Pastor Royal Archer officiating. A prayer service was held Friday evening at Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home.

Marlene Schuiling and Betty Dvorak were in charge of registration.

Music was provided by Bette Fogel, pianist, and Geoff Smith, soloist, singing "Softly and Tenderly, Jesus is Calling" and "Precious Lord, Take My Hand." Congregational hymns were "Amazing Grace" and "In the Garden."

Diane Jorgensen and LeRay Smith were in charge of flowers.

Casket Bearers were Ila's grandsons Mike Teigh, Britt Pastian, Ryan Pastian, Dan Pastian, Nick Wranek, Matt Wranek, Sean Cassidy, Jake Wranek, and Miles Pastian.

Interment was in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Gregory, SD.