Ilene Ecord, 90, of Topeka, passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 30, 2019, at Midland Hospice.
She was born May 10, 1929, in Topeka, Kansas, the daughter of Gomer and Dorothy (Akers) Jones. She was a 1947 graduate of Fort Madison High School in Fort Madison, IA. She attended Washburn University and was a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority and Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity (SAI).
Ilene married Jack F. Ecord on July 31, 1948, in Fort Madison, Iowa.
She was in retail sales as a career and was the co-owner of Table Tops and Gifts in Gage Shopping Center.
Ilene was a third-generation member of First Congregational Church for over 80 years. She was involved in choir, youth group, Parish Life committee, was President of the Women’s Fellowship, served on the deacon and trustee boards, led many fundraisers, and was Co-Chairman of 150 year celebration of the church.
She loved to sing and perform and was in in several musicals at local theatres including "The South Pacific," "The King and I," "Oklahoma," and "The Music Man." She was also a cast member of the State of Kansas Centennial production at the fairgrounds.
Ilene was very active with the Alpha Kappa of Delta Gamma chapter at WU and was recognized with two national awards: 1974 Cable Award and 2010 Oxford Award which honored her for her service and contributions to Delta Gamma and the Topeka Community.
She also served as a Topeka Symphony Board of Director, remained an active member of SAI, served as chairman of Musical Home Tours fundraiser, served on the Mulvane Women’s Board, volunteer for the Designer Showhouse fundraisers, and was a fundraiser for the CASA Holiday Homes Tour. Ilene loved playing golf and was a member of Shawnee Country Club for many years. She enjoyed playing bridge, bowling, reading, and traveling the world. She was a huge basketball fan and was a season ticket holder for WU basketball for many years. Ilene also enjoyed watching KU, KSU, and NBA games.
Ilene was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, aunt, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend to many. Most importantly, she was a loving and devoted “Gee” to her grandchildren. She introduced them to the game of golf and encouraged them to play, attended their school and sports activities, and always provided unwavering support to them. Also, she introduced theater to some of her great grandchildren.
Survivors include a son, Michael Ecord and daughters, Katherine (Rex) Haney, Jacqueline Ecord; brother, Donald (Sheryl) Jones; grandchildren, Britt (Amy) Haney, Heather Elliott, Bernie (Kristin) Haney, Lindsey (Nick) Vaughn, Joshua (Tara) Elliott; great-grandchildren, Jordan Elliott, Kate Haney, Taylor Elliott, Abby Haney, Aubree Elliott, Charlie Haney, Chloe Haney and Austin Vaughn.
She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Jack Ecord.
Family will greet friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, December 9, 2019, at Penwell-Gabel, 1321 SW 10th Ave, Topeka, KS. Funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, at First Congregational Church, 1701 SW Collins Ave, Topeka, KS. A private burial will be later at Memorial Park Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Gomer D. Jones Diesel Technology Fund (Ilene’s Father), Washburn University Foundation, 1729 MacVicar Ave, Topeka, KS 66604, Topeka Symphony Society, PO Box 2206 Topeka, KS 66601, Delta Gamma Educational Foundation of Topeka, Inc., 3772 SW Wood View Drive, Topeka, KS 66610, or First Congregational Church.
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