JERSEYVILLE - Elaine Fern Jilek, 68, passed away at 9:15 p.m., Saturday, October 13, 2018 at her residence, surrounded by her family after a long, but selfless battle with cancer.
She was born in Jacksonville on April 15, 1950, one of four children born to Harry Lynn "Pinky" and Hazel Fern (Ashford) Muntz.
Elaine graduated in 1968 from Jersey Community High School, and always chose to work in occupations that allowed to her to be able to serve others. For many years she worked at Smith's Package Liquor, and was a cook at the Jerseyville Senior Citizens and also watched children out of her home, where she could always make a kid laugh. As of late, she was a waitress at the Wok Restaurant in Jerseyville, and did so until her health deteriorated to the point she could no longer do her job. She was also a mainstay at the Jersey County Fair each year, where you could find her and her family at their food stand next to the grandstand, providing good food and many laughs for over 30 years.
Elaine fought off her cancer for over five years, and during that time, no one has fought harder or endured more for her family than she. She did whatever she could to make their life easier and not have to focus on her. She could easily be described as kind, caring, nurturing, fierce, adventurous, spontaneous and fun, and if you needed someone who always had your back, Elaine was your one.
Of all the words used to describe Elaine, her favorite would be "Grandma". Nothing made her any happier that her five grandchildren, whom she spoiled to the max. Many days were made brighter and worthwhile because of the love she had for her grandchildren, and the love they showed to her.
She married Paul Herbert Jilek on March 10, 1973 at the Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Jerseyville, and their 45 year adventure included the joys of raising their three daughters and many happy memories along the way.
Surviving are her husband, Paul Jilek of Jerseyville; three daughters and sons in law, Michelle and Dusty Stelbrink, Katie Jilek, and Rachel and Josh Jordan all of Jerseyville; five grandchildren, Taylor and Carly Stelbrink, Ryan Mackintosh, and Gage and Zoey Jordan; two brothers and a sister in- law, Larry and Teresa Muntz and Dean Muntz of Jerseyville; a brother in-law, William J. Watts of Brighton; and her aunt, Edna Woolsey of Jerseyville.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister, Sharon Watts; a sister in-law, Melody Muntz; and her father in-law and mother in-law, Herbert and Mary Dolores Jilek.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville.
Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Thursday at the First United Methodist Church in Jerseyville.
She will be laid to rest in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Jerseyville.
It was Elaine's hope that not one more person had to go through cancer, so in her honor, memorials may be given to Kids Shouldn't Have Cancer in care of the funeral home.