Elma Hall Mikel, 101, of Tyler, Texas., went to be with Jesus on Tuesday, July 6, 2021. She passed away surrounded by loved ones and was welcomed to her heavenly home by her husband Melvin Sherman Mikel and only son Phillip Ray Mikel along with many other loved ones who went before her.
Elma Hall was born on November 4, 1919, to parents Sam and Laura (Long) Hall of Catlin, Illinois. She was the third born and last surviving of 6 children. Her siblings were Alman Hall, Katherine Hall Powell Schrope, Lois Hall Potter, Ray Hall, and Leslie Hall. Elma and her siblings were raised by their parents in a small 2-bedroom house without running water or electricity. Her mom cooked on a coal stove, but she used wood in the summer. They carried water in to wash dishes and take baths. Where space and amenities were sparse, love abounded. Elma grew up surrounded by a lot of extended family and recently told her granddaughter, “We didn’t have much, but we enjoyed each other… we were always good friends... we were relatives too, but we were friends…” When asked who her favorite was, she said, “I didn’t have a favorite; I loved them all.”
Elma was a graduate of Catlin Township High School. She clerked in a grocery store and eventually worked full-time as a secretary for the county veterinarian. After marrying Melvin in 1939, the couple had one child, Phillip, and then moved to Chicago, IL where they lived for a few years during WWII. Elma’s granddaughters and great grandchildren remember her telling stories of blackouts and food rations during that time. Melvin, Elma, and Phillip eventually moved back to the Danville area and bought a house in Tilton. They were later blessed with three granddaughters Pamela Gordimer (Doug), Paula Cool (Jeff), and Paige Rhoades (Thomas). Keeping their granddaughters was their biggest delight, but they also loved to go camping, fishing, and entertain family and friends in their home. It was a normal occurrence to eat at Elma’s table. Fried chicken and pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed peas, spaghetti, and various pies were just a few of the things that her guests got to enjoy.
After Elma and Melvin moved to Texas in 1989 to be near their son, nine great grandchildren were added to the family: Benjamin, Matthew, Zachary, Nicholas (Susan), Lily, Anna, Abbi (deceased), Ashley, and Andrea; and three great-great granddaughters: Rosalyn, Kayleigh and Khloe.
After Melvin passed away in 1996, Elma continued to live on the same street with Phillip and his wife Martha in Karnack, Texas. After Phillip’s death in May 2015, Elma went to live with her sister Katherine in Florida for a year. Eventually, she made the decision to return to Texas where she lived to the amazing age of 101. Elma contributed her long life to “good old country living” and being “raised in the country on cornbread, beans, and fried potatoes.”
A funeral service to honor the life of Mrs. Mikel will be held at the Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Georgetown, Illinois 200 E. West St. Georgetown, Illinois 61846, at 2:00p.m., Saturday, August 14, 2021. Interment will follow at the Georgetown Cemetery. Please join her family in sharing memories through her Tribute Wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com.
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