Milano, Elma Allen
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93, passed away Friday, March 22, 2013 in Mesa, AZ. Elma was born in Gilbert, AZ on January 10, 1920 to Charles Ashael and Ida Lillywhite Allen. She was raised in Los Angeles where she met and married her husband, Henri Milano. After their marriage in 1938, they operated a chain of accordion studios in southern California. Following World War II, they moved to Mesa where they founded Milano Music Center. After Hank and Elma were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple, they were blessed with six children. Elma was proud that all of her children and many of her grandchildren were able to work by her side in the music business. All six of her children became proficient accordionists under her tutelage. She enjoyed the family performing as a group for many civic and church functions. She was devoted to acts of service dedicated to community, church, and family. Elma had a lifelong commitment to "lift the lives of others." She served a four-year term on the Mesa City Council. She also was active on the board of directors for the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, acted as secretary of the Downtown Business Association, as well as the Republican Women's Clubs, Mesa Symphony Guild, Mesa Fine Arts Association, the Women's Auxiliary of the VFW, Soroptimists, and the American Business Women's Association. Upon retiring from the music business, she served two full-time missions for the LDS church. This gave her opportunity to preach the gospel in Missouri, Kansas, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. After her missions, she then focused on family history and writing her own life story. She authored a series of personal improvement ideas called, "Elma's Lessons in Living" which have been enjoyed and utilized by many. Elma presented her "Family Power Program" and lectured for BYU Education Week in Provo, UT and statewide. During the later years of her life, she also served as Young Women's President and Relief Society President in her local ward. Elma is survived by her six children and their spouses: Frank Ashael (Bambi Grimshaw), Donna Francene (Jan Pfeifer), Mila Ann (John Linton), Laura Kay (David Smith), Margaret Leona (Dennis Palmer), and Ida Marie (Bradley Anderson). She is also survived by her brother, Lester W. Allen of Orem, UT, and her sister-in-law, Betty Shellington Allen of Mesa, and also 28 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild. The family would like to express appreciation and gratitude to those who attended to her needs and comforted her in her declining stages, particularly her niece Jeanette Allen Langford. A viewing will be held on Thursday evening, March 28, from 6-8pm at the Bunker's Garden Chapel, 33 N. Centennial Way in Mesa. Her funeral will be Friday, March 29, 11:00am at Mesa North Stake Center, 933 E. Brown Road, with viewing prior to services from 10:00-10:45am. Interment will immediately follow at the City of Mesa Cemetery, Mesa, AZ.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 24, 2013