Ilona Herlinger Ilona, a longtime Tacoma resident, passed away at her home on January 22. She was predeceased by Paul, her beloved husband of 53 years. Born March 1, 1933, in Tallinn, Estonia, she survived four WWII bomb raids and both Russian and German occupations before her family fled. They then spent over four years in a Displaced Persons camp for refugees, in the U.S. military zone of Germany. In 1949 the family immigrated to America. She was later Valedictorian at Cottey College in Missouri, and she also received music degrees from Michigan State and the University of Michigan. After moving west with her husband, she began a 30-year career as piano professor at the University of Puget Sound in 1956. She also served as national president of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. During her term, she was proud of having created a renewable scholarship for foreign students. Mrs. Herlinger is described by her family as a gifted speaker, pianist, and photographer, who derived equal joy from traveling the world with her husband, as she did from tending her rose garden and playing Scrabble with her kids. Mrs. Herlinger is survived by her children, Mark, and his wife Eri, of Denver, CO, Glenn, of Bellingham, and Teresa, of Portland, OR; as well as four granddaughters and a grandson. No public memorial service is planned at this time. Donations in Mrs. Herlinger's memory may be made to the hospice care unit, Franciscan Health System, Tacoma. Her family would also welcome any written remembrances from those who knew her, which may be posted at www.newtacoma.com.
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Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Feb. 2, 2014