Ella Lee (Schoenhals) Willard
November 5, 1925 - November 22, 2021
Wichita, Kansas - Ella Lee (Schoenhals) Willard was born November 5, 1925 in rural Lipscomb County, Texas to H. G. and Millie (Hanshu) Schoenhals, was raised on the family farm south of Darrouzett, Texas, and was confirmed in St. John's Congregational Church in rural Lipscomb County. She attended Third Creek Country School and graduated from Darrouzett High School. After business college, she was employed with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration Office in Ashland, Kansas, later moving to Wichita with employment at Boeing for many years. She married Paul Willard September 17, 1950, to whom she was married until his death in 2013. She was preceded in death by her parents, by her brother Harry Schoenhals and wife Agnetha, by her sister Lela Borth and husband Oscar, by her brother Jake Schoenhals and wife Nadine, and by brothers-in-law Kenzy Turner, Bill Long, Chuck Green, Bill Willard, and Kirmit Willard. She was also preceded in death by her sister-in-law Nadine Willard. She is survived by her sisters Bonnie Green and Jean Long, her sister-in-law Edith Willard, and her brother and sister-in-law Vernon and Dorothy Schoenhals. Ella and Paul enjoyed over sixty-two years of marriage. They created wonderful memories together traveling throughout Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri with their camper and boat. Fishing was a favorite pastime, and they were known for their expertise and enviable results. They particularly loved visiting Branson, MO to see a variety of comedy shows and musical performances. Ella happily regaled friends and family alike with the details of their many adventures. Her description of the Shoji Tabuchi Theater in Branson rivaled the magnificence of the Taj Mahal. She liked listening to polka music and watching polka dancers on the RFD channel and once, when the cable company was planning to drop the show, joined a campaign of other loyal customers in convincing them to retain the programming. Ella deeply missed Paul when he passed away. She spent the next few years in her own home enjoying visits with friends and family. She loved working Sudoku puzzles, always starting in the back of the book and working to the front. She was especially proud recently when she quickly worked through a book of "extreme" Sudoku puzzles, saying that she couldn't believe how easy they were. Ella and Paul were always very involved in the lives of their nieces and nephews, and really enjoyed their great-nieces and nephews as the family grew. Ella looked forward to the annual family reunions with incredible anticipation. She will be missed by her large extended family, as well as by neighbors and many friends. Throughout her ninety-six years, she saw the world change in many ways. She experienced happy times and sad times, but always managed to retain optimism for the future. She displayed wonder and amazement toward things as simple as a great dill pickle flavored potato chip or a blanket that was incredibly soft and cozy. Quite simply, she lived life fully, at whatever stage in life that she was in. Her family would like to thank the caregivers from A Better Solution In Home Care who enabled her to live comfortably in her own home, as independently as possible, during the past 18 months of her life. Services are scheduled for Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at Hillside Funeral Home West, 2929 West 13th Street North, Wichita, KS 67203, with visitation from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., lunch from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., and funeral at 2:00 p.m. with burial at Resthaven Gardens of Memory, 11800 West US-54, Wichita, KS following The family would welcome memorials to Kansas Food Bank, 1919 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67211 in care of the funeral home.
Published by Wichita Eagle from Nov. 28 to Nov. 29, 2021.