Fern Elizabeth Eilts was born April 6, 1916, near Ireton, the fifth daughter of eight children to Bruce and Flossie (Thomas) Houlton. She graduated from the Ireton High School in 1933. She married Marlin Reiner Eilts December 25, 1938, on the Houlton farm near Ireton. Fern was employed in the Ireton telephone office from her high school graduation until the married couple moved onto their farm. They farmed near Ireton until moving into Ireton in November 1983. Marlin died July 2, 1985.
Fern was baptized, confirmed, and a life-long member in the Ireton United Methodist Church. She held many church positions including UMW president, secretary of church board, and Sunday school superintendent. She made quilts and enjoyed baking and cooking for her family and friends.
Surviving are her children, two daughters, Sheryl Miller and husband Richard of Ireton, Jean Rozell and husband Randy of Bagley; two sons, Marlin Eilts, Jr. and wife Nancy of Ireton and Steven Eilts and wife Margaret of Sioux Center; two sisters, Lois Rose and Marjorie Johnson both of Ireton; a brother, Charles Houlton and wife Helen of Ireton; 12 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.
Fern was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Marlin; granddaughter, Kayla Eilts; and four sisters, Mae Poll Riter, Ila Vander Hamm, Helen Lemke and Neva Brown.
Funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the United Methodist Church in Ireton, with the Rev. Barb Joy officiating. Burial will follow in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery at Ireton. Visitation will begin at noon Tuesday, with the family present from 5 to 7 p.m. and a prayer service at 7 p.m. at the United Methodist Church. The Porter Funeral Home of Ireton is assisting the family.
Condolences may be sent to www.porterfuneralhomes.com.