Emma Lena (Parola) Vlasich of Gillespie, 102, died on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023, at 8:40 a.m. at Gillespie Health and Rehab Center.
Visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9, at SS Simon and Jude Church in Gillespie. There will be a memorial Mass following at 11 a.m. at the church. Inurnment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Gillespie. Kravanya Funeral Home in Gillespie is assisting the family with arrangements.
Mrs. Vlasich was born on Sept. 13, 1920, in Taylor Springs, the daughter of James and Maddalena (Davito) Parola. She married Henry Vlasich on Oct. 13, 1940, and he preceded her in death on Nov. 15, 2004.
Mrs. Vlasich worked as a legal secretary and a secretary for SS Simon and Jude Church in Gillespie before she retired. She was defined by her church, beauty and cooking expertise. A devout Catholic, she practiced her religion faithfully.
Twice a queen, Mrs. Vlasich was crowned the Hillsboro High School Homecoming Queen in 1937, the first Italian girl from Taylor Springs to do so. She was later crowned queen for the annual Canna Anna civic organization festival in 1955, which was held every summer in Gillespie.
She was recognized by everyone as a gourmet chef, and eating at her table was a memorable experience that was shared by all her friends and family.
She is survived by her sons, Henry Daniel (Suzanne) Vlasich of Arizona and James (Grace) Vlasich of Colorado; grandchildren, Daniel Christopher Vlasich and Brooke Vlasich both of California and Ming (Danny) Scheid of Colorado.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents .
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Gillespie Public Library, 201 West Chestnut, Gillespie, IL 62033.