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Elnora Gilson

A life dedicated to serving others came to an end on November 12, 2023, when Elnora Gilson left this life to journey to her heavenly home. Elnora was born on July 21, 1933 in rural Havana to Orville Bohm and Dorothy Blakely Bohm. She married Cecil Gilson on June 3, 1951 in Havana. Left behind to mourn her passing are three sons: Marshall (Karen) Gilson of Bartonville; Kevin (Sherry) Gilson of Havana; and Craig (Jenni) Gilson of Springfield; seven grandchildren: Andy (Melissa) Gilson, Kirk (Aneesha) Gilson, Tony (Stephanie Webb) Gilson, Josh (Jackie) Gilson, Jay Gilson, Jess (Tyler) Sayers, and Ashleigh (Kyle Gustafson) Gilson; seven great-children: Ryan and Jack Gilson, Brooklyn Gilson, Alexis Sayers, Eleigh and Kyleigh Gustafson, and Evan Miller; and two sisters: Marjorie Friedrich of Havana and Janet (Norm Menzenberger) of Stronghurst. Elnora was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Cecil; brothers, Bob Bohm and Dick Bohm, and sister, Phyllis Bohm Graham. After graduating from Havana High School, Elnora attended beauty school in Springfield. She operated Elnora’s Gold-N-Touch beauty shop in her home for over 50 years. She was a Cub Scout den mother for her three sons and a member of the Havana Jayceettes. In her spare time, Elnora enjoyed many hobbies but none more than ceramics. She hosted ceramic and china- painting classes in her home studio for students of all ages, and generously donated personalized ceramic basketball players and cheerleaders to teams at Havana High School. Elnora was an active member of the Havana Church of Christ, where she served as a Sunday School teacher, a VBS craft director, and the organizer of countless funeral meals and potlucks. Throughout the years, she and Cecil supported a variety of mission projects, readily donating their time and financial support to organizations both locally and worldwide. They were also full-time volunteers for the American Red Cross. During their 17-year “career”, they organized bi-monthly blood drives, always striving to beat the previous donor totals while providing a home-cooked meal at the end. Those meals, orchestrated by Elnora, were legendary, prompting even the most nervous donor to roll up their sleeve. She and Cecil also made countless homemade cookie and candy trays each December which they distributed to everyone from the postman to city workers to shut-ins. As much as Elnora loved supporting her community, friends, and church family, her greatest pleasure in life came from helping and spending time with her own family. She loved to cook and the kids knew there would always be a treat waiting for them at Grandma’s house, including two shifts of school lunches for her grandkids and their friends throughout their high school careers. She was always available to listen, offer advice, or give a hug to whomever needed it. Over the years, Elnora sat through countless ballgames, track meets, and recitals. When she was no longer physically able to attend events, she kept up with her grandkids and great-grandkids on Facebook, “liking” everything they posted. Visitation will be held on Thursday, November 16, from 5:00-7:00 p.m at Hurley Funeral Home. Funeral services will be Friday, November 17, 10:00 a.m. at the Havana Church of Christ. Burial will follow the services at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Havana. In celebration of Elnora’s life of service, the family asks that in lieu of flowers memorials be given to the following: the American Red Cross to support local blood drives, Lake Springfield Christian Assembly to provide scholarships for youth campers, or the Havana Church of Christ. Hurley Funeral Home in Havana is in charge of arrangements.

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