Obituary- Illene Margaret (Becker) Howlett

Illene Margaret (Becker) Howlett, of Prophetstown, IL, passed away on Friday, December 9, 2022 after a brief illness.
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Illene Margaret (Becker) Howlett, of Prophetstown, IL, passed away on Friday, December 9, 2022 after a brief illness.

There will be no services per Illene’s wishes, but a private graveside service will be held at a later date. In memory of Illene, donations can be made to The First Lutheran Church of Prophetstown and Henry C. Adams Memorial Library in Prophetstown, IL.

Illene was born in the family farmhouse on January 13, 1939 to Herbert and Esther (Gustafson) Becker. She spent her entire life in Prophetstown, graduating from Prophetstown High School in 1956. Illene married Burnell Eugene Howlett on September 23, 1960. She worked as a secretary in her very early years until she and Burnell started a family in 1961. She was a wonderful mother and stayed at home with her two children until they were grown. It was then she returned to work joining Farmers National Bank as a bank teller where she stayed for many years, retiring in 2004. She loved both her work and the people she met.

Illene was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Prophetstown and was a long-time volunteer at the local Food Pantry. She very much enjoyed weekly shopping trips to Sterling with her lists and coupons, was a whiz at jigsaw puzzles, and enjoyed reading in her free time.

Illene would often reflect on how she considered herself so lucky to have spent her life in Prophetstown, and spoke of how the small town had so much to offer. She had caring family members, cherished friendships, wonderful neighbors, and attentive caregivers. Illene was quick to say she had everything she needed. In the end, perhaps that tells her story best.

She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Burnell Howlett; her son, David (Shannon) Howlett of Bennington, Vermont; her daughter, Debra (Scott) Riggen of Oregon City, OR; two beautiful granddaughters, Morgan Illene (Ben Isenhart) Howlett of Colchester, VT and Kira Ann Riggen of Oregon City, OR; two step grandchildren, Jason (Kate) Riggen of Wilsonville, OR and Lavender Riggen of Oregon City, OR; one brother, Melvin Becker, two great-grandchildren, Kali and Vincent Wood, as well as many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents, Herbert and Esther; one sister, Anna Mae (Becker) Pristash.

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