Ludvena (Lou) Kilber, 98, of Sun City, Arizona, passed away peacefully at Banner Boswell Hospital, Sun City, on Saturday, May 28, 2022, surrounded by her loving family.
Lou was born on September 23, 1923, in Roscoe, South Dakota, and grew up on a farm with seven siblings. Her parents gave her a guitar at age 14, and soon after, she learned to play the organ by sneaking into and playing the one in an empty schoolhouse nearby. She played the guitar and accordion at barn dance with her brother, Joe. Lou continued to play beautiful music throughout her life, having learned each instrument entirely by ear. She was a devout Catholic and enjoyed playing the organ at her church in later years.
Lou married Emil Kilber on June 6, 1943, in Bowdle, South Dakota. Lou and Emil farmed next to her father and mother near Roscoe, South Dakota, until 1954 when they sold their farm and moved to nearby Aberdeen, where they raised ten children before moving to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1974.
After the birth of her 10th child, Lou went on to have a successful career in the restaurant business in Aberdeen, managing the Jones Drug Lunch Counter, the Airport Cafe, the Super City Cafeteria, and finally the Bowdle Cafe in Bowdle, South Dakota.
Lou and Emil enjoyed many retirement years together in Arizona, first in Phoenix, then Prescott, and later in Glendale before spending their final years in Sun City.
Lou was an amazing quilt maker and also crocheted beautiful doilies and other things for the better part of 60 years. She was a wonderful role model for her children. Lou always said that her greatest achievement was being the mother of her 10 children, 17 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren, and 1 great great grandson. She was so proud of all of them, keeping each in her daily thoughts and prayers.
Survivors include one son, Ronald Kilber of Salome, Arizona; seven daughters, Arlene Goldblatt, Dorothy Church, and Mary Kilber, all of Pearia, Arizona; Diana Kilber of Phoenix, Arizona; Nancy Himmerich of Casa Grande, Arizona; Susan Cuchessi of San Clemente, California; and Theresa La Fay of Denver, Colorado; along with 16 Grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren and one great-great grandson. Lou is also survived by two younger sisters, Bernie Dunn of Enumclaw, Washington, Sister Clarice of Watertown, South Dakota, and one younger brother, Leo Schmidt of Tempe, Arizona. Lou was preceded in death by her husband, Emil Kilber; son, Stanley Kilber, daughter, Bonnie Dowell; grandson, Ryan Himmerich; and son-in-law, John Cuchessi.
Viewing of the body will take place in the Serenity Chapel, Regency Mortuary, Sun City, Arizona, on June 1, 2022, from 6-8pm. Services will be held June 2, 2022, at 10am at St. Helen's Church in Glendale, Arizona. Burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, Avondale, Arizona. Father Nyeko, A.J. will officiate.