Lee Jilk, formerly of Winona (1973-81) and La Crescent (1966-69), passed away on November 3, 2021. She is survived by her son, David Jilk Jr., of Boulder, Colo.; grandsons, D. Joseph Jilk III, of Atlanta, Ga., and Thomas G. Jilk, of Madison, Wis.; one great-grandson, Josué, of Granada, Nicaragua; and a large family of nieces and nephews and their families.
Lee was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on April 18, 1927. In 1961, she married David Jilk (Sr.), who grew up in Winona and at the time was a petty officer in the U.S. Navy. Their son was born in 1962, and she dedicated the next decade to being a mother and Navy wife. In 1973, her husband retired from the Navy and the family moved to Winona where Lee worked as a bookkeeper for the Winona County Highway Department. Lee and Dave divorced in 1982, whereupon she returned to New York to care for her ailing sister. In 1995, she moved to Savannah, Ga., to be near and help care for her grandsons, and lived there the remainder of her life.
Lee loved babies and young children above all, barely containing her excitement when children visited. She had a strong Italian mother’s hostess instinct, always showering guests with food and drink, and acquired many friends of all colors and creeds wherever she lived. She often assumed the burden of worrying about the health or difficulties of her family and friends and always went out of her way to help if she could. Lee was a loving and colorful woman who will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Friends are invited to help celebrate Lee’s life by sharing photos or stories on her memorial web page at www.forevermissed.com/lee-jilk.