A prayer service for Ilene Hickey, 88, Burke, formerly of Iona, was held July 29 at Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home, Gregory. A private burial will take place at a later date.
Ilene Marie Konop Hickey was born Oct. 21, 1931 in rural Dixon, SD, the third of five children born to Chas (Charlie) and Marie Feyereisen Konop. The family lived on a farmstead north of Gregory. She attended the rural Washington School and Gregory High School, graduating on May 14, 1948, in only three years and as the salutatorian of her class.
She then received her teacher’s certificate and taught for two years in a country school. She was smaller and almost the same age as some of her students.
Ilene met and later married the love of her life, Claude Hickey, on Aug. 28, 1950, in Pierre, SD. She and her younger sister Alvena Joy (Jody) lived together in Winner while their husbands were in the service. Ilene later moved to California to live with her mother to be closer to Claude, who was stationed at Camp Pendleton. After Claude finished his military duty, the couple lived west of Iona, SD on his parent’s farm, then in the Iona Hotel before purchasing their farm north of Iona, where they made their home for many years.
They worked side by side raising hogs and cattle, milking cows, and farming the land. To this union were born four children, Karen, Marvin, Darla, and Claudia. The couple also provided a home for her dad for many years.
Ilene, also known as Ikie to her friends, worked for a brief period of time sewing collars on shirts in a factory in Reliance, SD. Civic responsibility was important to Ikie as she served the community as an election worker in Lyman County about 25 years and as the Iona Township Treasurer for 40 years.
After the couple retired from farming, they moved to Burke, SD to a house on Main Street and later on to an apartment in Parkview Manor. After Claude’s death, she continued to live at the apartments until a series of strokes required the move to Butte Senior Living in Butte, NE in December of 2019. She resided there until her death.
She was a favorite of the nursing home staff because of her sweet and gentle personality and quick wit. Ikie’s skill for cooking became well known, and there was always room for one more at the family table. Liver and onions was a favorite meal served to her loved ones. Sheloved to bake and share homemade goodies, such as caramel cinnamon rolls, angel food cakes, raised and glazed donuts and pumpkin pies. Another specialty was making homemade candy, especially peanut brittle.
Ikie was an avid seamstress, making clothes for her children and grandchildren. She even put in an “all-nighter” sewing a Halloween costume for one of her granddaughters. She enjoyed gardening and in her later years she spent hours reading and following her beloved Chicago Cubs. She was thrilled when the Cubbies won the World Series in 2016.
She is survived by daughter Claudia (Glenn) Smith of Ainsworth,NE; daughter Darla Viereck of Sioux Falls, SD; and daughter Karen (Marvin) McIntosh of Iona, SD. She is survived by many grand and great-grandchildren; sister Jody (Jerald) Tagtow of Kandiyohi, MN; many nieces, nephews, and other relatives. She was preceded in death by her infant sister, Mary Ann Konop in 1939; parents Charlie in 1988 and Marie in 2004; husbandClaude in 2013; son Marvin in 2011; sister Betty Jean Rice in 1990, and brother Chuck Konop in 1986.