Elda Dillman, of Niles

July 23, 1929 — April 9, 2021

Elda “Eldie” Mae Dillman, 91, of Niles, passed away Friday, April 9, 2021, at Brentwood at Niles.

She was born to the late Claude and Minnie (Heckathorn) Yaw on July 23, 1929.

Eldie was a lifelong, talented athlete, trying out for the Women’s Professional Baseball team, South Bend Blue Sox, in 1943, although one year too young to officially play. She worked at the Green Giant Mushroom Company in Niles (“the mushroom factory”) and Ready Theater during World War II. She was active with the Niles High School GAA (Girls Athletic Association), was a professional gymnast, and avid dancer, particularly enjoying square dancing, polka dancing, country music, and rock & roll. After graduating from Niles High School in 1948, she wed Verlin “Bert” Dillman, at a ceremony on Dec. 5, 1953, at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Niles, Michigan. She was a telephone operator supervisor/trainer, choosing to become a full-time mother & homemaker, devoted to her family while continuing to enjoy some of her favorite hobbies & pastimes. A close group of high school friends (“Club”) met regularly for over 50 years. She enjoyed sewing, reading, all kinds of music, nature, celebrating the changing of seasons, apple & berry picking, going for tandem bike rides, and, especially, her large family, each holding a large, very special place in her loving heart: brothers & sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, and their spouses & partners, children and their children following.

Eldie was a lifelong member of the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Niles, later Grace United Methodist Church, currently New Journey United Methodist Church. She particularly enjoyed the annual mother/daughter banquets held each spring. Her sweet disposition will always be remembered by her family and friends, and her beautiful smile will remain as a fond memory.

Eldie is preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 60 years, Verlin “Bert,” her infant daughter, Deborah Dillman, and her seven siblings.

Eldie is survived by her son, Rex Dillman, of Buchanan, and her daughter, Valerie Wurn (Michael), of Osceola. She is also survived by her grandchild, Kristen Hood (Sean) and her two great-grandchildren, Irelynn & Kohen Hood.

A memorial service to celebrate Eldie will take place Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at Brown Funeral Home at 5 p.m. with a time of visitation one hour prior. Children are welcome.

Those wishing to make a memorial donation in honor of Eldie have been asked to consider New Journey UMC, 302 Cedar Street, Niles, MI or Pet Refuge, Inc., 4626 S Burnett Dr, South Bend, IN 46614. The family wishes to thank the dedicated staff, past and present, of Brentwood at Niles who have joined the Dillman family over the past seven years, along with West Woods staff who also have supported & assisted Eldie and the family.

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, please maintain a social distance of 6 feet, wear a mask and understand we are limited in the number of family and friends allowed at the funeral home.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services.

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