Nancy McIllece

  • Born: January 20, 1936
  • Died: September 10, 2019
  • Location: Ankeny, Iowa

Memorial Services of Iowa

4208 North Ankeny Blvd.
Ankeny, IA 50023
Tel. (515) 964-0592

Tribute & Message From The Family

Nancy Hall Sarff McIllece, 83, of Ankeny, Iowa., formerly of Smithland, Iowa, passed away peacefully into heaven on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.
Nancy was born in Sioux City, Iowa on January 20, 1936, the daughter of Ralph Hurlbut Sarff and Bernadine Hall Wendell Sarff. She married Donald J. McIllece on January 26, 1957 at the United Methodist Church in Smithland, Iowa.

Nancy is preceded in death by her husband, Donald J.; her parents Ralph and Bernadine Sarff; and her sister Jane Sarff. Left to cherish her memory is her daughter, Sabrina (Greg) Krichel of Woodward, Iowa; two sons, Farley McIllece of Clive, Iowa and Jens (Michelle) McIllece of Hiawatha, Iowa; three grandsons, Hunter Krichel, Grant Krichel, and Luke McIllece; several cousins, nieces and nephews; and countless friends.
Through her sophomore year in high school, Nancy attended the Smithland Community School District in the brick school house that stood for generations in Smithland. For her junior and senior years of high school she attended Shattuck-St. Mary's, an all-girls school in Faribault, Minnesota. Nancy went on to attend Morningside College in Sioux City.

Nancy's passions included her family genealogy; City of Smithland's history (established by her ancestors in 1857); traveling; and fashion. Nancy loved to share her history of the Smith, Adams, Hall, Wendell and Sarff families and wrote several articles for local newspapers on the history of Smithland. Many were impressed by her uncanny recollection of details of events past. Nancy loved to travel and had the opportunity to visit many places including Spain, Africa, Germany, and England. Nancy always dressed her best, and had a perfect matching outfit (including hat and shoes) for every occasion. Nancy always said that if you looked your best, you felt your best.

Nancy loved people, truly loved people, and without judgement, saw the inherent value of every human being she ever met. Our mother and grandmother loved with all her heart and was loved by many. She would want all of us to remember that no matter what happens in life, be nice to people. Being nice to people is a peaceful way to live, and a beautiful legacy to leave behind.

Memorial services will be held at the United Methodist Church in Smithland, Iowa on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 10:00 AM officiated by Pastor Karen Handke. Following the service, please join the family in sharing memories of our beloved mother and grandmother in the church basement. Coffee and donuts will be served.
Remembrances may be sent to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in memory of Nancy Hall McIllece, Upper Midwest Chapter, 2829 University Avenue SE, Suite 900, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414; by calling 612-335-7900; or online at (click DONATE on top of page, then choosing "Give in Honor or Memory" from left menu).

Memorial Services of Iowa, Ankeny, Iowa, is handling local arrangements. Condolences can be left for the family at
We love you Mom/Grandma, "very very much," and we will see you in heaven, "weather permitting". Until then, we'll "watch out for deer".