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".


Condolence & Memory Journal

Dear Mom,

You are still my favorite person because of how much you loved others and Jesus Christ. Your uncanny ability to love others was specifically incredible. Of course I wish you were still here, but Sabrina says that you and Ralph Sarff are having an incredible time in heaven right now. I miss you so much.

Love your son Farley

Posted by Farley McIllece - Clive, IA - Son   September 10, 2020

One year has past. It seems like yesterday. Not a day goes by that I do not think of you. I feel your presence with me, Mom. For that I am so grateful. And for your unconditional love you gave me. I am blessed to have had you as my mother. I love you Mom.

Posted by Sabrina Krichel - Woodward, IA - Daughter   September 10, 2020

My deepest sympathy over the loss of your mother. Nancy and I would be 2nd cousins. I remember visiting in Iowa back in the 1950's. I had so much fun with her when we dressed up in Mrs. Wendell's old-time clothes. She even came back to Texas with us for a few weeks. My only other time to see her was at the Hall Reunion at Mary Woodward's home. I regret that I wasn't able to be around her more.

Martha Waters

Posted by Martha Hall Waters - Windcrest, TX   October 18, 2019


I loved you so very much. I enjoyed are talks and visits with you. Most of all I enjoyed when you would join us on are family vacations. When loved having you with us so many great memories. I will miss you so much and talks and visits.

Love you,


Posted by Jens McIllece - Hiwatha, IA - Son   October 16, 2019

She had an unbelievable uncanny way of loving people unconditionally.

Posted by Farley McIllece - Clive, IA - Son   October 09, 2019

Mom your the best.

Posted by Farley McIllece - Clive, IA - Son   October 09, 2019

Dear Ones...sending my sincerely sympathy to all who loved Nancy.
I graduated from St Marys in 1954 with her

The things I remember about her was her beauty inside and out
Always smiling and always had king words for everyone

I had had some wonderful phone conversations with her this spring about our 65th high school reunion which took place this past June and she was planning to join us with her daughter. She never mentioned that she was not well.

Her memory will live on like a candle burning bright

Love always Margee

Posted by Magee Carver Manning - Montgomery, TX - Classmate   October 06, 2019

I remember most about you mom, is with tears in my eyes saying sincerely to you how much I loved you. You would look back to me with complete confidence and say, "I know Farley, I know".

Posted by Farley McIllece - Cliveedee, IA - Family   October 02, 2019

Sabrina, Farley, Jence,
Absolutely loved your mother. Sweetest lady I've ever know. Always stopped in to see her when visiting Iowa. My sincere condolences. She was a beautiful person and now she is in heaven enjoying her eternal reward. Blessing to you all!

Posted by Marty Ryan - Loveland, CO - Family Friend   September 22, 2019

I had fun with her, she and I would babysit together.

Posted by Michael Couch - Cumming, IA - Friend   September 19, 2019

I love you Mom. And I will miss you everyday.

Posted by Sabrina Krichel - Woodward, IA - Daughter   September 18, 2019