Ilah Wilma Plehn

Jan. 26, 1924 – Jan. 22, 2011

Ilah W. Plehn of Saylesville died Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011, at Waukesha Memorial Hospital at the age of 86. She was born in Waukesha on Jan. 26, 1924, the daughter of Arthur and Augusta (nee Katzner) Nichols.

She graduated from Waukesha High School in 1942 and on May 28, 1948, she married Fred Plehn. Ilah was a gracious lady who took great pride in her work ethic starting at a young age. She started working at an ice cream stand, Moor Mud Baths and later was a telephone operator for Wisconsin Bell. Along with assistance from her husband, Fred, she owned and operated the Auction Depot from 1966 until 1986. Ilah had a love for food and was the dessert lady at Butler Middle School and was always willing to share with those around her, always with a little extra special touch. She enjoyed traveling throughout the world, including North America, South America, Europe and the South Pacific. Ilah was a lifelong member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church and a member of the Elk’s BPOE Lodge No. 400. Ilah was a sweet lady who appreciated the beauty in life. Her passion and influence lives on in all of us and those still to come.

Ilah will be deeply missed by her loving husband, Fred Plehn of Saylesville, and their children, Jeff (Debbie) Plehn of Elkhorn and Jule (Michael) Groh of Delafield. She was the special grandmother to Mathieu (Lindsay) Groh of Olathe, Kansas, Zachary (Karin) Groh of Wauwatosa and Olivia and Charlotte Plehn of Elkhorn. She was the dear sister of Robert (Phippy) Nichols of Madison, Dorothy (Darv) Sjoberg of Oconomowoc, Eric (Gloria) Zick of Milwaukee, Donna (Jim) Winn of Bancroft and Lorna (Jodi Kasperski) Zick of New Berlin. She is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and many dear friends.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers, Raymond and Lyle (Marge) Nichols.

The family wishes to extend a special thank you to Dr. Thomas Cantieri, Dr. Meredith Brass and Dr. Allen Chu, along with all of the caring health care providers at Waukesha Memorial Hospital, as well as the North Prairie Fire Department and EMTs.

Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Jan. 26, at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1052 Whiterock Ave., Waukesha, WI 53186. A funeral service will follow the visitation at the church at 12:30 p.m. The Rev. Lawrence Gates will preside. Graveside services will follow at Prairie Home Cemetery.

If desired, the family requests memorial donations be made to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (address above) or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

For further information, please call Randle-Dable Funeral, Cremation and Preplanning Services at 547-4035, or go to to leave the family an online tribute.