Eugene A. McIlwee, 90, of Zepp, (Shenandoah County) Virginia, passed away Saturday, March 30, 2013 at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, Woodstock, Virginia from complications of pneumonia.
He was born at Zepp on the Charlie McIlwee place, his grandfather’s farm, on July 13, 1922, the only child of the late Paul H. and Hester E. Orndorff McIlwee. When he was seven years old, he and his parents moved several miles up the road to the farm where he and his wife raised their children and he lived the remainder of his life. On December 7, 1940, he married his childhood sweetheart, Alma Elaine Herbaugh, a union which lasted 66 years until her death on March 2, 2007. That union bore two daughters and four sons.
Mr. McIlwee was a lifetime poultry, dairy, and livestock farmer. He raised laying hens and boilers, ranged turkeys in the 1950’s and maintained a 50 cow dairy herd until 1978. Most Mondays he could be found at the Winchester Livestock Market buying feeder calves for his feedlot. An industrious man, he never knew the meaning of the words “quit” or “retirement” and was active on the farm until the last six months of his life. A true farmer, he had a great love for the land and instilled in his family the respect for nature and all living things. He was always up at daylight and out and about on his ATV four wheeler checking cattle and looking for deer and other wildlife. Mr. McIlwee always stressed to his family the importance of hard work and a good name as well as the qualities of honesty, integrity, and responsibility. He was an avid squirrel, turkey, and deer hunter and enjoyed trout fishing in past years. Hunting morel mushrooms each spring was a passion as were his black and tan coon dogs. In his later years, much of his time was spent in “The Box Shop” building several thousand boxes and other items from different species of lumber that he cut on the farm. A veteran of World War II, he served his country in the US army in the European Theater of Operations in England, France, and Belgium.
Mr. McIlwee, a member of the Cedar Creek Christian Church, was a good and decent man who valued his independence and freedom to live his life his own way. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends. “He fought the good fight and finished the race”. May he rest in peace.
He is survived by two daughters, Shelby M. Hollar , (Mike) of Edinburg, and Jo Anne M. Carper (Marshall) of Stephens City; three sons, Eugene, Jr. (Judy) of Staunton, Douglas ( Mary) of Woodstock, and Robert ( Suzanne) of Zepp; nine grandchildren, Stacey Hollar Smith (Matt), Travis M. Hollar (Dena), Darren Carper (Danett), David Carper (Devon), Megan McIlwee, Jason McIlwee (Katie), Bryan McIlwee (Jessie), Amy McIlwee Paynter, Jennifer McIlwee ( Jerry McClanahan), ; eight great- grandchildren, Madison Smith, Andrew Hollar, Olivia Hollar, Declan Carper, Nicholas McIlwee, Ellie McIlwee, Tripp Paynter, and Baxter Paynter. He was preceded in death by his wife, Alma, a son, Kenneth Eugene, and a great-grandson, Owen Michael Hollar.
A funeral service will be conducted by Pastor Rick Looman in the Dellinger Funeral Home Chapel in Woodstock at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, 2013. Burial will follow in the Cedar Creek Christian Church Cemetery at Zepp.
The family will receive friends from 6 -8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 in the Dellinger Funeral Home at Woodstock.
Pallbearers will be grandsons and family members.
Memorials can be made to Cedar Creek Cemetery Association, c/o Nikki Strosnider, Treasurer, 5373 Zepp Road, Maurertown, VA 22644.