Verlene Atkinson Illum


Verlene Atkinson Illum, 87, passed away peacefully on February 9, 2014 at Syringa Chalet Nursing Facility In Blackfoot, Idaho. She was greeted on the other side of the veil by her loving parents, her twin sister and other loved family members.

Verlene was born on February 4, 1927 in the family home in Samaria, Idaho along with her twin sister, Arlene, to Charles and Ethel Atkinson. They joined an older brother Emery and were later joined by Ilene, Carol, Dale and Don. She grew up on the family farm without many modern conveniences and she developed a strong work ethic as a young child. She was baptized into the LDS Church on May 5, 1935. In her youth, Verlene liked riding horses, herding cows and embroidering. She also loved music and going out dancing with Arlene. Her smile, laughter and sense of humor were contagious . Throughout her life, she shared a strong connection with her twin sister and they enjoyed dressing alike and giggling mischievously. Verlene liked dolls, stuffed animals, furry fabric, slippers and stuffed animals. She loved Elvis recordings, jewelry and ball caps she snatched from some of her visitors. She met and married Elmer Walter Illum on Oct. 16, 1943 and they lived on his farm on the west side of the Malad Valley. She graduated from Malad High School in 1945. Verlene worked very hard on the farm and at a dental office in town. Before separating, she and Elmer had three children, Kenneth Walter, Douglas Brent and Mollie Ann.

When she became ill, Elmer took her to many doctors until she went to live at Syringa Chalet Nursing facility in Blackfoot, Idaho. She was treated, cared for and loved there by an excellent staff who became her closest friends and family. Her sister Arlene and nieces, nephews, children and grandchildren often visited her bringing surprises and treats. She sometimes asked for kisses from the handsome guys who came to visit and managed to snag their ball caps which she really liked. She loved to go out for walks and drives with her visitors. She enjoyed seeing the countryside and often asked to stop for an ice cream cone. Her beautiful smile and vibrant personality will be missed.

Verlene was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Emery, her sister Ileen and her twin sister Arlene, her son Kenneth, daughter-in-law Gail, a granddaughter Krista Barnes (David) Robinson.

She is survived by her sister Carol Atkinson, brothers Don and Dale Atkinson and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her children Douglas (Maureen) Illum and Mollie (Ted) Barnes; Her grandchildren – Robert (Angela) Illum, Mark (Cheri) Illum, Paul (Jill) Illum, Sara Illum, Marty Blair, Nathan (Monica) Illum, Erik (JaVann) Illum, Maren (Joe) Dominguez, (David Robinson), Tereca (Dan) Argyle and 25 Great-Grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, February 13 at 2:00 p.m. in the Horsley Funeral Home, 132 W. 300 N. Friends may visit with the family on Thursday from 12:30-1:45 p.m. prior to the service. Internment will be in the Malad City Cemetery next to her sister Arlene. Condolences may be sent to

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