In loving memory of

Ilene B. Fandel
May 27, 1927 - May 16, 2020

Ilene B. Fandel, 92, of Emmetsburg, IA (recently Ames), passed away on May 16, 2020. A private family graveside service will be held on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. at Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery in Whittemore, IA.
Ilene was born on May 27, 1927, to William and Lullie (Houck) Martini of Cylinder, IA. Ilene was a graduate of Emmetsburg High School and attended Sioux City Nursing School through the Army Cadet Program. In 1949, Ilene married the love of her life William Fandel on September 3, 1949. The two enjoyed the family farm, working the land. They were the proud parents of five children: William, Michael, Gary, Marlene, and Charles. Ilene had a fighter's spirit and that showed in every walk of her life; Ilene faced many hardships that would build her character through the years. In 1957, her son, Michael, tragically died, and a year later her husband William passed away on Christmas Eve. Ilene stayed strong and went to work as a nurse in Emmetsburg to support her children. She loved to garden, she loved her family and treasured the small things such as spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is an inspiration for how to live a Godly life even when you are dealt adversity. Ilene will be missed by all who had the chance to call her a mother, grandmother and friend.
Ilene's passing is mourned by her children: William "Bill" (Betty) Fandel, of Unionville, MO, Gary (Linda) Fandel of West Des Moines, IA, Marlene (Duane) Walton of Napier, IA, and Charles (Sandra) Fandel of Estherville, IA, 12 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and other family members.
She was preceded in death by her husband, William, her son, Michael, her parents, William and Lullie, a great-grandchild, and her nine siblings.

Cards and condolences may be sent to 1597 Xenia Drive Ames Iowa 50014
Online condolences may be directed to

The Life Video for Ilene Fandel link:
The graveside service link:


Janet R Nielson wrote on May 22, 2020:

"Ilene's family....I am sorry for your loss. I worked with your Mom at the Emmetsburg Hospital and got to know her quite well, she was a good and caring nurse and I enjoyed working with her. Prayers and thoughts are with her family at this sad time of loss."

Patrick Martini wrote on May 20, 2020:

"I am sorry for your loss. My thought's and prayers are with you all."

Cathy Tyson wrote on May 18, 2020:

"I enjoyed our visits to Emmetsburg and later to Ames to see Ilene. It was fun to talk with her and she was always ready to give us an opinion! I'll miss her!"

Mary L Forman wrote on May 18, 2020:

"I became friends with my aunt Ilene when I was a teenager living with my grandparents and she was a young widow with school age kids. She wondered if I would like to come to her house for lunch and conversation once in a while. Soon we were having lunch every day and talking about our lives. Her influence led me to follow in her footsteps as a nurse. Later I and some of my siblings joined forces with her for cleaning binges at the Martini farmhouse occupied by her bachelor brothers. Quite a deal! I?m thankful for Ilene?s friendship and positive influence on my life."