Delila May (Gautsche) Dilbone was born January 23, 1938, to Homer C. and Ilva Wyse Gautsche in Wauseon, Ohio. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ron Dilbone.
Lila has one brother, Charles Gautsche of Archbold, and was preceded in death by her two sisters, Marilyn Bechtol, and Evelyn Gautsche.
She passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on August 29, 2021.
Lila was a lifelong Archbold resident, growing up on the farm bailing hay, backing wagons, riding horses, and was known for her accurate shot with a rifle.
As a girl she convinced her parents to buy her a pair of pants to make farm work easier for her, which was unheard of at the time.
Lila graduated from Archbold High School in 1956, where she was a National Honor Society member and assistant editor of the Archette. She also participated in drama club and performed in many plays.
After high school, Lila worked in the office of the Archbold Ladder Factory briefly. She then took the position of secretary to the Archbold High School Superintendent, where she first met a handsome student teacher, Ron Dilbone, whom she married the following year – after football season, Nov. 17, 1960.
They were married 60 years and had four children: Janet (Scoop) Miller, Judy Horning, Jill (Jon) Kovnesky all of Archbold, and Jon (Lisa) Dilbone of Oregon. Grandchildren – Jordan Granum, Taylor Richards, Paxson Miller, Katelyn Furlow, Olivia Hile, Rebekah Horning, Daniel Horning, Jessica Jensen, Stephanie Alden, Cody Kovnesky, and Paige Kovnesky. Great grandchildren – Grayson Miller, Kennedy Miller, Addalyn Granum, Carson Furlow, Sophie Furlow, and Ava Hile.
After staying home with her young children, Lila became a school cafeteria cook for 21 years. She also ran the concessions for Archbold High School, where she was known for making the best popcorn in the NWOAL.
She went above and beyond as concession stand manager and often served homemade sloppy chicken sandwiches, her famous cinnamon rolls and sugar cookies, so that families could have good meals while cheering for their athletes. Her baking skills also landed her jobs at various restaurants where she made wonderful pies.
Lila offered a helping hand to anyone that needed it, often patching clothes for people she didn’t know. Lila served on the kitchen committee at Central Church for decades and filled many behind the scenes roles helping others.
She made the meals for the Sewing and the Golden Age Sewing, where she was known for always serving a full meal. She catered weddings for people who couldn’t pay, and made funeral dinners to bless many families.
She was part of the start of Archbold Community Dinners, and made many meals for those in need. Between cooking at Archbold Schools, Central Church, restaurants, and community meals, most everyone in town was able to have a taste of her excellent cooking.
Lila supported many charitable causes by making and donating quilts and pies to the MYF auction, Black Swamp auction, and the Fairlawn auction. She also helped at Fish Pantry and was an Athletic Booster.
In retirement Lila and Ron were able to travel to visit grandkids and family, and attend fly-tying conferences. She traveled to Oregon to cook at a church retreat at Drift Creek Camp. They visited the San Juan Islands together and went to the Bahamas to fly-fish.
Lila enjoyed gardening and always had rows of petunias and snapdragons. She and Ron made many memories fishing together.
They took countless walks and drives through Goll Woods, and loved taking grandkids on field trips, especially to Sauder Village.
Lila and Ron attended Central Mennonite Church for most of their lives, where they both served in many ways. In the later years they attended Harbour Light Ministries.
Visitation will be Thursday, September 2, from 2:00-7:00pm. A celebration of life service will be held Friday, September 3, at 10:00am, with committal at Pettisville Cemetery to follow.
Location: Parable Coaching and Counseling Resources building, 825 State Route 66 South, Archbold, Ohio 43502, across from Four County School, just north of the St. Rt. 34 intersection.
Memorials to Harbour Light Ministries for a memorial bench in honor of the Dilbones. Arrangements by Short Funeral Home, Archbold.