Willa A. Milone

Willa A. Milone

July 30, 1938 – June 11, 2024

Willa Ann (Tillotson) Milone was born on July 30, 1938, in Omaha, NE, the fourth of six children. Her musical talents started at an early age. At four years old, she began teaching herself to play the piano, using her oldest brother’s music books. By age 12, she played the church organ at Sunday masses and funerals. Willa learned the violin at age 13 and played all four years at North High School.

In May 1958, at age 19, Willa graduated from St. Catherine’s School of Nursing and Creighton University (CU). While there, she met Sam Milone, who was an assistant lab instructor, earning his Master’s in Microbiology at Creighton.  They married on October 24,1959, had 3 children, and lived happily for 56 years until Sam died on May 18, 2016.

Willa worked as a nurse at Lutheran Hospital, and then became a stay-at-home mom after the first child arrived. She was active in piano, bridge, golf, bowling, and needlework. She made many appearances at nursing homes with a neighbor vocalist, performing on the piano for the residents. She also played the piano in the lobby for several hours during the Red Lion Hotel’s downtown Omaha grand opening in 1970. She started a small business in 1986, making and selling tatted stationary items, learning the business side of craft shops.

In 1987, Willa returned to CU to take a post graduate course in home care, and really enjoyed working at various clinics for the elderly. Her last employment was with New Cassel Retirement and Assisted Living for 11 years, retiring in 2008. She continued her tatted stationery skills, creating items for family and friends. She especially enjoyed being active with her seven grandchildren.

Willa was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Sam; parents, Margaret and Reginald (Mike) Tillotson: sister, Mary Catherine Ahrens, and brother, Tim Tillotson.

She is survived by her three children: Beth (Kerry) Krause, Joe (Jenifer) Milone of Omaha, Jane (Greg) Hanchett of Phoenix; grandchildren: Marie and Molly Krause, Thomas and Anthony Hanchett, Anna (Garrett) Josten, and Sam and Lauren Milone, brothers, Charles (Helen) and Michael, her sister, LaRose Hunt; and many cherished nieces and nephews.

Willa was a gift to her family and friends in numerous ways. She was spiritual, musical, creative, competitive, intelligent, organized, a prankster, a joke teller, a remarkable storyteller, a great role model, and a planner (including writing out the above biography for this pamphlet and funeral details). She’ll be forever in our hearts.

VISITATION: 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., Monday, June 17th, with a VIGIL SERVICE and Nebraska Nurse Honor Guard Presentation to follow at 7:00 p.m., St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 6116 Dodge Street, Omaha.

MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Tuesday, June 18th, 10:30 a.m., at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church

Interment: Calvary Cemetery

Memorials are suggested to Radio Talking Book Services, Project Harmony or St. Margaret Mary Catholic Parish.

To view a Live Broadcast of the service, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “LiveCast” button at the top of the home page.






  • Gracie Diaz Posted June 13, 2024 3:09 pm

    Dear Beth and Family.
    From Mom to you.
    Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free, I’m following the path God laid for me. I took his hand when I heard his call, I turned my back and left it all. I could not stay another day. To laugh, to love, to work, to play. Tasks left undone must stay that way. I’ve found that peace at the end of the day. If my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joy. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss. Ah, yes, these things too I will miss. Be not burdened with times of sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow. My life’s been full, I savored much, good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch. Perhaps my time seemed all too brief, don’t lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your heart and share with me, God wanted me now, He set me free. Sincerely Gracie Diaz

  • Charles & Helen Tillotson Posted June 14, 2024 11:15 am

    Our heartfelt condolences to Willa’s loving& caring children Beth, Jane, Joe & their families
    .We are grateful & appreciate for all that you have done in her time when she needed you the most
    Willa we know that the Angels carried you into God’s loving arms & united you with all your loved ones.
    Hope you know that you left an empty place that no one can fill
    So good bye is not for ever we will one day be together again.
    Thank you for being my gentle & loving Sister your unconditional love was always appreciated.
    We will keep you in our hearts & gift of great memories that you left behind will be charished always.
    May Rest in Heavenly Peace 💜
    With our love
    Your brother Charles & sister in law Helen 💜💜🙏

  • La Rose M Hunt Posted June 17, 2024 3:25 pm

    Dear Beth, Jane and Joe and All the family…
    What a Legacy Willa has left. One to be Honored, Admired and Adored!
    All I can say is WOW! She was a great Sister, Wife, Mom, and Server to Society.
    Sharing her talent with so many by her, music, arts, etc…in so many places with her beautiful music… in churches, and hospitals, etc… the needy in Assisted living homes, hospitals etc… She was the “Lady with the Lamp”, in her own way’s! I remember hanging around the house listing to her play…sometimes the Piano and sometimes the Organ…bringing me great joy…I loved it when she would play for Us, too! She could make the keys sing, with amazing…ly grace… Rest well Sister, your life is now complete, in “Our Real Home” up above! God rest your Soul, Amen!
    I will not stand at your grave and weep, for you are not there, you did not die, you went Home to lie in the heavenly sky! Until we meet again…! Love and hugs, you Willa…your lil Sis, La Rose

  • Rich rand Pat Garrigan Posted June 20, 2024 2:08 pm


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