Ila Evelyn Davidson


23 May 1933 to 6 May 2012
Ila was born to Kenneth V. and Margaret Evelyn (Orr) McGahan on May 23, 1933, in Walkerville, Michigan. She was the eldest of eleven children. She entered into glory May 6, 2012, in Sun City, AZ at the age of 78 succumbing to cancer.

Ila married Francis G. Davidson on November 3, 1950, in Manistique, Michigan. They had three children. In February of 1961 they moved to North Kenai (Nikiski), Alaska. After moving back to Michigan in August of 1964 to be near Francis’s mother after his father’s passing, they returned to Nikiski eight months later. In 1971 they moved to Salem, Oregon, returned to Alaska in 1977 and stayed until their final move to Sun City, Arizona in December of 1993.

Ila is survived by her husband, Francis and their three children. Wayne (Joan) Davidson, Debi (Allan) Stone and Colleen (Walt) Ward. Her seven grandchildren are: Sherlai (Kiley) Breitling, Doug (Erika) Davidson, Bethany Davidson, Kelsey Stone, Wally Ward, Rocky (Margaret) Ward and Dusty Ward. They have 5 great grandchildren. Her surviving siblings are: Norman (Lois) McGahan, Richard (Karen) McGahan, Jackie (Betty) McGahan, Dale (Donna) McGahan, Elaine O’Dell, Carol (Beaver) Broussard, Margie DeShong and numerous loved nephews & nieces. She has many “adopted” kids from her time working at Western Baptist Bible College who are scattered all over the world.

Those who have gone before her are her parents Kenneth and Margaret McGahan; siblings, Marvin “Butch” and William “Billy” McGahan and Sharon Otis; and her granddaughter Melissa Davidson.

Ila loved Jesus Christ and although she was reluctant to leave her loved ones, she was giddy about being with her Savior. She was known for her love for people and road trips and combined the two at every chance, often serving as the tour guide with each new adventure. Providing family and friends a warm meal or comfortable bed in her home brought her great joy. Supporting our fine service men and women by wearing red on Friday’s was a tradition she upheld through her final days.

An Arizona celebration of life service will be May 19th at 2 p.m. at Faith Baptist Church on 7233 North 75th Avenue in Glendale. This is Armed Forces day. In unity with Ila feel free to wear red, white, or blue to honor our service men and women.

In Alaska on May 23rd, Ila’s 79th birthday, there will be a 1 p.m. burial with family and close friends at the McGahan Cemetery, followed by a celebration of life service at 2:00 p.m. at the Nikiski Nazarene Church located at 44813 Kenai Spur Highway in Nikiski, Alaska.

Donations in Ila’s memory may be made to the Davidson, Ditchen & Taylor Memorial Scholarship at Salem Academy Christian School, 942 Lancaster Dr. NE, Salem, Oregon 97301.

Ila’s family wishes to thank the many family and friends who traveled this journey with them through their prayers, love and support; the Hospice of the Valley for their love and care of Ila and for supporting a graceful and peaceful final journey home; and the sensitive and professional services provided by the Menke Funeral Home in Arizona and the Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Alaska.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Karen McGahan

    Ila’s passing leaves such a huge vacancy here on earth, and a huge hole in our hearts. Yet, how wonderful to know we will be together again in eternity. We pray for God’s strength and comfort for you, Francis, and your children and grandchildren. Love to you all.

  2. Joyce and Charles Woodcock

    What a pleasure it was knowing Ila. She was always kind, thoughtful and caring even when you didn’t think you needed that caring. I, Joyce, have been a recipient of that grace and kindness and am so thankful she was there for me. I miss her. Thank you, Ila, for being a real friend. Grace and peace to Fran, Colleen, Debi, and Wayne….The Woodcock’s

  3. geri litzen

    Aunt Ila was a wonderful aunt to so many of us, and she touched my life in many ways. She always had a huge happy smile, and a kind thought to share or uplifting story. If anyone was complaining she found a way to look at the situation in a brighter way.

    Aunt Ila is the reason that I am now a serious shutterbug. She taught me that making memories is important..and capturing them for others is important too. She always took photos, then made extra copies and shared them with everyone at family gatherings. I started doing that with our family too, before digital cameras came along. That got me started scrapbooking and telling our story with add to my photography.

    She lived her life with purpose, to shine brightly for Christ and to inspire curiousity so she could share what he meant to her. She did this with so many, and led many people to the Lord. She began the legacy which has spread throughout many of our families…that of raising our children to love and honor the Lord.

    Its hard to imagine how hearing her laughter again, or seeing her with her camera raised..gathered around pie-eating contests at the Fourth of July. I will miss her terribly.

    I am keeping all of her AMAZING family in my prayers. They know for certain where she is now, and I know that is a daily comfort.

  4. Hope (Weimer) Matranga

    So very sorry for the loss that you are feeling. My prayers are with your family.

    Love, Hope

  5. steve hunt

    I wish you God’s peace as you miss Ila. You both were special people and made a real difference in the lives of those around you. I am thankful that your granddaughter Sherlai and my daughter are good friends (also soon to be neighbors) and our friendship can be extended. God bless you in your continuing years.
    Steve Hunt

  6. Fran and Family of Ila

    Fran, we have you in our hearts and minds during this very difficult time. As I’ve said many times, if ever during my lifetime I have felt close to one of God’s Angels, it is Ila. She is one of a kind and I am certain that these feelings are also true for Dorothy.

    May God bless you and your family.

    Vicki & Norm Zuvich
    and Dorothy Kellogg

  7. Nancy Fiol

    It was a pleasure working with Ila and Fran at WBC. They blessed many lives and their love for the college students showed greatly. They have been used of the Lord in many ways. My prayers are with you
    Nancy Fiol

  8. Debbie Hall

    We really enjoyed the time we had with ila and her visits were always pleasurable. She was such a joy and full of life. She will be missed greatly. We loved her dearly.

  9. Mabel Pittman

    I had the privilege of having Ila for a few days in my home in Alaska when she was “tour guide” and returning tourist with Bud & Joanna Burt. Although we never did make the absolute genealogy connection, my mother was also a McGahan (Lola), and we had such fun imagining we were relatives. Since that time, we had kept in touch, and her love for the Lord Jesus always blessed me so much. She & I WERE sisters . . . in Christ. Maybe in Glory she’s meeting some of my relatives and finding that they were hers, also. (That was just to remind you how she would probably have said it if I had reached Glory first!)

  10. Lynda (Davidson) Adams

    Aunt Ila was filled with the strength and joy of the Holy Spirit! she lived her life purposefully and with conviction. How much fun we had visiting the farm with them – the “haybarn theater”, wiffle ball games in the pasture, and climbing apple trees. We looked forward to her roadtrips from Alaska to Michigan. What an undertaking with three children! Her research of the family tree is such a treasure! Her strong faith was such a blessing to me when she was with me during my mom’s final days. She will be missed but we find comfort in knowing she resides in the peace of the Lord! Uncle Fran, Wayne, Debi, and Colleen you hold precious memories in your hearts.

  11. Serena Woods-Grimm

    Ila was and always will be a bright spirit who touched our lives and made us all feel so special and loved. Her presence here on earth will be greatly missed but I know that she is with her Savor and will be looking down on all of us, and our spirits will be re-united again someday. Countless memories of time spent with her and her beautiful presence wherever she was will keep her forever in our hearts. Hugs and prayers to all of her friends and family during this difficult time. She will never be forgotten! Serena, Bodie, Sierra, Mike, and Marci.

  12. Wesley and Eva Weeks

    Ila’s passion for life, fun personality, adventurous spirit, and tremendous source of encouragement has meant a great deal to me as I got to know her at Faith Baptist Church. I feel blessed to have gotten to know her. I will always remember her love of life and desire to share Christ with anyone. I’m also grateful to have seen her at home not long before she died still filled with love and tenderness.


    Eva, Wes, and Olivia

  13. Douglass & Tymendra Ackley

    Fran & family:
    Please accept our heartfelt sympathies. Ila was very special. I am real glad I had the privilege of meeting her, when she came to visit Violet Able in Prescott Valley at the Samaritan Center. I really appreciated those couple of visits and those terrific pictures of her and Vi. One of the last ones Ila took of the two of them was at Vi’s Celebration of Life service just a couple of weeks ago. I am sure they are having a splendid time up in Glory with their Saviour.
    In His Love & God Bless all of you.
    Doug & Ty Ackley

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