Published in the Interest of the Staunton Community for Over 143 Years


Emma Lena (Parola) Vlasich, 102, of Gillespie, Ill., died at Gillespie Health and Rehab Center in Gillespie on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023. She was born Sept. 13, 1920, in Taylor Springs to James and Maddalena (Davito) Parola. She married Henry Vlasich on Oct. 13, 1940. He preceded her in death on Nov. 15, 2004.

She was retired after having been a legal secretary and a secretary for SS Simon and Jude Church in Gillespie. She was a devout Catholic and practiced her religion faithfully. Emma was twice a queen–first for the Hillsboro High School homecoming (1937), the first Italian girl from Taylor Springs to do so; and second for the annual Canna Anna civic organization festival (1955) held every summer in Gillespie. Finally, she was recognized as a gourmet chef. Eating at Emma’s table was a memorable experience that was shared by all her friends and family.

She is survived by her sons, Henry Daniel (Suzanne) Vlasich of Ariz., James (Grace) Vlasich of Colo .; grandchildren, Daniel Christopher Vlasich of Calif., Brooke Vlasich of Calif., and Ming (Danny) Scheid of Colo. Emma was preceded in death by her parents and husband.

Visitation will be on Saturday, Sept. 9, at SS Simon & Jude Church in Gillespie from 10 until 11 a.m. Memorial mass will follow at 11 a.m. at the church. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Gillespie.

Memorials are suggested to Gillespie Public Library, 201 W. Chestnut, Gillespie, IL 62033. Anyone wishing to send an online condolence may do at Kravanya Funeral Home in Gillespie is in charge of arrangements.

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