Lilas L. Saalsaa

Lilas L. Saalsaa

Lilas L. Saalsaa, age 98 of rural Darlington, WI passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, September 13, 2020 at Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County in Darlington.

She was born December 1, 1921 on her home farm in rural Shullsburg, WI the daughter of Charles and Floy (Downs) Abraham. Lilas grew up in the Dunbarton, WI area until her father passed away when she was 9 years old. Her mother moved her family to Darlington where Lilas graduated from Darlington High School and worked as a nanny for various families. After graduating high school, Lilas married the love of her life, Paul S. Saalsaa on December 11, 1940 at East Wiota Lutheran Church. Once married, Lilas and Paul farmed and started their family. After they retired from farming and moved to town, Lilas became a certified nurses assistant at Lafayette Manor in Darlington until retiring in 1980.

Lilas is survived by her children: Shirly (Cary) Ziltner of Darlington and Paul Lawrence Saalsaa of Marshfield, WI; her grandchildren: Joyce Jewell of Bloomington, IN, Cindy (Matt) Crist of Darlington, Tiffany (Nick) Miller of Belleville, WI, Brad Ziltner of Darlington, Jennifer (Harry) Arndt of Hatfield, WI, Melinda Saalsaa of Marshfield, WI, Jerry (Julie) Saalsaa of Pardeeville, WI, and Jon (Melanie) Saalsaa of Spencer, WI; and her great-grandchildren: Ross, Kylie, and Ryker Crist, Maddelyn, McLaine, and Monroe Miller, Jackson, Grace, and Renan Jewell, Tyson Miller, Laneah (Jonathon) Gruhlke, Dalton Kaetterhenry, Chloe, Naomi, and Grady Saalsaa, and Holden and Isla Saalsaa; and three great-great-grandchildren: Damion, Bryce, and Carson Gruhlke.

She was preceded in death by her parents; four sisters: Virginia Mummert, Marvis Carpenter, Marion Olson, and Burnette Erickson; one brother: Howard Abraham; a step-brother: Richard Saalsaa; and one step-sister: Marion Phillipson.

Lilas was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Darlington, the Eastern Star – Argyle Chapter; and Lamont Homemakers. One of her greatest joys in life were her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A close second were her dogs and cats. She enjoyed gardening, especially tending to her roses, cooking and baking for and feeding her family and friends, embroidering, crocheting, and cross stitching. She also liked to dance – especially the waltz and square dancing with her husband Paul, playing tennis, and playing cards. Lilas was a gentle soul who loved to take care of people so being a CNA was something she was very proud of. She cherished her family, especially her grandchildren and the memories they created together. Lilas will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by her family and friends.

A funeral service will be held Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 3:30 P.M. at Erickson Funeral Home (508 Main St., Darlington) with Rev. Kate Kieckhafer of Grace Lutheran Church in Darlington officiating. Burial will be in Union Grove Cemetery in Darlington.

A visitation will be held Wednesday, September 16, 2020 from 1:30 P.M. until 3:15 P.M. at Erickson Funeral Home in Darlington.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at

For those who prefer, a memorial fund has been established in Lilas’ name.

Due to Wisconsin State Mandate, masks are required to be worn throughout your visit inside the funeral home and that you practice proper social distancing guidelines.