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Ila Rhea Lawrence Hankins passed away peacefully, in the presence of family, on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. She was born on March 8, 1924, in Round Hill, Ark., to Henry James Lawrence and Emily "Emma" Elizabeth Green Lawrence at the family farm.

Ila Rhea graduated from Magnet Cove High School in 1942, salutatorian of her class. She moved to Hot Springs to assist her older sister with her daughter and to go to Hot Springs Business School. After graduation, she began working for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Beane, a brokerage firm in Hot Springs. While working there, she met Allen "Hank" Hankins, an employee of Southwestern Bell who came to her office to repair the teletype machines, who became the love of her life. They married in 1952 and created their life together, bringing four sons into the world.

She was content being a housewife, homemaker and raising their boys. She was a fabulous home cook and famous for many of her dishes, especially her chicken-n-dumplings. After Hank's untimely death in 1973, she decided to return to the workforce to support her family. She got a job at Wonder Bread, where she quickly worked her way up to store manager. She continued to work there until her retirement in 1989. Her retirement was spent commuting and working at the Lawrence Family Farm, helping her brother, Keith, with farm chores, cooking and gardening. After Keith's death in 2010, Ila Rhea decided to permanently move back to Round Hill to assist her son, John, who had taken over the running of the farm.

Ila Rhea was a very intelligent, sharp woman and an excellent bookkeeper. She was a die-hard Razorbacks and Dallas Cowboys fan, and loved to watch the games and root for her teams. She loved her vegetable garden and flower beds and spent numerous hours planting, growing, harvesting and canning her crops. She was interested in genealogy and could tell you the lineage of the family back to George Washington. She was a founding member of the Round Hill Cemetery Association, and an early member of both the Garland County and Hot Spring County Historical Societies.

She is predeceased by her parents; her beloved husband; and siblings (and spouses), Vera Lawrence, James Lawrence, Earl Lawrence (Doris), Jessie Fite (Buck), Ernestine Bonner (Tommy), Woodrow Lawrence, Edith Lawrence, Jewell Dean Scarborough (William), Keith Lawrence and Audrey Tedford (Ted); and, granddaughter, Aubrey Hankins.

The family she leaves to cherish her memory were also her most treasured; her sons, Larry Hankins, Robert Hankins, Jim Hankins (Gloria) and John Hankins; Hank's daughter, Joyce Musselman and her children, Mike, Glen, Janet, Barbara and Danny; her grandchildren, Caleb (Ashton), Noah and Hannah Hankins; her sister, Kathryn Lawrence; numerous loving nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at Regency Funeral Home in Malvern from 1-2 p.m. Saturday with a celebration of her life to follow at 2 p.m. with Will Wallace officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Gardens in Hot Springs.

Pallbearers will be Caleb Hankins, Noah Hankins, Ted Tedford, Steve Scarborough, Mike Musselman and Scott Christensen.

In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Round Hill Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 1226, Malvern, AR 72104.

Arrangements by Regency Funeral Home. Sign the guest book at

Obits on 11/08/2018

Print Headline: Ila R. Lawrence Hankins

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