Catharine D. "Kay" Nila

  • Born: January 7, 1929
  • Died: May 11, 2018
  • Location: Bristol, Illinois

Healy Chapel

332 W Downer Pl
Aurora, IL 60506
Tel. (630) 897-9291

Tribute & Message From The Family

Kay Nila was born Catharine Doris Fisher in Aurora, Illinois on January 7, 1929. Her mother Helen died when little Cathy was only five years old. She was raised by her beloved Victorian grandmother in a home at 407 South Broadway. Kay often reminisced about the times with her grandmother and she knew that it was there that she learned independence and was given full reign to explore the creative and artistic abilities that she would later express through interior design, fashion, entertaining and baking.

Kay married Leo Germann in 1948 and son Marty was born a year later. Kay married Gene Nila in 1953 and they were happily married for 62 years until Gene passed away in 2015. They would go on to have two more children--Brett and Cynthia.

Kay and Gene loved to entertain family and friends in their home and had many delightful parties over those 62 years. In addition to homemaking, Kay enjoyed working in several creative roles. As a make-up artist for Vivian Woodard Cosmetics in the 1960's, she learned techniques for make-up application that allowed her to be a favorite make-up artist for the Miss Illinois Pageant contestants from 1970-1979. During this time, she also worked for Marshall Field in Aurora and was the manager of the Alroe women's fashion store at the Fox Valley Mall for over ten years. Kay loved the glamour of the old Hollywood stars and brought that sense of style to her own appearance as well. In the early 1990's Kay began a career in interior design while working at the Little Traveler in Geneva, Illinois. Her love of Christmastime and experience in retail display made her the perfect person to design displays for all holidays and seasons, but especially Christmas, until her retirement in 2003.

Kay's most treasured Christmas tree was the one in her own home. Each year it was the focal point of her favorite holiday season with family and friends. Over the years', many gathered around it to share food, drink and stories of the old days. Kay enjoyed her creative pursuits, but she regarded her most important role was that of a homemaker to her family and mother to Marty, Brett and Cynthia.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 from 4 PM - 8 PM at The Healy Chapel, 332 W. Downer Pl., Aurora, IL 60506. A funeral mass will be held at 10 AM on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at St. Therese Catholic Church, 271 N. Farnsworth Ave., Aurora, IL 60505 followed by a burial at Spring Lake Cemetery.


Condolence & Memory Journal

I will always hear Aunt Kay's voice in my head whenever I'm tempted to indulge in letting my standards slip. She was classy and sassy and I greatly enjoyed her wit.

Posted by Christie Mason - NoYB - Family Friend   May 23, 2018

Condolences from a childhood playmate.

Posted by Joanne B. - Polo, IL - Friend   May 19, 2018

I was always so happy to see Kay come into Prisco's. She was always such a joy to see and very pleasant to chat with. I will miss her so much.

Posted by Amanda Snyder - Aurora, IL - Friend   May 16, 2018

Our deepest sympathy for the loss of your mother. Dolores Nila Aguilar and sons

Posted by thomas aguilar - aurora, IL   May 16, 2018

I was blessed to have met Kay almost 17 years ago. I will miss our little "gossip" sessions, the delicious smells wafting through the house, and the recipe swapping. Kay was the ultimate lady. There was never a time I did not see her put together and looking fabulous. I will never forget you, Kay. May your soul rest in peace. My deepest condolences to Marty, Brett, Cynthia and family on the loss of a truly wonderful woman.

Posted by Jodi Caithamer - Aurora, IL   May 16, 2018

I had the pleasure to style Kay's hair weekly for 12 years. I enjoyed our weekly visits together sharing recipes, stories and decorating ideas. I have so many memories here of you in my house and I will not forget you. You were so talented, knowledgeable and strong. I miss you Kay!


Jenny Oros

Posted by A friend   May 15, 2018

Dear Marty, Brett, Cynthia and family,

I'm so sorry for your loss and the deep sadness, confusion, etc. that you're feeling. I hold all of you in my prayers and know that God's light, love, and peace surrounds Kay and all of you. God Bless.

Craig S. Rodich

Posted by Craig Rodich - Chicago, IL - Friend   May 15, 2018

I met Kay when I worked at Prisco's in Aurora. She was always a sweet customer and I really enjoyed talking to her. We even got to the point of exchanging Christmas cards. She was so excited for me when I became a grandmother. I will miss her and her kindness. Gloria Porter

Posted by Gloria Porter - Oswego, IL - Friend   May 15, 2018

I had the pleasure of knowing Kay for the past nineteen years through my friendship with her daughter Cynthia. Kay was always so friendly and welcoming whenever I was in her presence. I always had a good laugh when I was with her as well... As she was very witty and quick with the humorous anecdote. So many of these characteristics live on in her daughter Cynthia. My condolences and friendship to Cynthia, Marty and Brett and family. Rest in peace Kay.

Posted by Scott Cleator - Chicago, IL - Family Friend   May 14, 2018

Family Album