Gilda E. Dysart
ST. CHARLES, IL- Gilda Eldora (Capitani) Dysart, 97, died peacefully Saturday morning, August 19, after a period of declining health. She was home in her apartment at River Glen of St. Charles assisted living.
Gilda was born at the family farm in McNabb on August 28, 1925. Her parents Oscar and Alice (Edner) Hanson were both US-born. The Hanson family immigrated from Sweden, then farmed south of Granville. The Edners (the original family name was Andersson, but was changed to their hometown of Edena at immigration) lived in Chicago, but returned to Sweden to farm there again.
Gilda attended area schools and graduated from Swaney High School in McNabb in 1942 at the age of 16. Gilda recalled when Rural Electrification brought lights to the farm; she rode a horse to school, then drove the family car. No license required then. Following the death of her father she moved with her mother to Granville. She took a job at the power company, where she met her future husband in 1945 when he was home on leave from the US Army.
She married Brunis Capitani on June 30, 1946, at a ceremony in Granville at the Congregational Church. They resided with her mother before purchasing a home on South Street in Granville, which became her home for five decades. Gilda and Brunis had three children, Mary Etta (1946), Mitzi (1956, died shortly after birth), and Randy (1958).
She worked for the power company office in Granville, with her husband at Capitani Brothers Hardware, and was the longtime assistant for the Putnam County Superintendent of Schools. She was well known to many educators as the keeper of the district’s film library. Because of that job she knew just about everything that went on in the local schools, much to her children’s chagrin. She also volunteered as a plane spotter during the 1950s.
She was a wonderful baker who always had treats for her loved ones, especially around the holidays. Her lemon squares were legendary among the family members. Her fruit cake not so much.
Brunis died in August 1980 at the age of 67. On August 30, 1986, Gilda married Howard Dysart.
Together they spent much time on the road, delivering travel trailers and enjoying their early retirement years. In 2002, Gilda and Howard moved from Granville to St. Charles to be closer to Mary Etta and her growing family. Howard died later that year.
Gilda stayed busy in her later years, helping take care of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, running errands for the family farm, Lenkaitis Holsteins, and offering her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren sage, if often uninvited, advice and opinions.
In 2017 she moved to River Glen. There she enjoyed meals in the dining room, watching basketball and game shows, and getting to know the residents and staff.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands Brunis and Howard; daughter Mitzi; sisters Alva Koch and Birgit Lindquist; brother Roy Hanson; son-in-law Albert Lenkaitis Sr; and numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
She is survived by her daughter Mary Etta Lenkaitis; son Randy Capitani and daughter-in-law Victoria Capitani, of Dover, VT; nieces Cheryl Mennie and Jeannie Blanton; nephew Norman (Cindy) Capitani; granddaughters Elizabeth (James) Dorn and Victoria (Ryan) Stohlquist; and grandsons Albert (Rhonda) Lenkaitis Jr., Andrew (Sarah) Lenkaitis, William Capitani, and Wesley Capitani.
She was blessed with 12 great-grandchildren, Briley, AJ, Caden Denver, JT, Kate, Ella, Ethan, Isabel, Marshall, Lucas, and Norah. Gilda kept tabs on them all and never failed to call to wish them happy birthday or congratulate them on a milestone achievement.
Gilda cherished her family until her last day. That love was returned to her by all.
Memorial services will be held Friday, August 25, at 10 am at Dysart-Cofoid Funeral Chapel, 208 N. McCoy Street, Granville IL. Burial will follow in the Granville Cemetery.
Gifts in Gilda’s memory should be made to Putnam County Historical Society, the Congregational Church of Granville or the charity of one’s choice.