Rilla M. Denton, 94, passed away Saturday, May 9, 2020 at Arbor Grove Village in Greensburg. She was born December 25, 1925 in Henry County, daughter of the late Carroll and Denzil (Hall) Millikan.
After graduating from New Castle High School in 1942, Rilla attended Indiana University before moving to New York to work as a model. She returned to Indiana before marrying George Denton in New Castle. A longtime businessperson, Rilla paved the way for women to be business owners in Henry County. President of the New Castle/Henry County Chamber of Commerce, she was instrumental in creating the Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce and was elected Citizen of the Year in 1973. She owned and operated Allen’s Young Fashions, The Closet, and The Mark, all in downtown New Castle. Rilla also was President of the Downtown Merchants Association.
She was a past member of First Presbyterian Church in New Castle, where she sang in the choir, and was presently a member of First Friends Meeting in New Castle. Very creative and artistic, Rilla built incredible dollhouses, complete with functional doors, windows, and electricity. She also made the furniture and also made accessory pieces with clay and other items she could use. She built a dollhouse for each of her five great granddaughters.
She leaves to cherish her memory, four children, Jerry (Barbara) Eans of Winter Springs, FL, Deborah (Charlie) Savage of White House, TN, Carol (Maurie) Goodwin of Greensburg, and David (Pam) Denton of Mooreland; grandchildren, Samuel Eans of Japan, Jason Eans of Apopka, FL, Leslee (Nicholas) Stafford of High Springs, FL, Jason (Dee) Denton of Mooreland, Samuel (Heather) Denton of Forest Park, IL, Carrie (Jacob) Smith of Indianapolis, Wade Goodwin of Cincinnati, OH, Matthew (Annie) Rauch of NC, and Christopher (Carmen) Rauch of Indianapolis; ten great grandchildren, Nova Rain Eans, Madelyn Denton, Colin Denton, Maureen Smith, Rilla Smith, Margaret Denton, Max Denton, May Denton, Harmony Rauch and Cole Rauch; nieces, Judy Gene McCoy of Belleview, WA, Susan Caldwell and Mary Bullgarelli, both of New Castle.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, George Denton in 2007, and her brother, Gene Millikan, who died in World War II in 1945.
Memorial services will be announced at a later date. Arrangements have been entrusted to Hinsey-Brown Funeral Service in New Castle. The family requests memorial contributions be given to the George and Rilla Denton Donor Advised Fund, c/o Henry County Community Foundation, 700 S. Memorial Dr., New Castle, IN 47362, or the American Heart Association. You may share a condolence or memory of Rilla at www.hinsey-brown.com.