|Family & Friends|
|Spouse||Victor Welker (ex-boyfriend deceased)|
|Children|| Lois Wilkerson|
|Friends|| Fellow retired seniors|
|Enemies|| Francis Wilkerson|
|First appearance||The Grandparents|
|Portrayed by||Cloris Leachman|
Ida Welker (née Kenzel) (she has likely gone back to using her maiden name after her husband's death), played by Cloris Leachman, is Lois' conniving, inhumanly evil mother. Nature seems to die whenever she's around, so she her birds stop chirping or bugs stop buzzing, its a sign to run as fast as you can.
She appears to have a Slavic accent and may be from Eastern Europe. It it is highly implied that she and her husband are from Croatia, due to the Croatian flag and a picture of the Zagreb cathedral in the background of the episode "Ida's Dance" the same episode where she and a group of women who are exactly like her, celebrate St Grotus's day, a holiday native to Eastern Europe, and many of the traditions were applied respectively such as "the dance where mistakes are long remembered" and the baking of the enormous tart that was hard to make and didn't taste good.
Ida once met a wealthy Chinese man named Mr. Li. She drugged him continuously to put him in a state of bliss, then planned to marry him. The Wilkersons discovered what Ida was doing at the wedding, and she wasted all of the pills on them so they couldn't call the police. The drugs wore off on Mr. Li and he immediately left. Lois claimed that this was one of the most diabolical things Ida has ever done.
One of the many aspects of her selfishness is that she hired a slave to work for her named Raduca(portrayed by Rheagan Wallace). She later revealed that the main reason she brought her to America was to marry Raduca and Reese, and she made Reese and Malcolm compete to marry Raduca in challenges. The first challenge involved the boy's ears being tied to strings and the first one to step back five spaces was the winner; Reese won this challenge. The second challenge involved trying to escape a bag with a fighting pitbull and a cat inside; Reese won this challenge as well. Malcolm won the next challenge because it dealt with intelligence, but even though Malcolm won, Reese eventually married Raduca in Las Vegas.
It was shown in the two part episode Baby Part 1 and Baby Part 2, that Ida is a real bigot towards black people. Lois, Francis and Piama used Abe and his poker buddies in their scheme to drive her away. Ida eventually moves in with her younger daughter Susan when she explains the misunderstanding.
It was also revealed in Garage Sale, that both Victor and Ida favor Susan because she was talented and high class. She has called on her when she needed help. Ida has also treated Lois with contempt because she was classless, bossy and untalented. It was also shown in Victor's Other Family, that she despises his secret family and demands for Sylvia's family to hand over Victor's pension to her. During the trip to Mr. Dietrich's office, the pension is revealed to be 30 dollars in Canadian and because of the dispute with the other family, he isn't confident in breaking even. Lois pleads with Ida to drop the case, but she refuses. When confronted why, she tells her that she doesn't care if she loses money on it, she is Victor's common law wife and is entitled to his pension. The only time she has shown love for Lois was while she was attempting to help her with a potential lawsuit for the pension against Sylvia's family. She encouraged Ida to work on her behavior so that way people can see her as more than a miserable, chain-smoking and greedy person. It was eventually revealed that Ida had a relationship with a man whom was Lois' biological father and not Victor. Upset at the revelation, And now realizing that now matter her is always gonna be a monster, Lois abandons the case and returns to California with Reese, Malcolm and Jamie.
In the episode "Ida loses a leg" it was shown she has great care for her family while outside smoking a cigarette, she observes Dewey chase after his toy car into the street with a dumpster truck who is speeding toward him distracted by flossing his teeth. Ida then runs into the street to push Dewey out of harms way losing her leg in the process. Later into the episode Dewey makes a leg model of Ida's leg in which he thanks it for saving his live only to have his new dog dig it out of the ground and carry it into the garage. Hal and Dewey attempt to lure out Champion (Dewey's dog) by throwing steaks and poking them with a stick, they later end sence with Hal telling him to "Live up to his potential, they later decide to get rid of the dog.
Ida Kenzel is greedy, racist, manipulative, black hearted, chain-smoker, and is quick to take offense. Despite the fact that she makes the lives of everyone she interacts with a living hell, she complains about her own life almost every time she opens her mouth. There is absolutely no pleasing her as she finds the dark side of even the nicest and most normal things in the world and always finds something to complain about. The whole family hates her, though Reese is shown to still have some love for her. She is cruel to the point that she stabs Francis in the thigh with a knitting needle, decides to sue Hal and Lois after slipping on a leaf, (Grandma Sues) injures Francis by squeezing his crotch, and withheld Christmas gifts because of minor offenses (Christmas). Hal even compares Ida leaving them alone to Christmas.
Hell, if Ida died, the family would celebrate like the munchkins when a house fell on the wicked witch.
- "He was a wonderful....wonderful man....."
- ―Ida drunkenly talking about her late husband[src]
However, Ida was unaware that Victor was disgusted by her and often left to have affairs with other women. Throughout their "marriage", he often left Ida to raise Lois by herself. Victor married to another woman, a good natured lady named Sylvia and he had a daughter, Roberta with her. Victor often came back to Ida mainly because he loved Susan who was the only one he came back for. He didn't care for Ida and Lois in any manner. However in Victor's Other Family, it was revealed that Ida wasn't legally married to Victor at all.
- "Reese I have watched you grow all these years! You are the one hope for this family!"
- ―Ida to Reese[src]
- "Let him go! It's the little one that owes me his life."
- ―Ida to Francis and Lois after she saved Dewey's life[src]
Dewey's feeling on Ida, on the other hand, are very clear. Dewey is afraid of Ida, not only because of the obvious fact that she's a horrible person, but also because of multiple things she did to him when he was very young, shown by flashbacks in the episode "The Grandparents". One of them revealed that she dropped Dewey on his butt as a baby.
- "Can't you do the entire family a favor and just die?! All you have ever done is treat us like dirt! You shouldn't even be allowed to be a grandma!"
- ―Francis to Ida after she stabs him in the leg[src]
- "The closest thing we have to a boy is you."
- ―Ida to Malcolm after being informed of the shortage of boys to compete in her challenges to marry Raduca [src]
- "Who the hell is Jamie?"
- ―Ida asking who Jamie is after Lois tells her he is playing with her smokes[src]
- "Hal we can't do that she's my mother! My twisted horrible monster of a mother."
- ―Lois to Hal after he threatens to throw Ida out of the house[src]
Although the two are never seen interacting on screen, Susan appears to have a much better relationship with her mother than Lois due to the fact Susan was heavily favored over Lois growing up. Ida also seems to prefer staying with Susan than she does with Lois although the two have had conflict a few times in the series such as when Ida left her due to Susan telling her the answer to "Wheel of Fortune".
- "We'll be separated from her by the entire molten core of a planet! It's like Christmas!"
- ―Hal about Ida's plans on moving to China[src]
In Victor's Other Family, Ida mentioned having an affair with Radu Gogorsky while being married to Victor. It was unclear what she thought of him, but she had an affair with Gogorsky to spite Victor after learning about his relationship with Sylvia and that has lead to Lois' birth. It was implied that Gogorsky never knew that she was his daughter because Ida not only didn't tell him, but also she stopped seeing him after Victor returned to her. When Lois confronted her since her blood type didn't match Victor's own for the DNA test, Ida was forced to admit that Gogorsky is her birth father and that Victor fathered Susan. Angered and betrayed at Ida for lying to her all those years, Lois willingly abandoned Ida's case and escaped with her boys back home.