Wilma E. (Schaal) Smelker-2003
Wilma E. Smelker Departed this life
Friday, Jan 17, 2003 Wilma, the eldest of six children of Leona (Sharp)
and William F. Schaal, was born on Dec. 9, 1920. Preceding Wilma in death
were her loving husband Ivan; brother Virgil Schaal and wife Joan of Peython;
her four sisters -- Gladys Byington of Anchorage, Alaska, Jean Leoffler and
husband Jim of Stratton; Betty Reimer and husband Milton of Burlington, and
Shirley Matthies and husband Leonard of Burlington.
Wilma is survived by her children -- Gerald Smelker and wife
Lela of Fort Collins, Gladys Norman and husband Harry of North Platte, Neb.,
Charles Smelker and wife Christina of Stratton, and Dolores Rehor and husband
Lee Roy of Vona. She is also survived by 20 grandchildren, 26
great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.
Wilma married Ivan Smelker on Dec. 22, 1938. Wilma spent her life as a
homemaker. Her lifetime devotion to family began in a gold miner's shack in
Victor, then as a tenant farmer's wife in a sod house south of Bethune.
Raising sheep, milking cows, and farming were her main endeavors. This
life continued until 1948, when Wilma and Ivan, with their five children, moved
onto the Smelker homestead south west of Stratton, raising cattle and farming.
In the early '50s, Wilma became one of the first certified school bus drivers in
this area. Her life as a homemaker saw all the changes from a primitive
sod house to the modern conveniences of today's homes. Wilma retired in
1993 to her home on Kansas Avenue in Stratton. Always with a full plate,
she loved to go dancing, fishing, or to just sit and watch people pass by.
Wilma continuously enjoyed her love of family and community and will be greatly
missed by family, friends and neighbors.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003, at 10:30
a.m. at the Stratton United Methodist Church. Pastor Todd Everhart
officiated the services. Memorial contributions may be made in Wilma's
name and may be left at the First National Bank of Stratton. Funeral
arrangements were entrusted to the Love Funeral Home in Burlington.