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Wilma L. Davis

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 11:31 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 11:50 a.m. CDT

Wilma L. (Illingworth) Davis, lifelong resident of Newton, Iowa, passed away at Skiff Medical Center on March 30, 2013, at the age of 97.

She embodied many wonderful qualities, including a fun-loving playfulness, a genuine nature and a love of people.  A funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, the Wallace Family Funeral Home. The family will greet friends from 5 to 7 p.m. today, April 2, at the funeral home.

Wilma was born on Jan. 8, 1916, to Fred E. and Minnie Grote Illingworth and grew up on a farm with her eight siblings. She married George U. Davis on Jan. 6, 1933, in Milan, Mo. They were married for 70 years before George’s death in 2003. They lived and worked on their farm for more than 30 years before moving to town in 1971. 

Wilma was known for her many talents. She loved sewing, making her own wardrobe, crocheting and quilting. Her green thumb always ensured a garden of plentiful vegetables and blooming flowers, and, when inside, always created delicious and delightful cooking and baking.

Among her proudest accomplishments were her three girls. She thought they all grew to be beautiful, kind and good citizens. She took great satisfaction pride in earning her high school diploma while in her 50s.

She was an active member of the First United Methodist Church, Farm Bureau and the Oak Ridge Grange. Wilma worked at JC Penney’s in Newton for 20-plus years. She also volunteered in her later years at the Jasper County Museum and earned an award for her many years of involvement.

Wilma is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, George U. Davis, in 2003; her daughters, Marilyn Neasham in 1976 and Martha Heatherly in 2011; her brothers, Benny and Dale; and sisters, Ella Illingworth, Elsie Shaffer, Frances Halbloom, Florence Shaffer. Left to honor Wilma’s memory are her sister, Dorothy Clement; a brother, Frank A. Illingworth; a daughter, Mary Ann Chambers of East Meadow, N.Y.; her eight grandchildren; and her 15 great-grandchildren.

Anyone choosing to make a contribution in lieu of flowers may donate to the Jasper County Museum or a charity of their choice in her honor.

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