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Wilma Frances Rimson

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WILMA FRANCES RIMSON Wilma Frances Rimson, born in The Bronx, New York, passed away November 27, 2013, at age 88. Wilma was a native of New York City but cherished the serenity and beauty of Humboldt County in her later years. Many pleasurable years were spent exploring the city with her identical twin sister, Ethel, and friends. She met her husband, Jonas, through the New York City Parks and Recreation Department when they both performed in Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Mikado" at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Wilma sang in the chorus and Jonas played the role of Nanki-Poo. They attended as many Broadway shows as possible while Jonas continued his life-long hobby of singing and acting in community theater after attending Juilliard School of Music. They also enjoyed being enthusiastic spectators at track and field events. After World War II, Wilma married Jonas and raised their family of two children, Jack and Rebecca (Reevee), on the east coast, relocating to Los Angeles in 1965 and then making the move to McKinleyville in 1995, where they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with devoted friends visiting from far and wide. Music and reading were two of Wilma's passions. She attended the High School of Music and Art in New York City. Wilma played bass fiddle throughout high school and while attending Hunter College, performing with the New York University summer orchestra and oratorio groups. She was also assistant rehearsal pianist for the Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Wilma's absolute favorite piece of music was Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, the second movement. She found the words of Will Durant eloquent in his description of this movement in his book, "The Pleasures of Philosophy": "Heaven could sing no gentler harmonies. It is majestic music; all the suffering of a millennium is in it, all the longing, and all the tenderness." A book lover at heart, Wilma's first job was working for the book publisher, Harper & Brothers, in Manhattan. Her reading interests ran the gamut from Henry James to Theodore Dreiser to James Joyce to Eugene O'Neill, current mysteries and police thrillers, memoirs and biographies, with Willa Cather's "My Antonia" heading the top of the list. She reread her favorites many times, including Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." Good jokes and clever repartee were a driving force for Wilma. "The New York City Cab Driver's Joke Book" was within reach on the bookshelf. Wilma had a sharp sense of humor and a quick wit. When she had a funny retort brewing, she would interrupt the conversation and say, "Stop - I have a funny coming." And you'd better be ready for some hilarious and/or acidic remark. She loved to play with words. Wilma always said if you want to learn something, read! If you want to enlarge your vocabulary, read! She would often say, "Happiness is research." Wilma and her twin sister, Ethel, while living on opposite coasts, kept each other apprised of interesting stories and anecdotes by mailing articles through the mail, for decades. These included clippings from The New York Times, with underlinings and exclamation marks so that one should not miss any truly poignant details. Ethel and Wilma shared book titles, discussed old movies, and were an example of true sisterly love, one always looking out for the other. A dedicated correspondent to family and friends, Wilma sustained the art of letter writing and wordsmithing. We know that somewhere in this obituary, she would most assuredly have found a more evocative (descriptive?) word or phrase. We can only aspire to her wit and intelligence. Above all else, Mom's legacy is making you feel important and loved. She lived from the heart and had a natural ability to develop friends of all ages through her genuine interest in your life and story. One felt elevated in her presence. Wilma is survived by her sister Ethel of Essex Junction, Vermont, her daughter Rebecca and husband Bob, son Jack and wife Gina, granddaughter Naomi and grandson Sam, all of McKinleyville. She is also survived by her niece Susan Shepherd and husband Rick of Palm Bay, Florida. The family wishes to express their love and gratitude to devoted caregivers Alice, Randi, Abby, Carol, Janene, Paula, Jerusha, Valerie, Pamela, Erica, Echo, and Patty, enabling Wilma to stay in her home during her final years. Not to be forgotten are life-long friends Helen and Bob Van Houten, Elinor and the late Leonard Friedman, Terry and Harold Fink, Gail Bernardi, the late Murray Gershenz, the late Manny Rohatiner, and the late Nathan Teller. She was predeceased by her husband in 2004. The family would like to give thanks to Dr. Mott and Dr. Mathew and their staff for all the years of care they have given. Hospice of Humboldt provided invaluable care and kindness as well. Interment was at Mt. Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, New York. A memorial gathering will be held January 5, 2014. Please sign the guestbook at www.times-standard.com and click on obits.

Published in Eureka Times-Standard on Dec. 15, 2013
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