Wilma Elaine Bales was born March 2nd, 1928, in North Platte, Nebraska to William Emit Bales and Laura Evelyn Jenkins Bales. There were no siblings. |
She spent most of her childhood in Hershey, Nebraska. When she was 11 years old, her family moved to Fort Morgan, Colorado where she graduated from high school in 1945. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for two years.
Her first marriage was to Irvin Aubrey Ferguson. Two children were born to this union in Brush, Colorado. Jerry Allen Ferguson was born March 3, 1948 and died the same day. James Edward Ferguson was born August 16, 1949. This marriage ended in 1953.
Her second marriage was to Robert King Wallace. Two children were born to this union in Brush, Colorado. Jane Katherine Wallace was born on November 15, 1955, and Ruth Carolyn Wallace was born on November 14, 1957. Robert adopted James on September 18, 1958. This marriage ended with the death of Robert on August 5, 1973.
Her third marriage was to John Drury Lawther on March 21, 1975. This marriage ended with the death of John on January 12, 1997.
Wilma was active in the Practical Nurses Association of Colorado. She worked various positions in East Morgan County Hospital and Fort Morgan Community Hospital, serving there as Laboratory Director before retiring in 1985. She was a 34 year member of the American Medical Technologists.
She belonged to Morgan County Ambulance Service and was active in Emergency Medical Technician programs locally and on the State level. She was the instructor for EMT's at Morgan Community College and earned the position as Faculty Emeritus upon retirement.
Over the years, she served as Girl Scout Leader, Den Mother for Cub Scouts, Mother Advisor for Rainbow Girls, Past Matron, and 50 year member of the Order of Eastern Star, Elder, Deacon, and Sunday School teacher in the Rankin Presbyterian Church in Brush, Colorado. She assisted her husband John as Red Cross Chairman, became a Health and Safety Specialist for the American Red Cross, serving as an instructor and Instructor Trainer in First Aid and CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) fields, and served as the local Chapter Chairperson. For a period of time, she was an
Instructor. She and John served 'Meals and Friendship' for 14 years, known as 'Meals on Wheels' at present. She was a volunteer instructor in the Literacy program, ABLE, at Morgan County Correctional Center and at High Plains Correctional Institute. For 15 years, she worked part time for Portamedic and EMSI as an insurance examiner.
In 1992, she became a member of The First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Fort Morgan, Colorado. She has served there as an Elder and Board Chairman, and was instrumental in planning a year-long centennial celebration for the church.
She enjoyed four grandchildren: James Jacob Wallace, Carol Marie (Blake) Rapp, Brenda Elaine Blake, and Michelle Lee (Blake) Coffman. She also had the pleasure of sharing the lives of her step children, Linda (Lawther) Ewing and her sons, David, John, and James, and Sandy (Lawther) Galvin, with her children Bill, Elizabeth, and Melinda, and Sandy's eight grandchildren.
For most of her life, Wilma was blessed with good health, a very strong constitution, a strong interest in education, both for herself and as a teacher of others, and a willingness to use her resources on a volunteer basis. She was an organizer, a writer, a doer, and a survivor.
In the last few years of life, she also enjoyed many new friendships, and several renewed friendships as she lived out her days at The Arbor Assisted Living Facility on the west side of the Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center campus in Brush, Colorado. Although she is gone from our presence, she lives on yet in the hearts of her family and friends. She was an extraordinary person of deep and abiding religious conviction and action, always ready to help.
Memorial services will be held at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at 225 West Bijou Street, Fort Morgan, CO on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be served after the service for all who wish to stay.
Wilma's last wishes and her family's request is for memorial gifts be given either to the First Christian Church of Fort Morgan, or to the
, in lieu of flowers.
Memorial and cremation services were taking care of by Heer Mortuaries Staff.
Published in Brush News-Tribune on Apr. 23, 2014