Wilma J. Brugger, age 91, of Greenwood Village, passed away peacefully on February 13, 2013 from complications of a stroke. She was born November 2, 1921 in Mitchell, South Dakota to Berger Jelmeland and Jeanette Palmer. She is survived by her daughter Michaela McDonnell Kolberg and four grandchildren Matthew, Allison, Kristen and Courtney Kolberg. She is also survived by 5 stepdaughters, Jessica Messerve, Judy Swann, Bobbi Gillis, Kathy Crawford and Amy Patrick as well as 14 stepgrandchildren and 1 great grandson. She was preceded in death by her parents, husbands Maynard ("Mac") McDonnell, Bob Holdren, and Ralph Brugger as well as her sister Bernetta, and brothers Donald and Harvey. Wilma worked in Washington D.C. during World WarII for the Department of the Interior and served in the Marine Corp as an air traffic controller. She received her Bachelor's degree from Augustana College and Master's degree from Montana State University. She later became a teacher and taught earth science and home economics. In 1967, following Mac's death, she moved to Ames, Iowa to pursue her Ph.D. In 1983 she married Ralph Brugger. The two of them enjoyed ballroom dancing, playing bridge, golfing and fishing. Following Ralph's death, Wilma moved to Colorado to be nearer her family. Wilma was an avid gardener and enjoyed cooking and sewing. A family celebration of her life will be held later.
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Published in Denver Post on Feb. 17, 2013