APRIL 18, 1939 - OCTOBER 5, 2013
Two-time breast cancer survivor Wilma Williams lost her year-long battle with lung cancer, and passed away Oct. 5 at the Alexander Cohen Hospice House.
Wilma Ott was born April 18, 1939 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She came to the United States at age 14 when her widowed mother remarried.
She graduated from Lodi High School, attended the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated from St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing.
She married Walter Williams at Morris Chapel, University of the Pacific on July 2, 1961. With the arrival of daughter Elizabeth and son Walter (Scott), the family lived in San Francisco and Hollister until coming to Modesto in 1968.
When the children were young, she worked part-time at Memorial Hospital Ceres, then 22 years at Memorial Medical Center, Modesto - most recently as a labor and delivery nurse.
Wilma was a member of Omega Nu, Wellspring Anglican Church, and a 40-year member of Modesto Racquet Club, where she worked out until a few months ago.
She loved to play bridge, Wednesday mornings at the Modesto Bridge Center and in two bridge clubs. For years, she and Walt had a marathon cribbage game during their evening cocktail hour.
In 1976, the family lived in Japan for a month, and that sparked a passion for travel.
Walt and Wilma visited 16 countries during their four European cruises, and also toured Singapore, Hong Kong, Bali, Thailand and Vietnam. They traveled throughout Mexico and her native Canada.
Wilma was an avid fan of the San Francisco Giants, 49ers and California Golden Bears - especially when they played her Stanford-grad husband's Cardinal teams. She often joked that she and Walt had "a mixed marriage."
In addition to her husband of 52 years, she is survived by daughter Elizabeth Anderson of Modesto, son Walter and his wife, Kate, of Sonoma; beloved grandchildren Zoe Kohler, Sofia and Tuck Williams; sister Vi Keegstra of Crossfield, Alberta, Canada; and sisters-in-law Carol Steenblock of Lodi and Stella Williams of Yountville.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 at Wellspring Anglican Church, 820 H St., (at Ninth Street), Modesto.
The family suggests contributions to Community Hospice, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto 95356.
Published in the Modesto Bee from Oct. 8 to Oct. 9, 2013