Our beloved Wilma was a kind and loving Mother and Grandmother. Wilma was a third generation resident of Willits born December 13, 1933 and died surrounded by family and friends January 26, 2014. Wilma was the child of William and Louise Van Bebber. Wilma was predeceased by her husband Lyle, her son Bruce, her daughter-in-law Barbara and her grandchildren Joshua, Jacob, and Zechariah, her sister Violet, her brother Raymond, her foster sister Nettie. Wilma is survived by her daughter, Susan Karp (Joe) her grandchildren, Keo and Siena, her foster sister Claudia and a vast number of relatives and friends.
Wilma was a very loving and caring person. She has touched the hearts of so many people in the Willits community. She was honest and had integrity. Wilma cared more about others than herself. Wilma was very active in the Willits community; she was on the City Council and became the first woman Mayor of Willits. She was also involved in the Willits Garden Club and she volunteered at the Willits Senior Center regularly. Wilma was a member of St. Francis of the Redwood Episcopalian Church in Willits. She still lived in the house she was born in 80 years ago.
Wilma graduated from Willits High School. She worked very hard to put herself through nursing school and credits Dr. Babcock with paying part of her tuition. Wilma graduated from St. Joseph's college of nursing in San Francisco, California and worked as a registered nurse and supervising nurse for 20 years, both at Howard Memorial and Mendocino Community Hospital. She also worked at Northbrook for 12 years.
Wilma's first job after becoming an RN was in a hospital in Hawaii on a sugar cane plantation. She talked about this experience many times and remembered it fondly.
These were quotes from a school paper that her grandson Keo had done in the fifth grade. "My Grandma Willie taught me that hard work gets you ahead of the game and how being a generous, good person makes you valuable to the community and a friend to many." Wilma also said "The helping hand you want is at the end of your elbow, get on with it!"
A memorial service and celebration of her life will be held on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 3:30 pm at the Willits Senior Center. Please bring a dish to share for a community pot luck in celebration of Wilma's life.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations sent to the William F. Harrah Senior Center, 1501 Baechtel Road, Willits, CA. 95490, or to