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Wilma Pursell

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

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CORNING, Ark. – On Tuesday, April 16, 2013, Wilma L. Pursell “slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God,” R. Reagan. She was 86 years young.

Wilma was born July 29, 1926, at home in Rock Falls, to William S. and Lena L. (Devers) Hines. Wilma attended Merrill Grade and Rock Falls High schools in Rock Falls. During her formative years, she worked at her parents’ store, Hines Grocery, in Rock Falls. As an adult, she was employed by Lawrence Brothers in Sterling. Her main task was brushing hinges.

She married Arthur R. Pursell on July 20, 1957, at her parents’ home in Como. After her marriage, Wilma became a full-time homemaker and a stay-at-home mother. During this time, Wilma enjoyed her home, her little family, her extended family, her friends, and neighbors. She also enjoyed yard work, gardening, dancing, playing cards, bowling, and camping. Along with her late husband, she hosted an annual fish fry for their many family members, friends, and neighbors.

After her parents’ deaths, Wilma and her three sisters hosted an annual Hines family reunion to help the generations keep in touch. At the time of her death, this gathering still was ongoing, and Wilma only missed the 2012 reunion due to her fragile health. After Arthur’s retirement, Wilma had the opportunity to winter in Florida, where they made numerous new friends and she learned to enjoy boating and fishing.

After Arthur’s passing, Wilma relocated to Corning, Ark., where she enjoyed remodeling her little brick house, her flowers, shopping, lunching, crossword puzzles, watching “Dancing with the Stars” and game shows, and opening her home to visiting family and friends. One of Wilma’s greatest regrets was never learning to swim.

Wilma is survived by her daughters, Nancy (Les) Gray and Jill (James) Foster, both of Corning, and Sue (Dean Wheeler) Yancey of Roanoke, Va.; stepson, Fred Williams of Victoria, Texas; sister, LaVern (Wayne) Smith of Rock Falls; grandchildren, James Baldwin, Kim (Steve) Maynard, Stephanie (Casey) Valladares, Shannon (Phil) Wilkerson, Amalie (Chris) Otto, Bryan Volkmann, Mahli (Stephen Myers) Williams, and Mallory Williams; great-grandchildren, MacKenzie, Hunter, and Colton Bland, Serenna and Sean Maynard, Carsen Osborn, Mariah Valladares, Bayley Baker, KaliAnn Schreiner, Leah Wilkerson, Abbie and Willie Meyer, and Madelynn Myers; brother-in-law, Charles (Diane) Pursell of Middleton, Wis.; sisters-in-law, Kathy Pursell of Rock Falls, Karen Pursell of Lodi, Wis., and Pat Pursell of Sparta, Wis.; granddaughter-in-law, Jenn Schreiner; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; a son, Kim Pursell, in infancy; grandsons, Joshua Osborn and Jason Meyer; sisters, Viola Covell and Gladys Dais; sisters-in-law, Elaine Godfrey and Eleanor Pursell; and brothers-in-law, Ed Covell, John Dais, Dale Woods, Lyman Godfrey, and Eldon and Larry Pursell.

Wilma will be interred with her husband, Arthur. Per Wilma’s instructions, there only will be a graveside service at 10 a.m. April 27 at Oak Knoll Memorial Park, 18268 Pennington Road, Sterling, with the Rev. Richard Fassig of Rock Falls United Methodist Church officiating. After the service, there will be a gathering and luncheon for family, friends, and neighbors to celebrate Wilma’s life at Longshot, 3312 W. Route 30, Rock Falls. Ermert Funeral Home in Corning is handling arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, Wilma would prefer that donations be made to the National Kidney Foundation, 1818 N. Taylor St., Suite 186, Little Rock, AR 72207-4639; the Leukemia Research Foundation, 3520 Lake Ave., Suite 202, Wilmette, IL 60091; or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Visit www.ermertfuneralhome.com to send condolences.

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