Wilma King

Wilma Ross Clapsaddle King passed away October 18, 2022, at her home in Vail, Arizona. She reached the remarkable age of 104. Graduating from Wellsburg High School in 1936, she was the oldest living WHS alumni at the time of her passing. After her high school graduation, she attended the Aeronautics Radio Airlines Communications in Omaha, Nebraska, after which she worked for Boeing Air Field Co. in Seattle, Washington. She was an elementary teacher in Wellsburg Public School and Hampton Public School. Her first teaching job was in Hampton, Iowa in a one room schoolhouse where she taught several grades and was responsible for starting the fire in the iron stove to make sure there was heat for her students before class started. She received her B.A. degree at the I.S.T.C. in the spring of 1951. She then taught elementary grades in the American Zone in Germany for several years. After she returned stateside, she obtained her Masters degree from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. She went on to teach grade school classes in the Iowa Public School System in Cedar Rapids, Iowa until her retirement.


She was an avid basketball fan. She played basketball in high school for Wellsburg and her team won the State Championship in 1934. This was an event which she was very proud of all her life. While in Arizona she became a huge fan of the Arizona Wildcats basketball team and did not miss a game on radio or television up until the day she died.


Grace Wilma Ross was born September 26, 1918, to John W. and Lucy (Willems) Ross. On October 28, 1944, she was wed to Master Sgt. Perry Clapsaddle at the parsonage of the Second Christian Reformed Church in Wellsburg by Rev. John H. Rubingh. Mr. Clapsaddle was killed in action during WWII on April 21, 1945. On August 19, 1955 she married Gordon A. King in Germany. They later divorced.


Wilma was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Perry Clapsaddle, and her sister, Evelyn Purvis.


She is survived by her two daughters, Katherine E. Anderson and Karen E. King, and their families which include 5 grandsons and 9 great grandchildren.


She was cremated and her daughters scattered her ashes at Inspiration Rock on Mt. Lemon in Tucson, Arizona. A plaque will be installed in her honor at the United Methodist Church of Green Valley in their Memorial Garden and Columbarium where Wilma spent many years as an active member with many of the church activities along with heading up the Sunday School department.



The Grundy Register

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