Wilma Frances Ernster, 99, was surrounded by family and embraced into heaven on Sept. 28 at Heritage Specialty Care, Cedar Rapids.
Wilma was born Oct. 9, 1918, in Osmond, Neb., to W.E. Loyd and Hazel Florence (Neal) Loyd. The family moved to Hornick, Iowa, when she was 2 years old. She graduated from Hornick High School and then attended ISTC (UNI) for one year and Wayne State Teachers College for one year, earning a two-year teaching certificate. During World War II, she worked for Boeing Aircraft as a riveter's helper, working on B17s in Seattle. In Seattle, Wilma met Arthur Ernster. They married on Oct. 30, 1946, at St. Irenaeus Catholic Church in Clinton, Iowa, with Father Edward Jackson officiating. Wilma also worked in several department stores, including Younkers, as a sales clerk.
Survivors include her two sons, Dale (Denise) of Marion, Iowa, and Kevin (Dora) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; five grandchildren, Heather, Katie, Michael, AJ and Gregory; and six great-grandchildren, Taylor, Olivia, Quinn, Riley, Lanie and Reece.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband of 38 years, Arthur Ernster; and three brothers, Dwain Loyd and wife Lorraine, Gerald Loyd and wife Edna May, and Eldred Loyd.
Wilma was fiercely independent. She worked hard to keep her mind active and sharp. She was kind and gracious, and grateful for the love and attention extended to her by family, friends and staff at Heritage Specialty Care. She enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles and dancing, and was a ferocious Scrabble competitor, as well as a devout Chicago Cubs fan. She loved her family deeply, as they loved her, and she will be greatly missed.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, at First United Methodist Church in Clinton, Iowa. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to the service time at the church. Interment will follow services at St. Irenaeus Cemetery, Clinton. Serving as pallbearers will be her grandchildren. Snell-Zornig Funeral Homes & Crematory-Clinton is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed by visiting her obituary at www.snellzornig.com.
The family would like to thank Heritage Specialty Care for respecting Wilma's choices and for their compassionate care.
Memorials can be made to First United Methodist Church, Clinton.