Wilma June (Claude) Sylvester was born in Woolstock, Iowa on June 19, 1931. Her parents were William Ira Claude and Lydia Pauline (Hilpipre) Claude. Her grandparents were Jules and Martha Claude and Paul and Mary Hilpipre. Wilma attended the Wright County Country School #8 and was the class valedictorian when she graduated from the Woolstock Community School in 1949. She attended the Eagle Grove Junior College and earned a two year teaching degree from the Iowa State Teachers’College. She completed her 4 year teaching degree at Wayne State College, earned her master’s degree (with a 4.0) from the University of South Dakota and completed 30 hours beyond her master’s degree.
Wilma and Bob were married on June 21, 1953 in the Little Brown Church in the Vale in Nashua, Iowa. Wilma was passionate about family, friends, children, teaching, volunteering, reading, traveling, playing bridge, completing crossword puzzles and life. She was a collector. She collected teacher statues, apples, sugar shakers, friends, memories, hugs and laughter. She was a giver. Wilma received many honors and recognitions based upon the time, talents and leadership that she gave to many organizations. She was very proud of being recognized by the Governor of Iowa as a State of Iowa Volunteer and by being elected as the State President of Alpha Delta Kappa. Her life’s work allowed her to focus on her love of learning from and with children. She taught for forty years; 32 of these years in the Sioux City Community School District. She was most proud of the lives that she touched by volunteering in schools and tutoring children. Children were the heart of her life.
Wilma cherished her relationships with family and friends. She is survived by her son, Thomas William Sylvester and daughter, Tangela Ann Sylvester. She loved cooking for family and friends and spoiling her many beloved nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, great great nieces and nephews, friends, neighbors and “adopted” grandchildren.
Wilma’s son and daughter were blessed to be with her as she transitioned from this world on March 2, 2019. Wilma was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Lavon Sylvester, mother, Lydia Pauline (Hilpipre) Claude, father, William Ira Claude, sisters, Phyllis Lohf and Darlene Pruismann, brothers, Merlin Claude and Daryl Claude, mother-in-law, Myra (Miller) Sylvester and father-in-law, Thomas Jefferson Sylvester, brothers-in-law, Alvin Lohf, Willis Pruismann, and James Sylvester, sisters-in-law, Beverly Sylvester and Barb Sylvester, and nephews, Douglas Lohf, Bruce Lohf, Ty Stark, and Jamie Sylvester.
Family and friends will gather this summer to share stories, laughter and tears as we celebrate the memories of how Wilma profoundly touched each of our lives.