Wilma Mary Staley passed away peacefully on October 23rd at Pleasant Hill Village in Girard. Wilma was born April 24, 1922, in Springfield and raised by her loving parents, Anton and Mary Ley. Wilma loved education, was an honor student at St. Barbara’s School and a proud graduate of Sacred Heart Academy Class of 1939. She married Louis (Newt) Staley in 1946 and he passed away in 1976. They raised four daughters: the late Susan (James Gardner), Jane, Laura (Steven Goldstein), and Rita (Kevin Gallagher). Wilma was a wonderful grandmother to seven: Jessica (Tim Reed) and Nancy Paman, Molly and Julia Goldstein, Maureen, Jack and Bridget Gallagher. Her first great grandchild is on the way. She loved being outdoors with the grandchildren, helping them build tents in the backyard, showing them the flowers and birds. She was so proud of all of her children and grandchildren. She wanted them all to have the best education possible and to travel and see the world.
Ninety years is a long time. Wilma grew up speaking German, remembered when her family first got electricity in their house in Springfield, remembered the Christmas Eve when the men in the neighborhood didn’t come home after work in the coalmine and they all knew there had been an accident. She watched Charles Lindbergh fly the mail route over Springfield and she and her play mates would look up and wave. She was a child of immigrants, never took for granted the right to vote and was a fervent Democrat.
She could quote Shakespeare, do the NY Times crossword puzzle in ink, was a good dancer, loved bingo, and made the best fried chicken. She left us with a love of books, politics, and the company of friends and neighbors.
Wilma was a lifelong resident of Springfield. She worked as an assistant Payroll Officer four years and was a Statistician for State of Illinois Public Health for four years and was a homemaker.
Visitation: 2-5 pm Sunday, October 28, 2012 at Staab Funeral Home.
Burial will be at Camp Butler National Cemetery at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to a Charity of the Donor’s Choice.
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