Wilma “Shug” Pearce Wester, 89 years of age, passed away peacefully Monday morning, May 27, 2019 with family present. Wilma was a resident of Elk Crossing Nursing Home In Duncan, Oklahoma. A memorial service will follow in North Carolina at a later date.
Wilma was the youngest child of four in her family born in Franklin County, NC to the late Onnie and Allie Perry Pearce on June 3, 1929. She attended school in that area as well and graduated from Edward Best High School in Louisburg NC.
Upon graduating, Wilma worked for the local phone company as one of their switchboard operators, a position she enjoyed.
A few years later in 1954, Wilma married one of her long time best friends cousins….William Alton “Bill” Wester after he was discharged from the Air Force. Her family loved hearing the story of how they all used to play together occasionally as children. Wilma and Alton started a family right away with their first son William Ricky being born in 1955. Their daughter Sherry Lynn was born in 1959 and Karen Annette in 1961. Wilma was an amazing homemaker in her early years of marriage and even after she began working outside the home full time. She took great pride in her family and her home. Through the years, Bill was promoted and transferred in his work and took the family to several locations in NC, then to Alabama and spent many years in Memphis, TN. In 1978, they moved to Edmond, OK, later to Lawrenceville, GA and finally retired back to their beloved North Carolina in 1991 where they were blessed to spend 23 years before coming to live in Duncan, Oklahoma. In each place they lived, Wilma made sure her family had a place that truly felt like home. In the 1970’s Wilma began her retail career with JCPenney and in Georgia worked for Belk Department Store.
Playing games was such a pleasure for Wilma….notably Chinese Checkers (no one could beat her at it) and Scrabble and Domino’s. One of her children’s fond memories over the years was her laughter after they had gone to bed as she and Bill would have friends over to play cards. She loved crossword puzzles and word puzzles of all kinds, with Wheel of Fortune being one of her favorite TV shows in her later years. Christmas baking and preparing her home for Christmas was always a joy for her. Wilma’s prune cake and carrot cake as well were recipes often asked for. Some of her favorite things in life were having fun with friends and family, sitting on the front porch swing visiting, and eating pepperoni pizza and chocolate ice cream. Wilma so enjoyed being near babies and small children. Her room at Elk Crossing looked out onto the playground of the Duncan Public Schools Pre K class that is an integral part of the nursing home facility. Through the Grand Buddy program, children and the residents interact on many levels. It was a perfect setting for her as she watched them play each day. She loved caring for people’s needs often saying she “should have been a nurse”.
Wilma came to know Jesus as her personal Savior as a young adult and in her last months, that conversation was one of the things that brought a big smile to her face. She was assured of where she would be when she left this world and it is a great comfort to her family knowing she is now in the presence of God. Her last church she attended was Mount Zion Baptist Church in Nashville, NC. She was active in the womens auxiliary there.
In her last few months, Wilma was under the care of Chisholm Trail Hospice and Elk Crossing Nursing Home with some of the most wonderful care givers on the face of this earth. As the CNA’s and nurses would come into her room, it often brought a smile to her face. That smile was what they were always excited about. The family will forever be grateful for all the efforts made by them on her behalf.
Wilma was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Evelyn Perdue, and her brothers, Carlton Pearce and Preston Pearce. Also two of her children….William Ricky Wester and Karen Annette Wester.
Survivors include her husband William Alton “Bill” Wester, daughter Sherry Herrington and son-in-law Ben Herrington all of Duncan OK, daughter-in-law Jennifer Reed of Wisconsin, and two nieces…. Rieva Bowers(Charles Bowers) and Jan Woodard (Thad Woodard) in Raleigh NC. Grandchildren and their spouses are Sara and Stephen Brown of Duncan, OK with their children Emma and Benjamin, Amy Herrington and husband Justin Climer in Vermont, Jessica and Isaac Jacobsen with daughter Ava Jo Brown in Wisconsin, and Jake Wester in Wisconsin. Other surviving family members include sister-in-law Lenore Buck Hellwege and brother and sister-in-law Fleming and Carolyn Wester along with several nieces and nephews, all of North Carolina.
In lieu of flowers or for those who wish to make a memorial contribution, it is requested to send a donation to Will Rogers/Elk Crossing Pre K Program. The address to mail is: Will Rogers Pre K, 1413 N. 13th St. , Duncan OK 73533. The money will help to facilitate classroom materials and the Grand Buddy experience at the nursing home.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.granthamfuneralhomes.com