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Woodward County Obituary
Elmwood Cemetery

© Billings Funeral Home
(permission granted)
Submitted by: Ann Weber


8 Jul 1924 - 3 Mar 2018

Wilma Iola Lake Nelson was born July 8, 1924 at Laverne, Oklahoma, the daughter of Charles A. “Bert” and Effie Lake. She went to be with her Lord on Saturday, March 3, 2018 and her Graveside funeral service will be at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at the Elmwood Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Billings Funeral Home. A Reception for family and friends will be held following the graveside around 3:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church.

Wilma was active in school and church at Laverne in her childhood and youth, participating in band, orchestra, school plays, county contests and 4-H Club. She enjoyed playing the piano and violin, and at high school age taught a Sunday School class of children for several years. After high school, she was employed at the Harper County Treasurer’s Office, later at the Oklahoma Highway Department, followed by working at The Pioneer Abstract Office in Buffalo, Oklahoma. She was also an employee of The Woodward Production Credit Association on two different occasions.

In 1948 Wilma was married to Eldon L. “Bud” Nelson of Buffalo, Oklahoma, whom she met while he was on leave from the United States Navy, and knew she had found the love of her life. They had a good life together and shared joys and responsibilities. They lived a short time in Stillwater, Oklahoma after their marriage, while Bud was obtaining a degree from Oklahoma State University. While they lived there Wilma worked at They Payne County Abstract & Title Company. After completing his college degree, Bud was employed by the Extension Service of Oklahoma State University, and his first assignment was at Watonga, Blaine County, Oklahoma. After a short time they moved to Beaver, Oklahoma where Bud was Extension Director. To their union three children were born, Robin, Norman and Terry, while they lived at Beaver. They moved again to Watonga for Bud to serve as Extension Director of Blaine County, where they lived until they moved to Woodward for Bud to serve as Extension Director of Woodward County in 1964.

Wilma worked for Doctors Quillin and Hawkins, then returned to Woodward Production Credit Association, where she worked until retirement in 1981.

After her marriage, Wilma was active in the Methodist Churches of residence, serving as a Sunday School Teacher, Children’s music ministry and Methodist Youth leader while at Watonga. She has been a member of Administrative Councils, Board of Trustees, and Co-Superintendent of Sunday School. She was a member of the United Methodist Women, a Circle, serving as an officer on several occasions, and in recent years a member of the Prayer Team which met weekly. She has served as a museum volunteer, a 4-H Club Leader for several years, and assisted with other events pertaining to 4-H. She was supportive of her husband, Bud, in whatever he was doing, 4-H work, running the Kiwanis train, preparing for banquets, and livestock show preparations. Bud and Wilma were the first Honorees to be inducted into the Northwest Cowboy Club Hall of Fame in 2004. Wilma was a Mother, who liked being involved in the lives of her children, and took an active part in their activities, giving them support.

After Wilma’s home at 3412 Robin Drive in Woodward was damaged beyond repair by the April, 2012 tornado, Wilma moved to Providence Place in Woodward. The staff and residents became a part of her family, and Providence Place became home to Wilma. Playing chicken foot, bingo, and listening to entertainment provided by various local church and school groups at Providence Place became favorite pastimes for Wilma as well as watching her beloved OSU Cowboys and the Oklahoma City Thunder on T.V.

Wilma was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Eldon “Bud” Nelson on January 5, 2004; her parents; five brothers; R.O., C.A. Jr., Wilbur, Homer and Walter; three sisters, Alice Maddux, Verona Lake and Marie Armstrong; and a step-grandson, J.B. Semmel, five sisters-in-law and two brothers-in-law.

She is survived by her daughter, Robin Gregory and husband Larry of Farwell, Texas; a son Norman Nelson and wife Ima of Woodward, Oklahoma; a son Terry Nelson and wife Pam of Stillwater, Oklahoma; grandsons, Gage and Grant Gregory and Brock Nelson; great-grandsons, Mason, Joey, Alex Semmel and Riley Hedges; granddaughter, Corley Nelson Snow and husband Anthony; grandsons Shane Semmel and wife Janelle Semmel; Cooper, Kyle, and Ryan Snow; and a great granddaughter, Natalie Semmel; and several nieces and nephews, other relatives and many friends.

Wilma especially loved babies, children, and youth. She appreciated her family and friends. She greatly enjoyed her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church Special Project Fund or the Woodward Community Foundation for the Bud Nelson Scholarship Fund with the funeral home accepting the contributions.

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