Wilma Hertha Krull was born Oct. 27, 1912, in Hawarden, the daughter of Gerhard Folkert and Gretchen Emma (Braams) Krull. In 1919 Wilma and her family traveled to the Wilhelmshaven, Germany to visit family. Due to economic hardship following World War I the family stayed in Germany for five years before returning to the United States. Wilma and her family then settled in Le Mars where she completed her primary education. She later attended Western Union (Westmar) College in Le Mars.
On Oct. 11, 1936, Wilma and Heinz Herman Wilms were united in marriage in Le Mars. The couple made their home in Le Mars where Wilma was a homemaker. She later did photo retouching from her home.
Wilma and Heinz treasured their life together and enjoyed many activities such as their annual fishing trips to Eagle Lake in Minnesota. Heinz always hoped to outdo her in fishing but never quite accomplished that goal. Heinz died Nov. 27, 1990. Wilma later moved to Iowa City, to be closer to family.
She was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars and most recently a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Iowa City. She also taught Sunday School at Grace Lutheran Church in Le Mars for 25 years.
Wilma enjoyed sharing her German culture with the students at Le Mars Community Schools and spoke at many events and activities. She had a strong commitment to "healthy living" long before it was fashionable (her children recall pumpernickel sandwiches in their school lunches when their friends had Wonderbread). She loved exercising, hiking and her long walks around town. Wilma had a life-long appreciation for learning and never hesitated to try a "new adventure." Most of all, Wilma loved children - she always had time and unconditional love for them.
While living in Iowa City, Wilma continued her walks and made many new friends in the neighborhood. She also renewed her lifelong passion for drawing and painting. She joined the Senior Citizen Center, enrolled in art classes and even showed her drawings and paintings in local art exhibits. She also loved going to the opera and symphony with her son-in-law Vernon who enthusiastically adopted her as his "mother."
She will be lovingly remembered by her sons, Heinz G. and Sue Ann Wilms of Woodsboro, Md., Paul and Marguerite Wilms of Cary, N.C., and the Rev. Mark and Lynn Wilms of Blue Earth, Minn.; daughters Else Bonthuis of Waterloo, Lynda and Dr. Vernon Varner of Iowa City, and her "other daughter" Mary Lou Fisher; 10 grandchildren: Lisa and Mark Renn, Ann and Daryl Tyler, Matthew Wilms, Dr. Christopher and Dr. Isca Wilms, Rebecca and Robert Myron, David and Carrie Bonthuis, Heidi Louivere, Jason and Claire Topp, Jeremy and Susannah (Castro) Topp, Katie and Jeremy Topp Henrichs; 21 great-grandchildren; a brother Benno and Darlene Krull of Kansas City, Mo.; sisters-in-law Elizabeth Krull of Sioux City, and Phyllis Krull of Lincoln, Neb.; a special nephew Dr. Art and Frances Krull of Le Mars, and all her extended family in the United States and Germany. She will be remembered too by the many friends she gathered round her. Her heart and home were open to all, especially for "three o'clock coffee."
She also is greatly missed by Daisy the Border collie who quickly transferred her loyalty to Wilma when she moved to Iowa City and thereafter became her devoted companion and protector.
Wilma was preceded in death by her parents; husband Heinz; brothers Art and Gerald, son-in-law Peter Bonthuis; niece Jane Navrude; and great-granddaughter Molly Bonthuis.
Funeral services will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars. The Rev. Gary Landsness will officiate. Burial will follow at Resthaven Memory Gardens in Le Mars. Visitation will begin at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at St. John's Lutheran Church and will continue until service time. The Mauer - Johnson Funeral Home of Le Mars is in charge of arrangements.
Expressions of sympathy may be directed through www.mauerjohnsonfh.com.