Mrs. Wilda Jean Sample went home to be with the Lord and her beloved husband, John, on Sunday, the 23rd of Sept., 2012. She was a long-time resident of Claremore. Services will be held at 3:00 p.m., Sat., Sept. 29, 2012 in the Chapel of the Garden at Rice Funeral Service. Friends may visit at the funeral home from 2-8 p.m. on Friday. The family will receive visitors from 6-8 p.m.
Born on the 10th of December, 1922 in Climax, Kan., Wilda was the daughter of Vern and Elsie (Bate) Lyon. She met her future husband, John Sample, when her family moved to Toronto, Kan. several years later. They both graduated from Toronto High School in 1940 and attended the College of Emporia (C of E) in Emporia, Kansas. John soon went into the U.S. Army during WWII, and Wilda finished college and worked in the war industry for a time. When John returned from the war in 1945, they were married and lived on the campus of C of E until he graduated. By that time they had a son, John Philip.
In the following years they lived in Russell, Lakin, Salina and Wichita, Kan.. John taught music and Wilda taught Junior High English. Both always received rave reviews from their students. They moved to Claremore in 1973 when John took a job at Claremore College (now Rogers State University). They participated in many community groups. Wilda was a long-time and very proud member of PEO.
On her last day, Wilda was surrounded by all of her immediate family and was able to talk by phone to others, including two nieces, Cathy, in Seattle, and Carole, in New York. She passed peacefully in her sleep. She is survived by her son, Phil; her daughter-in-law, JoAnn; her granddaughter, Kristina, and husband, Valentin Maldonado; two nieces, Carole and Cathy Cowan; nephew, Robert Cowan; and numerous cousins.