Wilma Anderson Richards died Friday, November 12, 2021, while under hospice care in Cocoa, Florida. Born in Wayne City, July 19, 1924, Wilma was oldest of seven children in the family of Edna and Russell Anderson. Wilma was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Jack Richards in 2005, and her youngest son, Jim, in 2008. She is survived by a daughter, Judith Richards in Alabama, and son, Duane Richards in Cocoa, Florida.
Wilma grew up in Wayne County, a place where the Anderson, Thomason, and Richards families have lived for nearly two hundred years. As the oldest Anderson child, Wilma was expected to help in the barn milking cows. Her father, Russell, recognized her head for numbers and charged Wilma with listening to the early morning farm market reports and reciting them to him when he came in from the barn. Wilma left school during the Depression and worked as a housekeeper for a doctor's family. She became a young war bride in 1941 when she married Jack Richards.
Wilma was known by family and friends to be spunky. She became a fine seamstress and worked as supervisor for years at the Fairfield Garment factory. She taught herself typing and bookkeeping in order to help her husband manage his logging and sawmill business. At the age of 40 she took karate classes. She seemed happiest when her extended family was present. Wilma's grandchildren are scattered from Norway to Pennsylvania to Florida: Charles Kriel, Marc Cline, Stacy Parmalee, Bob Richards, Steve Richards, Dawn Wagner; and great-grandchildren, Viola Viken-Kriel, Alaina, Erin, and Andrew Cline, Jade Parmalee and Patrick Parmalee, and Colleen Richards Nelson. She is also survived by a brother, Gary Anderson, and his family in La Moille; and two sisters in Mendota, Mary Anderson Erbes and Phyllis Anderson Hitchins.
The ashes of Wilma Richards will be laid to rest next to her husband, Jack, and son, Jim in Olive Branch Cemetery on a date yet to be determined.
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