She was born on November 17, 1917 at Fairchild, MT to Fern Leona (Powell) and Franklin G. Harrell.
She was the eldest of two boys and two girls and the only one to survive past the age of 24.
The family moved to Sandpoint, Idaho in 1923 and she has resided here the majority of these years.
She attended Farmin grade school and was a graduate of Sandpoint High School class of 1937.
In 1939, she married Leroy McArthur, to this union two girls, two boys were born.
Roy preceded her in death in 1962.
In 1967, she married Lloyd Allen.
They were married 41 years before his passing in 2009.
Wilma worked in the business world from the age of 17 until her retirement at age 65.
Most will remember her from the F.G. Harrell Insurance Agency (now known as North Idaho Insurance) which was founded by her father and later purchased by Roy and she.
After their deaths she continued working, later selling the business and moving to Moscow, ID for three years where she was the office person for the TV cable company.
It was here that she enjoyed seeing the “hometown” college kids that either waved or stopped in for a chat.
Upon marrying Lloyd, she moved back to Sandpoint in the Fall of 1967.
She was employed at Ben Franklin Variety store; M & J Food Market; Economy Grocery and back to insurance/real estate in the office of Ward Tift from which she retired as his Real Estate secretary.
Her long life enabled her to be one of a few 1940-50/60s business people to actually see the Sandpoint Bypass become a reality.
Her memberships have included Martha Chapter #34 OES-Past Matron (she was a 66 year member)- Grand Representative to Florida and Grand Martha for the Grand Chapter of Idaho; Daughters of the Nile; American Legion Aux; First Baptist Church; Sandpoint Senior Center.
In her younger years she was involved in the children’s activities of Scouting; Job’s Daughters’, Demolay and taught 4-H sewing classes and Sunday School.
She was usually involved in some kind of art/craft instruction, chaperoning to events etc.
Lucky were we as the recipients of her sewing talents when a new dress/formal or sport coat was needed - sometimes at the drop of a hat - she would be sewing into the “wee” hours of the night and it was always ready when we needed it - this was after putting in a full eight-hour work day plus “mother” duties when she got home.
As children, we did not fully appreciate the effort that was lovingly given in these endeavors - as adults, we came to fully realize the extent of her sacrifice for us “in the name of love.”
She has shared her love of knitting, crocheting, sewing, art and other talents with all of us/including the grandchildren and great grandchildren.
All being recipients of her work and also lessons on how to do it.
(Up until the last six months of her life she was still knitting with four needles making hats/some of which were given to newest great-great-grandbabies).
Along with her other interests she enjoyed gardening, both vegetable and flowers, especially her roses.
Nature was always an enjoyable pastime both in going for rides and the photography that was begging to be captured.
In her last few years she became a “soccer” fan with the great grandkids engaged in the activity…although she didn’t understand it all she would watch out her apartment window and pick one of the kids playing on the field next door and watch until the game was over.
Mom, you have earned your Angel Wings and although we will miss your presence, we know you are with us in our hearts and spirit - “a Mother never actually leaves her young - she just gives them the instruction to carry on - and in each task along life’s way can be reflected the subtleness of her spirit as she quietly guides from afar.”
Thank you for your guidance in our lives and all the love that has been bestowed upon us over the years - we were so lucky to have you for a mom.
Surviving are Betty (Everett) Allen, Spokane, WA; Bill (Susan) McArthur, Vancouver, WA; DeeDee (Steve) Jones, Caldwell, ID; Bob (Diana) McArthur, Sandpoint, ID, 13 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren, 15 great-great-grandchildren: three step-daughters: Lorraine Allen, Daralyn Larson, Patricia Bates; brother-in-law, Bill (Nettie) Allen, Sandpoint; sister-in-law, Twila Allen of CA and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, husbands; grandson, Robert McArthur, Jr. and grandson by marriage, Dana Hettinger.
A Celebration of her life will take place in the Spring of 2013.
It was her wish for memorials to be donated to Spokane Shriners Hospital for Children or Hospice of North Idaho.
Family and friends are invited to sign Wilma’s online guest book at www.coffeltfuneral.com.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of COFFELT FUNERAL SERVICE.
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