This month we feature Wilma Porter, who lives at Avoca Lodge Assisted Living in Avoca. She recently celebrated her 90th birthday and received over 100 cards. Wilma was born in Persia, Iowa where her parents farmed. The oldest of her two older brothers, Elmer, was born in Germany. She and her older brother Herb were born here in the United States. Until age 14, Wilma attended country school near Persia. When the family moved into town, Wilma remembers the fun of going to free movies on Saturday night. It was a difficult time on the farm. All three children were sent at an early age to work and live in the homes of others while their father suffered and passed away from tuberculosis. At 17, Wilma went to work in Council Bluffs, waitressing and doing housework. She met her future husband Hubert attending a dance in Atlantic. They were married October 2, 1950 at First Lutheran near Wiota, Hugh’s home church. Wilma was later confirmed and joined the church. Since they always made their home in Atlantic, they soon transferred their membership to Zion. Hugh worked construction and later worked as a mechanic and a service advisor at Henningsen’s, Merner’s, and Deter Motors. Hugh fought in WWII and was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism at the Battle of the Bulge. Their only child, Peggy, lives in Walnut with her husband, Gene. Peggy grew up and was confirmed at Zion where Wilma also taught Sunday School. Peggy has two daughters, Christine (who died in a car accident after college) and Melissa, who is married to John Sorrick. The Sorricks have two children: John Hugh, 4, and Luna Christine, 18 months. Wilma has two grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren and 4 step-great-grandchildren.
Wilma worked at Heritage House in dietetics for 25 years. She was a 4-H leader and a Brownie leader. She and Hugh never missed attending school activities of their children and grandchildren. Wilma is a life member of American Legion Auxiliary and VFW Auxiliary. The family spent many weekends camping, fishing, and water skiing. For years, their house always seemed to be the gathering place of extended family on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Wilma would entertain all and make sure no one went away hungry. As Herb’s health declined, Wilma cared for him at home for many years. Thank you, Wilma, for your many years of service at Zion. God’s blessings to you.