Wilma Rasener Gilpin Johnson, 104, went home on Sept. 5, 2014. She was born June 13, 1910, the third child and only daughter of William A. and Mary “Mamie” C. (Roesener) Rasener, on a farm outside of New Palestine.
Her two brothers, Arthur and Earl, watched over her and made sure she dated the right kind of fellows. She loved looking after her younger brother, Kenneth, who was born when she was 16. She graduated from New Palestine High School in 1929, where she was a cheerleader. She was a basketball fan for the rest of her life.
Wilma married Thomas H. Gilpin, May 18, 1930, and had two children, Janet K. and James W. After Tom’s death in 1963, she married Frederick L. “Sam” Johnson, March 1, 1969.
A member of Emerson Avenue Baptist Church for 50 years, Wilma was active, teaching Sunday school, overseeing the youth group, and telling the children’s stories well into her 90’s. She enjoyed gardening and always had red geraniums in her yard. She enjoyed feeding the birds, particularly the Cardinals, and was known for her Cardinal and Hummel collections. She always had a smile on her face, unless she was asked to drink a glass of water. Known as the “White Tornado,” she looked at a flooded basement as an opportunity to really clean. She was a good daughter, sister, cousin, wife, mother, mother-in-law, and friend. She had an open heart and an open mind.
She is survived by her children, Janet K. Blazek and James W. Gilpin (D. Gaither); her grandchildren, Lois Admire (Jeff), Alan Duncan, Amy Duncan (Rob High), Daniel Gilpin, Matthew Gilpin, Christina Walker (Jason), and Hope Schroeder; her great-grandchildren, Eli Duncan-High, Ella Duncan-High, Ethan Duncan-High, Joshua Gaither and Kylee McVicker; and all whose lives she touched. She will be greatly missed.
Wilma was preceded in death by her parents; brothers; husbands; two of her grandsons; and many of her friends.
True to form, she asked that her funeral be on a Saturday so that no one would have to take off work.
Calling will be from 3 until 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, at Shirley Brothers Washington Memorial Chapel, 9606 E. Washington St. with funeral services at 1:00 p.m. Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Emerson Avenue Baptist Church Baptistry Restoration Fund.