Wilma Linnetta Smith

Wilma Linnetta Smith
b. 9 April 1907, Lincolnville, Wabash County, Indiana, to John H. and Lillie (Jones) Smith
d. 18 September 1992, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

m. 6 July 1934, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Henry Irving Vanderburgh
b. 11 December 1903, Wardner, Shoshone County, Idaho
d. 7 April 1952, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Children with Henry Irving Vanderburgh:

  • Wilma Ellen (b. 1935) married Mads Sorensen
  • Sheila Mae (b. 1937) married Raymond Nelson

Wilma’s parents left Indiana in 1909 to homestead in Canada. After only two months, mother and child returned to Indiana. Wilma was sent back to Alberta when her mother died in 1915. She grew up on her father’s homestead, riding horses and attending one-room country schools. Later she was sent to Calgary for high school and teacher training.

After teaching for a few years in rural Alberta, she married a Calgary school teacher, Henry Irving Vanderburgh. Unfortunately, Irving died after only 17 years leaving his 45-year-old widow to care for their two daughters and her widowed father.

Wilma spent that summer at Butler University in Indianapolis upgrading her teaching credentials. She taught school in Calgary until she was 67 years old. She then worked in customer relations for ten more years.

She became the matriarch and anchor of her family. At the time of her death from lung and stomach cancer in 1992, she had seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Her entire family gathers annually at her favorite resort in the Canadian Rockies to celebrate her birthday.

Submitted by:
Wilma Sorensen
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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