Wilma Ruth Volpe, 87, died Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, at the By Grace House in Lawrence, Kansas.
Wilma was born January 10, 1925, in Alamota, Kansas, the daughter of William Andrew and Rua Houghton Thomas. She graduated from Dighton (Kan.) High School in 1943, attended Kansas State Teacher’s College in Emporia (1943-46), and graduated from Montclair (New Jersey) Teacher’s College in 1948 with a B.A. in English. Wilma spent her entire career as a teacher, first as a 4th grade teacher at St. Theresa’s RC School in Paterson, N.J.; then, as a 7th & 8th grade Language Arts teacher for 21 years at Chapel Hill School in Lincoln Park, N.J. In 1980 she retired to Cape Coral, Fla., and later to The Villages, Fla., before returning to Kansas in 2011.
Wilma loved to knit and crochet sweaters and afghans for members of her family. A lifelong learner, she was an avid reader, researched family history, and enjoyed working on New York Times crossword puzzles. In her youth she sang at her church and played piano throughout her life.
Wilma married Louis Vincent Volpe on June 22, 1947, in Paterson, N.J. He survives of the home. Other survivors include a daughter, Denise LaRosh and husband Kyle, Tonganoxie, Kansas; two sons, Vincent, St. Louis, Missouri, and Louis and wife Jennifer, New Market, Maryland; a sister, Arlene Smith, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.; a sister-in-law, Betsy Thomas, Overland Park, Kansas; seven grandchildren, Michelle Roe and husband Brad, Andrew Volpe and wife Phoebe, Kara Volpe, Shane Howard, Teresa Volpe, Rebekah Volpe, and Sophia Volpe; four great grandchildren, Henry Roe, Augustus Roe, Ulysses Roe, and Andrew ‘Winnie’ Volpe; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, Leonard Thomas and Don Thomas, and a sister, Neoma Winter.
A Memorial Mass for Wilma Ruth Volpe will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Lawrence, Kansas, with Fr. John Schmeidler officiating. Private family inurnment will be at a later date in Leavenworth National Cemetery.
The family suggests memorial contributions to RS/Christian Relief Services, St. Joseph’s Indian School of Chamberlain, S.D., or St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home & Crematory, 601 Indiana St., Lawrence, KS, 66044.