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Wilma Louise Masters (Winter) was born feet-first in her parent’s log home on Nov 22, 1935. She was born in a small predominantly German Catholic farming community and was the first of four children. Her parents, Lambert Joseph Winter and Cornelia Krieg, grew up together as neighbors just a gravel road apart, in Anderson Township, Perry County, Indiana alongside the Ohio River. A Dr. Snyder came out to the farm to deliver Wilma and she was soon baptized “Wilhelmina Louise Winter” in the nearby Saint Mark’s Catholic Church where 3 generations of Winters, along with many other family members and relatives, attended before her. Wilma’s godparents were her maternal grandparents Charles Krieg and Elizabeth Baysinger.
Wilma started grade school at the same Saint Mark’s Church. At that time, Saint Mark’s was just a two-room schoolhouse with an outhouse out back and all of the grades were taught by one nun. Later on, Wilma’s immediate family started attending Saint Paul’s Catholic Church in nearby Tell City so Wilma continued her education there until she graduated the eighth grade. At age 8, Wilma’s father Lambert was sent overseas to Europe with the U.S. Army. He had no choice but to close up the farm while away at war and thus he set his family up in nearby Tell City. Wilma and her family were happy once more when her father returned home from the war. With fellow soldiers, Lambert boarded the famed ship, The Queen Mary, on Nov 22, 1945, which happened to be Wilma’s 10th birthday.
Wilma attended Tell City High School and continued to be a great student. She learned to love and play basketball, was a member of the Science
Club and Girls’ Choir. She was also her graduating class Salutatorian. Wilma’s nickname by some of her family and school mates was “Willie”, but her father’s nickname for her was “Slat” because she was so tall and skinny.
Wilma loved her family life growing up and with so much family and friends in the area there was always something going on. Being a farm girl, Wilma had many chores living in that old log home that was originally her grandfather’s. The home had two stories and was fairly roomy, but it had no electricity, no plumbing or hot running water, nor bathroom and was heated by a wood fireplace. Some of her chores would be to fill every kerosene lamp and lantern in the house with fuel, help her mother with the cooking on their coal burning stove, churn butter, help with laundry and ironing, feeding the chickens, and help keep an eye on her three younger siblings.
Wilma’s father Lambert built a brand-new farmhouse from tree’s lumbered from around the farm. It was completed with electricity, heating, indoor plumbing and best of all a real flush toilet. Barely time to enjoy the new home amenities, Wilma would leave the farm to go off to college in the big city of Indianapolis at Butler University. She would later graduate Butler with a Chemistry degree.
While continuing with Grad School at the University of Kansas, Wilma would forgo her master’s in chemistry and instead marry a Masters, John Howard “Jack” Masters. Their marriage would take place back at Saint Mark’s Catholic Church in Wilma’s hometown and over the next several years they would have 4 children of their own and live in several mid-western states before moving to Buena Park, California.
Unfortunately, their marriage ended in divorce and Wilma would take a job as a Chemist for McGaw Laboratories in Irvine performing Quality Control on their IV manufacturing line and would retire some 20 years later.
Upon her retirement, Wilma sold her Buena Park home and went to live with the Flotte family in Ontario California and then later moved to the Sacramento area with the Flottes, near the Erbs, for a total of 20 yrs. She then later moved to Whittier almost 4 years ago to live with the Masters before spending her final few months at a nearby Board and Care.
Wilma loved her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She was very proud of each of them and prayed for them often. Over the years Wilma enjoyed reading, sewing, crocheting, genealogy, the music of Johnny Cash and Elvis, playing an occasional board game with her family and watching classic Westerns and the original Star Trek episodes with her “Sexy” Captain Kirk. Though Wilma did love Captain Kirk and her Westerns, she would set everything aside for her absolute favorite thing to watch and that was college basketball and always rooting for her alma mater Butler University Bulldogs.
Wilma was preceded in death by her parents, Lambert and Cornelia, as well as her two brothers, Donovan and Dennis, and sadly her daughter Krystal Hoover. She is survived by her sister, Lois Scott; brother-in-law Wayne Scott; sisters-in-law Mildred “Pidge” Winter and Ula “Beaula” Winter and numbers of first and second cousins.
She is survived by 3 children, John “Eric”, Valerie Erb and Martha Flotte; daughter-in-law, Dede; sons-in-law, Casey Hoover, Frank Erb and Johnny Flotte; 9 grandchildren, Michael, Sean, John Paul, Daniel, Hannah, Lucas, William, Samuel and Addison; and 4 great-grandchildren, Payton, Paige, Grady and Connor.
A Graveside Service will take place on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 11:00am at Roseville Cemetery, 421 Berry St., Roseville, CA.
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