Wilma Dean Holder, age 97, departed this life on June 5, 2023, at the home of her son, Terry, in Nixa with her family at her side.

Wilma Dean was born on Aug. 23,1925, to Nick L. and Myrtle (Kidd) McKinney in Tyrone, Mo.

She graduated from Summersville High School in 1943. She married Herman Holder on Sept. 6, 1944, and to this union, four sons were born. They lived in Arkansas and Illinois until settling in the Houston, Mo., area in 1958.

Wilma Dean went to work in 1983 in the Wee Care Day Care at the First Baptist Church after the passing of her husband. She moved to Houston and worked there for nearly 30 years before retiring at 87 years of age. She influenced so many young lives of children who attended and would still tell stories and memories of her years there. She truly loved those children.

Following retirement, she moved to Mansfield to be near her granddaughter, Tracy, and her family. The two of them had many fun outings, visiting relatives, shopping, doctor appointments and just running around. Tracy met every need she had for many years. She was even recognized and nominated for Worker of the Year by the governor of Missouri.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, three brothers, Paul, Ray and Keith, and one sister, Jeri.

She is survived by four sons, Terry (Sharon) of Nixa, Mo., Larry of Springfield, Mo., Nick (Earleen) of Raymondville, Mo., and Don (Mary) of Yukon, Mo., grandchildren, Tracy (Gene) Loge, Cassidy (Kian) Modanlou, Brady Holder, Kretia (Kirk) Elmquist, Allison (Jonathan) Baltzell, Candice (Matt) Settlemoir, Marcella Holder, Amanda (David) Rust, and Len (Kathy) Holder. Also surviving are great-grandchildren, Ryan (Amber) Loge, Jordyn (Blake) Martin, Landon and Dylan Modanlou, Chloe and Cross Elmquist, Colin and Callie Holder, Thys and Monroe Baltzell, Andrew Settlemoir, Mackenzie and Madeline Holder, Jackson Rust, Kasey Testerman and Matt Phelan, and great-great-grandchildren, Claire, Shelby and Kimber Phelan, Jason, Madison and Liam Testerman, Jaidyn Humbyrd and Marleigh Martin. She would have been blessed with another great-great-granddaughter, Maggie Martin, in July.

Wilma Dean (or Mamaw Dean as all the kids called her) always had a smile on her face, loved to tell and hear jokes, even kept a notebook filled with jokes so she wouldn’t forget the punch line, which she usually did anyway. Or she would tell a joke and then look at someone so they could explain it to her. She loved family gatherings and we all loved her potato salad, chocolate, strawberry and apple pies. She especially loved her outings with Tracy, where they always found something to laugh about and many times it would be at Mamaw’s expense. A few times in particular, Mamaw Dean lost one lens in her sunglasses and didn’t realize it until Tracy yelled out, “Mamaw”, and pointed it out to her. We always found something to laugh about with her.

She lived a long and independent life until six weeks prior to her death. She was lucky enough to never have experienced much pain in her life. Even when she broke her hip at age 93 and took only three weeks to rehab. She was surrounded by her children and grandchildren in her last days, all of them showing her all their love and care.

She will always be missed by all her family, including nieces and nephews and many friends.

Visitation for Wilma Holder will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday, June 9, 2023, at First Baptist Church, Houston, Mo. Funeral services follow the visitation at 11 a.m., also at the church, with Rev. Larry Scott and Blake Martin officiating. Song selections were “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, “Wind Beneath My Wings”, “Holes In The Floor Of Heaven”, and “When I Get Where I’m Going”. Gene Loge, Blake Martin, Ryan Loge, Len Holder, Brady Holder, and Kirk Elmquist served as Pallbearers. Cross Elmquist, Andrew Settlemoir, Thys Baldtzell, Landon Modanlou, Colin Holder, Jackson Rust, and Dylan Modanlou served as Honorary Pallbearers.  Burial was in Big Creek Cemetery, Yukon, Mo., under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mansfield, Mo. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Big Creek Cemetery.

Online condolences:  www.craighurttfuneralhome.com


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