Wilma Marie Bird, 93, was born November 26, 1921 to Edgar and Lucy Johnson in Jerome, Idaho. She passed away peacefully November 6, 2015 at Turtle and Crane in Idaho Falls.
Wilma attended schools in the Jerome area and was working for a U.S. government agricultural agency until she met and married Howard C. Bird. They were married on May 16, 1941.
Howard and Wilma farmed in Jerome and also operated Bird Sporting Goods until 1955. During this time their four sons were born, Tom, Gail, Max and Carl. In 1955 they moved to Blackfoot, Idaho to continue farming on a dryland farm and ranch operation in the mountains along the Blackfoot river. Howard and Wilma had several different homes in Blackfoot and they commuted to the dry farm location until they moved to Firth in 1961 and added an 80 acre farm on Wolverine Road. They retired from farming in 1987 and moved to a smaller home in the Shelley area. Howard died September 18, 1997 and Wilma continued to reside in the Shelley home until the past few years.
Wilma always claimed she never worked a day after she was married and that the honeymoon with Howard “was never over.” Anyone who is acquainted with the rigors of farm life and the required variety of talents needed would certainly refute her claim. Yet through it all she never considered it “work.” Wilma had the wonderful gift of hospitality and was always cooking or canning, gardening or sewing to bless others.
Wilma was preceded in death by her husband, four brothers, Clayton, Oliver, Robert and Leo Johnson and one son Carl Howard (Rita). She is survived by her three sons Thomas Oliver (Cherlyn), Gail Edward (Leona) and Max William (Sandy), 14 grandchildren, and 29 great grandchildren.
Wilma is a believer in Jesus Christ and was a very active member of Calvary Baptist Church in Idaho Falls. She taught Sunday school throughout her life until she was no longer physically able. She loved the Bible and it was always “hidden in her heart” and by her side.
Funeral services will be Saturday November 14
at 11:00 a.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, 785 First St. in Idaho Falls. Friends may visit the family at the church from 10:00 a.m. until the service. Burial will be in the Taylor Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are being made by Nalder Funeral Home of Shelley.