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Grace Irene Wilkinson

November 8, 2018
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Grace Irene Wilkinson, 93, of Tama, passed away Saturday, November 3, 2018 at Unity Point Health - Grinnell Regional Medical Center. A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 11:00 AM at Christ United Methodist Church in Toledo with Pastor John Christianson officiating. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo. A Memorial Visitation will be held Saturday, November 10, 2018 from 10-11 AM prior to the service.

Grace was born on June 22, 1925 in Montezuma, Iowa, the daughter of Henry and Ethel Mae (Hutchison) Anderson.

She grew up on a modest farm during the Depression years, and graduated from Montezuma High School in the Class of 1942 and has enjoyed class reunions for many decades.

Article Photos

Grace Irene Wilkinson

As a teenage girl, she worked inside the Monte Drug Store, when in 1944, a young handsome soldier in uniform, Jim Wilkinson, walked into the store to visit his father who was a temporary pharmacist. Jim and Grace found an instant appreciation of each other, and eventually started a life that Hollywood movies are made of, spending nearly seventy-years together. Grace traveled down to Ft. Smith, Arkansas, to marry that young soldier on August 7, 1944 before he went over to Europe in WWII.

After the war, Jim and Grace lived on campus at Drake University, Des Moines, in a small trailer camp set up for the overflow of returning GI's back to America. Starting the family, son #1 Gary was born in 1947 and son #2, Terry came along a few years later when they were in Clinton, IA. Grace enjoyed being in her Midwest American family and the fruits of modern society and technology. They family came to Toledo in 1960 when they bought the Toledo Drug Store and ran it for nearly a quarter of a century.

During these years, Grace greatly enjoyed being with both sides of the families, sharing many holidays and special occasions with them.

Grace always loved to cook, and was always eager to try out new recipes on her unsuspecting family. Sometimes, meals didn't end up as expected, such as when the dog, Chipper, ate the fried chicken of a Sunday meal off the table, while the family was at church. Grace was horrified but the three men thought it was hilarious.

Grace joined the Methodist Church early on and greatly appreciated the friendships and relationships she cultivated over the many decades.

One of Jim and Grace's great pleasures was playing golf. When Jim got a pilot license, they often flew around the state to tournaments. Grace also had many golfing girlfriends who also would drive to local ladies tourneys, in the 1970's, 80's, and 90's.

Grace loved to decorate, changing her homes quite a bit. She later became an amateur painter and also found much delight in quilting for herself, friends, and relatives. During the e-mail craze, Grace loved keeping in touch with friends and relatives.

Jim and Grace also enjoyed school sports, going to local games and especially the Iowa Hawkeyes. In later years, they always followed the games on TV.

Grace always cherished and loved the many friends she had during her long life. She always tried to keep in touch with a phone call or card.

Survivors include two sons, Gary Dean (Nancy) Wilkinson of St. Louis, MO and Terry Lynn Wilkinson of Tama; her two younger brothers, Ray (Sherrill) Anderson of Eldora and Clark (Cherri) Anderson of Mesa, AZ; one cousin, Beverly (Bob) Waddell of Urbandale; and many nieces and nephews and their children.

Preceding her in death were her parents; husband, Jim on April 6, 2013; older brother; Lyle (Ladona) Anderson; and older sister; Luella (Paul) Good.

Kruse-Phillips Funeral Home, Tama-Toledo is assisting the family with arrangements.



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