Wilma Irene Long

Friday, December 28, 2018

Wilma Irene Long, age 92, went to be with The Lord. She was greeted by many loving family and friends when she arrived in heaven. She was born Oct. 9, 1926, in Lamar, Missouri to Kelly and Reba Waits and passed in her home on Dec. 22, 2018.

Wilma lived her life to serve others. She dedicated her life to her family and loved spending time with her 59 grandchildren. Wilma had a strong faith. She was baptized into the fellowship of the First Baptist Church of Lamar on May 24, 1953. She enjoyed taking her grandchildren to church and teaching vacation Bible School and Sunday School at Sheldon Baptist Church. She cared for her mother, Reba Waits, who lived to be 91. She enjoyed playing cards and liked to go out dancing.

She graduated from Lamar High School in 1943 and was a graduate of Southwest Baptist Bible College. Wilma’s first job was with the family dairy, delivering milk. Then she worked in the Corner Drug Store owned by her parents. After graduating from college, she was a certified school teacher at Anderson, Pleasant Hill, and Rockdale country schools. She worked for several years in the law office of City Attorney Gordon Boyer before serving in accounting for the Nevada State Hospital for 21 years.

Wilma married Earl William Blades, her first husband, in Kansas City, Kan., on Nov. 17, 1945. They had two children: a daughter, Reba Faye Blades Phipps (husband Carl, three grandchildren, six great-grandchildren); and a son, Earl Ray “Butch” Blades (one grandson, one great-granddaughter, four great-great-grandchildren). On Nov. 6, 1971, Wilma married James Howard Long in Nevada, Mo., embracing his five children.

Survivors include four daughters, Reba Fay Blades Phipps (Carl) of Lamar, Deborah Mitchell, Rebecca Mitchell (Doug), and Diane Neely (Dennis), all of Joplin; three sons, Earl Ray “Butch” Blades of Camdenton, Larry Hilburn (Jo), Greenfield, Mo., and Greg Long (Fay), Nevada, Mo.; 14 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; and 12 great-great-grandchildren. Her mother and father, Forest Edward “Kelly” and Reba Irene Waits; one sister, Bernice Welborn; and one brother, Charles Edwin “Bud” Waits, preceded her in death.

The funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 27, at Daniel Funeral Home in Lamar. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m., until service time, Thursday. Burial will be in Memory Gardens Cemetery.

Memorial contributions are suggested to Hospice Compassus Living Foundation in care of the funeral home.