Wilma Maxine Wagoner, 91, of Tower, MN dies

Wilma Maxine Wagoner, 91, of Tower, MN passed away on October 3, 2018 at Carefree Living in Ely.
Wilma was born on September 12, 1927, in Grand Rapids, MN, the daughter of Willis and Margeta (Ganion) Bemis. She grew up on a farm near Cohasset, MN with her father and eleven siblings. Her mom passed away when she was only a few years old leaving her with much responsibility in helping to take care of a large farm and family.
Wilma married the love of her life and best friend, Howard Wagoner, of Deer River in 1948. Wilma and Howard raised their kids in Tower, where Wilma stayed home to raise the family and manage the household while Howard was the Minnesota DNR District Forester. She and Howard were full partners in life, spending their free time camping, gardening, fishing, hunting, trapping, harvesting wild rice, and participating in rifle competitions. After retirement they traveled extensively throughout the US and most of Canada, usually camping and often traveling via their Honda Goldwing motorcycle. Their most memorable adventure was a six-week motorcycle trip to Alaska.
Wilma was an exceptional baker, cook, and seamstress. She was well known for her bread, cinnamon rolls, pies and meat pasties. She made most of her children’s clothes as they grew up including prom and wedding dresses. Wilma could fix just about anything that needed fixing and her favorite expression was “what a person could do is…” and then she fixed it!
Later in life Wilma worked at the Y store and most recently (well into her 80s) as a waitress and pasty maker at the Tower Café. She was a beloved and nurturing grandmother and great grandmother and also a dedicated member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower.
Wilma is survived by her daughter Linda Wagoner (Dave Akerson) of Tower and grandchildren Chris Mattson of Walker and Sherry (Larry) Floria of Remer; daughter Barb (Kurt) Soderberg of Ely and grandchild Erin (Greg) Downing of Minneapolis; daughter Karen (Wayne) Dahl of Embarrass and grandchildren Lance (Patty) Dahl of Rochester and Angela Dahl of Moorhead; and son Terry (Jill) Wagoner of Tower and grandchildren HollyAnn (Steve Jowers) of Biwabik, Jared (Michelle) Wagoner of Embarrass and Liz Wagoner (Patrick McDonald) of St. Paul. Wilma has twelve great grandchildren. She has three surviving siblings, Shirley Schultz of Deer River, Edna Karjalahti of Spokane, Washington, and Bill Bemis of Cohasset.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Howard Wagoner (1998) and eight siblings.
She will be missed for her quiet strength, her work ethic, her generosity, her faith, her skills and kindness as a wife, mom and grandma..... and her delicious baked goods!
A Celebration of Life for Wilma will be held at 11:00 a.m. on October 15, 2018 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower, with Pastor Liz Cheney officiating. A gathering of family and friends will be for one hour prior to the service at the church. Arrangements are with the Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.