LUSK--Wilma Claire Eberspecher was born Sept. 19, 1935, to Chris and Katie (Doyle) Eberspecher north of Harrison, Neb., in the Bodarc Community. She was the fifth of eight children. Her arrival no doubt was not as welcome as the family’s first washing machine, which was purchased a few months later. She passed away Oct. 22, 2012 at the age of 77 in the Lusk hospital after a short, intense battle with cancer.
Wilma’s childhood had few luxuries, but her family was very rich with love and happy times. She attended grade school at Bodarc and graduated from Sioux County High School with the class of 1953. She then attended Chadron State Teachers College.
Wilma taught several years in Sioux County, including Harrison Grade School. She spent her summers working in the County Superintendent’s Office.
In 1966 she moved to Chicago, Ill. to attend Art School. She married Fred Bartelt in February of 1968, and their son Thomas Alan (Tom) was born on April 23, 1969 in Kirkwood, Mo.
Upon returning to Lusk she worked for K-N Energy in both Lusk and Torrington.
Wilma later worked at Petrolane Gas, the Women’s Prison, Conoco, the Cozy Corner, and for many years she filled in for her brother Spike at Cornerstone Motors in Scottsbluff, Neb. All who worked with her enjoyed her sunny disposition and her helping heart. She was non-judgmental and accepted everyone as an equal.
Wilma loved to spend her leisure time playing cards, slots, Scrabble, cribbage, and Keno. She learned to play pinochle at a young age with her dad and neighbor, George Wickersham.
Wilma was talented in many areas. She painted in oils, enjoyed drawing, and water colors. She played the piano, violin, and accordion by ear. She also composed poetry in memory of loved ones.
She leaves many friends and family to mourn her passing. She is survived by one son, Tom; seven brothers and sisters: Patricia Garner (Jack), Betty Hanson (Herb), Jerry Eberspecher (Joan Ostermeyer), Kathleen Gilbert (Warren), John Eberspecher (Mavis Hall), Evelyn Carland (Monte), and Edward (Spike) Eberspecher (Peggy Hamaker).
She was preceded in death by her parents, Chris and Katie; brothers-in-law Herb Hanson and Warren Gilbert; sister-in-law Joan (Ostermeyer) Eberspecher; nephews Jim Hanson, Chris Holmgren, and Chris Eberspecher; great-nephew Sam Eberspecher; and great-nieces Kennedy and Tristan Sickle.
Memorial services were held on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 at 11 a.m. at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Lusk, Wyo. Wilma was cremated, and her ashes will be strewn over her beautiful childhood neighborhood.
The family suggests memorials to the Niobrara Senior Center, PO Box 928, Lusk, WY 82225.
Pier Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.