Wilma Margretta Taylor Schmidt was born May 17, 1924 to Otis and Pearl (Sivey) Taylor, in their home 15 miles north of Weskan, Kansas. She passed away on March 2, 2016, at her home in Florence at the age of 91. On her paternal side, she is the 8th great-granddaughter of William Bradford, who was a leader of the Pilgrim settlers of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in 1620 and later became Governor of the Plymouth Colony. Descendants of the Taylor family were among the very early settlers who came into the Territory of Colorado, but even earlier they had arrived in the eastern area of the Kansas Territory. Thus, territorial pioneers in two different states. On her maternal side, the Sivey family was in Virginia before 1738. Wilma, along with her family was dedicated to preserving her family history. Wilma didn’t start to school until the fall of her 7th year, due to illness. She attended Kanorado Grade School, which was downstairs from the Kanorado High School. She played violin in the orchestra in high school. In 1943, Wilma graduated Kanorado High School and then attended Brown-Mackie School of Business in Salina, Kansas. Brown-Mackie School sent her to work at the International Harvester Company after she had finished her schooling. Wilma met her future husband, Warren G. Schmidt, at a U.S.O. dance shortly before Christmas in 1944 in Salina, Kansas. They were both on dates with other people. Wilma’s first thoughts were, “He was a good looker and a smooth dancer.” Warren’s first thought when they first met was, “Wow! I like that little redhead.” Warren and Wilma were married July 13, 1945 in Salina, Kansas. In 1946, Wilma began her married life living and working on the Muddy Ranch in Bradford, Colorado. Wilma served as the Secretary for the District School Board at North Bradford before moving to Florence in June of 1950 when Warren and Wilma moved their family to Chandler Ranch, west of Florence. In 1969, they sold the ranch on Chandler Road and in 1970 moved into Florence. Besides being a mother and homemaker, Wilma worked at the Florence Safeway. In the 1990s, Wilma won many awards at the Fremont County Fair for her jams, sweet pickles, red cinnamon pickles, apple and peach butter and her chili sauce. She was a First Place Ribbon winner at the Colorado State Fair for her jams in 1996. She enjoyed teaching her children and grandchildren how to can and preserve her treasured family recipes. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Mayflower Society, Territorial Daughters and the American Legion Auxiliary. Wilma was smart, loving, hardworking, supportive and creative. She loved collecting cookbooks and poetry. Mom, we will always love you and never forget how incredible you were as a wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and as an amazing woman who had a profound affect to all whose lives you touched. She is survived by two sons; Larry (Cheryl) of Penrose, Dwaine (Don) of Denver; two daughters, Betty (Marty) Schmidt of Divide, Marilyn (Glen) Golden of Walsenburg; four grandchildren, Cindi (Daniel) Selvage, Justin (Thea) Schmidt, Kevin (Judie) Anselmo, Jason (Janette) Golden; five great grandchildren, Jeremy, Colton (Kaitlynn) and Dylan Miller, Tucker Schmidt, Montana Anselmo; one great-great-grandchild, Kaiden Miller. Wilma is also survived by her sister, Joyce Smith; many cousins, nephews and nieces. Wilma was preceded in death by husband, Warren, parents Otis and Pearl Taylor; brothers, Lee and Mavor Taylor; and sister Rose Patterson. To celebrate Wilma’s life, a memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 11, 2016 at the Wilson Funeral Home Chapel located at 1449 South 9th Street, Canon City, Colorado. Inurnment will be held at a later date at the Rosita Cemetery. In Wilma’s memory, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Florence Volunteer Fire Department at P.O. Box 367, Florence, Colorado, 81226.
by LaRissa Morris LA VETA — The downtown of La Veta is looking great this summer with flowers in front of businesses and large blooming