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Wilma R. Harms

d. July 24, 2022

Wilma Ruth Harms of Newton was born on June 2, 1924 to Isaac and Emma Balzer and died on July 24, 2022 at the age of 98. She was the youngest of five children, growing up on a farm in rural Whitewater. She was baptized on June 1, 1944 at Grace Hill Church where she was an active lifelong member.

Wilma graduated from Whitewater High School. On October 22, 1944 she married her high school sweetheart, Willis Harms, and together they farmed in rural Whitewater until his death in 1970. She leaned on her faith in God to carry her through the rest of her life, reading her Bible and praying faithfully.

Wilma and Willis were married for 25 years and were blessed with three children: Gary, Jane and James Kelly.

In 1974, Wilma moved to Newton and began working at Presbyterian Manor and later at United Office Supplies. She loved to travel and took many trips across the country, taking pictures and collecting souvenirs. She loved her family, enjoyed their times together, and was always interested in their lives and activities. Wilma was the kind of person who was always willing to lend a helping hand. Reading the Bible and Billy Graham books were two of her favorite pastimes.

Survivors include her son Gary Harms and wife Linda of rural Whitewater, daughter Jane Washburn and husband Tom of rural Newton, daughter-in-law Cindy Harms of rural Newton, many grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Wilma was preceded in death by her husband Willis Harms, her parents Isaac and Emma Balzer, her son James Kelly Harms, her sisters Betty Harms and Laura Janzen and her brothers Art Balzer and Ray Balzer.


Memorial services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, August 1st, 2022 at Grace Hill Mennonite Church in rural Whitewater. There will be a private family burial. Memorials may be given to Samaritan’s Purse or Grace Hill Mennonite Church in care of Petersen Funeral Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wilma R. Harms, please visit our flower store.


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