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1924 Wilma 2021

Wilma Deford

February 3, 1924 — July 31, 2021

Wilma Mary Teresa (Otterstein) DeFord, 97, of Grant, Neb., passed away Saturday, July 31, 2021, at the Perkins County Hospital in Grant. Wilma was born February 3, 1924 at Plattsmouth, Neb., to Richard and Mary (Bulin) Otterstein. At the age of seven Wilma lost her mother to Tuberculosis. Her mother's death was very hard on her and her brothers.

In her early 20s, Wilma supported the war effort by serving as a Rosie the Riveter and working in a munitions factory in Omaha during World War II. Wilma was always proud to be able to have served her country in this capacity.

After the war, Wilma took a nanny job for a family friend in Madrid, bringing her to western Nebraska. It was during a dance in Ogallala, Neb., that she met Romaine DeFord. The two were married on June 17, 1946. Their union was blessed with three children, Janet, Alan, and Carl.
Wilma helped to support her young family by working alongside her mother-in-law, Emma DeFord, in her game dressing business near Ogallala. It was a job that she greatly enjoyed. From greeting people who brought in their game, to the repetition of processing the birds, Wilma found satisfaction in the profession.

With the passing of her mother-in-law, Wilma went to work at TRW/American Shizuki in Ogallala, where she retired after 25 years of service. She continued to live in Ogallala for several years after her retirement, but then moved to Sunset Haven in Grant to be closer to her daughter. In 2015 she became a resident of Park Ridge Assisted Living in Grant until the time of her death.
Wilma will be remembered for the tremendous impression she had on everyone she met. Through her humble, soft-spoken manner and quick wit, those who got to know Wilma could not help but smile, laugh, and leave her side with love in their heart.

Although she struggled with macular-degeneration and back problems later in life, and in the end heart problems, she was sharp-as-a-tack up until the last moments. Wilma's mind never failed her. For her family and friends it was especially joyous to hear Wilma recall so many memories from her 97 years on this earth.

Wilma was a fiercely devoted and loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her door was always open to her grands and great-grands, and she was always ready with the toys on the shelf, cartoons on the TV, her special mashed potatoes and gravy, or a can of Spaghetti-O's in the cupboard for when anyone dropped by. She never forgot a birthday or holiday, and her Rosary beads were worn thin from the many, many prayers sent Heavenward for those she loved.

In her younger years, Wilma loved to go to garage sales and find treasures of all kinds. She would then turn around and wheel-and-deal with her friends for things that they might have found at another sale that day or something else they wanted to barter. Wilma also loved to dance when she was younger, and to watch Judge Judy and to listen to Mother Angelica on EWTN later in life. Most of all, Wilma loved Jesus and was devoted to her Catholic faith. Wilma will be greatly missed by her family and friends who loved her.

Wilma was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Dick, Don, and Gerald Otterstein; son-in-law, Dean Lagler; and granddaughter, Lori Lagler.

Survivors include her three children, daughter Janet Lagler of Grant, Neb., son Alan (Mary) DeFord of Herriman, Utah, and son Carl (Ida) DeFord of Blue Hill, Neb. Eight Grandchildren: Mark (ReBecca) Lagler of Grant, Neb., Becky (Aaron) Uehling of Grant, Neb., Katie Arndt of Cozad, Neb., Heather (Matt) Rice of Olathe, Kans., Amanda Lambrecht of Baytown, Texas, John DeFord of Canon City, Colo., Jeremiah (Harmonie) DeFord of Montana, and Joshua DeFord of Blue Hill, Neb. Fifteen Great-Grandchildren: Miles and Caleb Lagler; Alison Arndt; Casey, Colson, and Cadge Uehling; Lauren, Kyan, and Easton Rice; Cienna, and Peyton Lambrecht; Asher, Lena, Naomi, and Rosalie DeFord, along with other family and friends.

Cremation was chosen. Graveside services will be held at a later date in the Ogallala Cemetery with Fr. Thomas Bush from the Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church in Grant officiating

Condolences may be shared at Bullock-Long Funeral Home of Grant is in charge of arrangements
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wilma Deford, please visit our flower store.


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