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Lois Wisdom - April 05, 2011


Lois Lydia Pope Wisdom was born May 7, 1933 in a farmhouse south of Paoli. She died April 5, 2011.

She was the sixth child of Helen Belle and Millard Fillmore Pope. In 1949, her parents purchased Pope Ranch 20 miles north of Wray. She remembered “moving day” vividly, as their home was moved from Haxtun. Sixteen-year-old Lois and her mom’s job was to make sure the pictures stayed hanging on the walls while the house moved down the road.

Lois attended grammar school in Paoli. During her freshman year of high school, she lived with Widow Milligan in Holyoke during the week. The next three years she attended Wray High School and graduated in 1951. She attended Northeastern Junior College for one year and graduated with a secretarial degree.

She dated Richard Earl Wisdom her senior year of high school and married the love of her life July 13, 1952. Richard was in the Marine Corps stationed at Buckley Air Force Base. During that time, their first child, Chris Lee, was born.

After Dick’s discharge from the Marine Corps, they moved back to the Wray area, working for Jack Carson’s Spraying Service, then custom haying on their own. The other four children, Vicky Wynne, Kent Richard, Van Wayne and Clint Earl, were all born in Wray over a span of 11 years.

Dick and Lois purchased the Wisdom Ranch in 1963 and raised cattle, sheep, hogs, corn, hay, chickens and kids. One of Lois’ favorite jobs on the farm was raising her chickens and gathering eggs.

She sold cream and eggs to have grocery money, and then using the profit of $10 a week, she would buy her baking staples and Dick’s cigarettes. Lois’ baking was known countywide; neighbors loved her pies, bread, meat, potatoes and especially her famous potato salad. No one ever left the Wisdom house hungry.

Lois loved the Wauneta Community and was active in teaching Farmers Union workshops during the summer to the area children and going to Farmers Union Camp in Bailey. She was an officer for many years, holding different offices in both the Wauneta Farmers Union and the Yuma County Farmers Union. She was an active member of the Wauneta Sandhills Club and a member of the Kitzmiller Grazing Association.

Her love for Jesus Christ was shown through her devotion to teaching children songs and stories about Him at Vacation Bible School and Sunday School at the Methodist Church and at the Wauneta Hall. Lois loved playing the piano and played for Methodist Church services in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Lois also drove a school bus for 30 years. She helped raise most of the kids north of Wray for a couple hours a day. For such a little thing, she could control a bunch of ornery, crazy farm kids. Most recall the eyes in the back of her head and wondering why the red light was always on. Most didn’t know it was the “over speed limit” light until high school. She would always say, “Sit down, keep quiet and hold on,” smiling the whole time.

Lois was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Earl Wisdom; grandchildren, Jeriad Wisdom, Noah Wisdom and Emily Wisdom; parents, Millard and Helen Pope; siblings, Jaunita and Kenneth Pope and Dora Kurtzer; and in-laws, Lawrence Wisdom and Spencer and Opal Newbanks.

She is survived by her children, Chris Wisdom and wife Barb, Vicky Southards and husband Marv, Kent Wisdom and wife Dorothy, Van Wisdom and Clint Wisdom and wife Renee; 21 grandchildren: Shawna Wisdom Fonte and husband Travis, Reghan and Mary Wisdom, Daniel Southards and wife Rachel, Beth Southards Law and husband Jason, Candice, Andrea and Spencer Wisdom, Jay Wisdom and Nick, Rachel, Erin, Krystal, Faith, Cassandra Joy, Russell, Sasha and Chloe Wisdom; seven great-grandchildren: Isaac, Terek and Hallie Southards, Addison Law and baby brother on the way, and Sydney, Wyatt and Sawyer Jane Fonte; brothers, Dan and Millard Pope; sister, Betty Austin; sisters-in-law, Marilyn Pope, Veda Pope, Carol Oakley and Eunice Wisdom; brother-in-law, Don Wisdom; and numerous nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces.

Funeral services were held April 8 at First Christian Church in Wray with Pastor Steve Wynkoop officiating. Burial was at Grandview Cemetery in Wray.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Plains, Simple Wisdom Ministries Inc. or The Alzheimer’s Association.

Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home in Wray was in charge of arrangements.