WESTFORD/ST. ALBANS — Wilma Wells Cowie. The elegant adventurer. Born Aug. 13, 1918, to Ernest R. and Hazel (Jenne) Wells, died March 27, 2016. Wilma’s final years were spent in her hometown of St. Albans, less than one block from where she grew up on Upper Welden Street. Her connection to St. Albans spanned almost ten decades from her birth and childhood, to a lengthy career at Peoples Trust Company Bank, to memories of recreation at their camp out on Hathaway Point, to community involvement including serving on the board of directors for The King’s Daughters home, where she eventually lived for the last eight years. It was here where she lived, and where she passed peacefully in her sleep, comfortable and surrounded by her family near the end.
Wilma and her late husband Francis shared a deep passion and respect for the natural world. Together they created, cultivated, and cared for over 100 acres of wildlife refuge that surrounded their home in Westford, Vermont. They worked tirelessly to preserve nature here, and their hours of dedication are evident. Part of their dream included seeing the land worked and appreciated by others, to this end Wilma and Francis undertook resurrecting an old 1800’s sugarhouse with the White family. The sugar bush that stands today is a testament to their dedication.
Never idle, Wilma involved herself with many local groups. She was a long time member of the Westford United Church and devoted her time to The King’s Daughters Home, The St. Albans Historical Society and Museum, The St. Albans Garden Club, volunteered at the former Kerbs Memorial Hospital, The Friendly Circle and also served on the Board of Directors for the Greenwood Cemetery.
Wilma was no stranger to adventure, spending her younger years carving up the slopes at Underhill ski bowl. She swam, hiked, and soaked in the outdoors around her. Well into her 70’s she was dumped countless times off the back of a snowmobile, breaking trails in the fresh powder on her refuge. Her brisk pace, clever wit and sharp mind kept all around her on their toes right up to the days before her death, while her loving heart embraced and comforted all who had the pleasure of knowing her.
Wilma is predeceased by her loving husband, Francis M. Cowie, and her sister, Marjorie A. Wells. She is survived by her ‘children; Robert and Joan White and their children, Chris White and his wife, Lindsay; Sarah White and her fiancé, Mark St. Amour, and the many friends and family who shared her life.
Friends may call on Monday, April 4, 2016 from noon until 1 p.m. at the Heald Funeral Home, 87 South Main Street, St. Albans.
A funeral service will follow at 1 p.m. at the Heald Chapel with the Reverend William Simmons, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of St. Albans officiating. Interment will occur later this spring in the Cowie Family lot at Greenwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Wilma’s memory to the St. Albans Historical Society, P.O. Box 722, St. Albans, VT 05478 or the Westford United Church, P. O. Box 429, Westford, VT 05445.
Messages of condolence are welcome at www.healdfuneralhome.com.