Wilma Frances Shilling passed away on July 21, 2023. In her ninety-six years, she has lived a full life devoted to family and friends.
Born in Penelope, Texas on February 27, 1927 to John V. and Mary E. (Karlik) Marek, she was the first of four children. There was a set of train tracks that ran by their farm and her mom and dad would tell her she was thrown from the train one day when they found her.
Along with her three brothers, Henry, Edward and Gene, they were raised on the family farm during the great depression and World War II. They grew up plowing the fields behind a mule, chopping and picking cotton. She would often tell tales of the antics with her brothers while picking cotton and living on the farm.
She loved playing basketball every Sunday after church and her mother would occasionally take all the children skating after school.
Upon graduating high school in Penelope, she moved to Waco, Texas and began life away from the farm. Her first jobs away from the farm were at the Fruit Cake Co. and waitressing at the hotel dining room in Waco.
In the early nineteen-fifties, Wilma met Harold Shilling and they were married in nineteen-fifty-three. This started her live as the wife of a career soldier in the United States Marine Corps. They often moved every few years for station to station and sometimes with very short notice. During their forty-three years together, they bore and raised three sons (Bobby, James, Michael).
Wilma was known as “Mama” to all the friends her sons gained throughout the years. She would cook for any and all who would come to the house, take care of them and help them if needed. Everyone would call her Mama and they still do to this day.
Wilma has gained daughters through the years as her sons have married. She is most proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Wilma was devout in her faith as a Catholic. She would watch the Catholic channel, pray, and say her rosary daily. Her faith meant very much to her.
She was also a devout Dallas Cowboy and Texas Aggie fan. She would often yell at the TV while watching their games as the teams were not playing well. This happened a lot in the past years.
In the last eighteen years, she lost her husband and youngest son. She has outlived the friends of her youth and the brothers that were precious to her heart. Mama has had a life of joys and sorrows. Though God has taken her to a finer place, there is a hole here now. She will be missed!