Wilma Jean Beckman, 85, was born on March 16, 1937, to Esther and Clarence Pope in Terry, Montana. The second daughter of three, they lived a happy childhood in a small town until the family moved to Miles City.
On June 6, 1958, Wilma married Robert “Bob” Beckman and lived in various places with his work for the Soil Conservation Service. Their favorite place to live was Swaziland, Africa. They went there twice for the State Department, and they loved it. It afforded them the opportunity to travel all over Europe as well as South America. From Africa, she collected copper artwork and plates, even bringing them back for family. The highlight of their lives was the birth of their only child, Eric. Eric was the light of their lives, and very doted on, and they were a happy family together.
In 2009 while in Arizona, Bob passed away and Wilma returned to Bozeman to live full time with her son; sadly Eric became very ill and passed away in 2011. Wilma remained there for a time and made the decision to move to Kalispell to be near remaining family. She bought a townhouse and proceeded to make a life for herself here. Her favorite color was pink; we could always count on her pink nails. She enjoyed cruises she took with family and friends. She enjoyed playing cards, so much so that she played six days a week with all her newfound friends. Wilma joined Central Christian Church where she made even more friends and a sense of community with them. She also belonged to the Kalispell Senior Center where a lot of card playing went on. She embraced her new life alone and was active right up to the moment she became ill.
Wilma was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bob, son Eric, and her sister Gloria Miller.
She is survived by her sister Barbara Armstrong, and nieces and nephews as follows: Jami Clark, Janna Weldele, Marri Clark, Julia Webster, Ronda Reed, Brenda Harper, Donald Rose, Kevin Miller and Keith Miller. Also surviving her are several great-nieces and -nephews as well as great-great-nieces and -nephews.
A special thanks to her nieces Brianne Steele and Amber Wynn who so lovingly cared for her in her final days. She left surrounded by them in the early morning of May 27, 2022. She has many waiting for her in heaven, and here she will be greatly missed.
A celebration of life will be held Friday, June 3, at 11 a.m. at the Central Christian Church.
Friends are encouraged to visit the website buffalohillfh.com to leave notes of condolence for the family. Buffalo Hill Funeral Home and Crematory is caring for the family.