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Watkins Heritage Chapel

Wilma Minnes Gumbel

Passed 01/19/2017

Obituary for Wilma Minnes Gumbel

WILMA HELENE MINNES GUMBEL Wilma Helene Minnes Gumbel passed Jan 19, 2017.

Born April 7, 1929 to Francis and Jewel (Landrum) Minnes, in the village of Lockland, north of Cincinnati, Ohio. She grew up in Lockland with her younger sister, Louise. The Minneses were loving people who became long-term foster parents for many children, especially John, Tony (Ernestine), Michael (Geraldine) and Betty Orso. They became part of Wilma's family and she loved the role of big sister.

Wilma graduated from Walnut Hills High School and matriculated to the University of Cincinnati. After two years she transferred to the Ohio State University where she earned a degree in Music Education in 1950. She was recruited to teach in Kansas City, Kansas, where she taught sixth grade at Stowe School. Wilma was introduced to a young optometrist, Dr. Elton Gumbel by their mutual friends, the Alexanders; they married in 1952. They had six children: Francis (Gracie), Elton (Marietta), Geraldine Haile (Richard), Paul (Joselyn), Roberta (Rapheal Prevot) and Alan (Marva). They had 15 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Wilma returned to classroom teaching in Kansas City, Missouri public schools, first as a long- term substitute, then as a permanent teacher at Wendell Phillips. She later became a music teacher and consultant for the school district. She also served as principal of St. Therese Little Flower School. In the 1980's, Wilma became Elton's office manager in his optometric practice and they worked together for 20 years.

The Gumbels were devoted members of the Catholic community at Annunciation Church (later Risen Christ) and served the parish in many capacities. Wilma directed the Annunciation Church choir for several years. They later became members of Nativity Parish in Independence. Wilma was blessed with many interests and talents. She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In Kansas City, she was a member of the Voguettes, a social club. She returned to college in the 1970's and earned a Master's degree in Education at the University of Missouri- Kansas City. She had a glorious classically trained soprano voice and her family loved to hear her sing. She was a member and past president of the Kansas City Musical Club. She was a founding member of the Ebony Chorale, a vocal group based at Centennial UMC. Wilma and Elton developed many enduring family friendships, which included Dewey and Norma Alexander, Arthur and Barbara Allen, Titus and Ernestine Collins, Bennie and Catherine Daugherty, Robert and Violetta Harris and Virgil and Alma Work. She was also a devoted and much-loved "Aunt Wilma" to many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents and siblings, husband Elton, grandson Paul and son-in-law Rapheal Prevot. Services will be held at St. John Francis Regis Church, 8941 James A. Reed Road, Kansas City, with visitation at 8:30 a.m. and funeral Mass at 9:30. Interment will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 7601 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown. As an alternative to flowers, contributions may be made to St. Therese Little Flower Church (58th and Euclid, Kansas City) for its senior center.

Watkins Heritage Chapel 4000 Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd Kansas City, Missouri 64130 816-861- 3030.

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