Wilma Jane Murrell Locke – Obituary

By  | March 8, 2019 | Filed under: Obituaries, Williams Funeral Home
 Wilma Jane Murrell LockeWilma Jane Murrell Locke was born August 6, 1931, in the Rockdale community just south of her home town of Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee. She passed away on March 5, 2019, at Vanderbilt University Hospital. She was an only child born to the late Connor Ledford Murrell and Rubye Marie Lindsey Murrell.

Wilma was a 1949 graduate of Hay Long High School. She studied briefly at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tennessee before deciding to leave college to enter the workforce. On August 1, 1954, she married Henry Walter Locke, who preceded her in death in 2013. They devoted fifty-nine years together in Mount Pleasant where they raised their family.

She is survived by children Walter Timothy Locke (Jackie) of Alexandria, Virginia; Jane Marie Locke Anderson (Jim) of Columbia; and Anne Murrell Locke Schneider (Charles) of Nashville. Her descendants also include grandchildren Connor Lindsey Locke (Madeline), Washington, D.C.; Dudley Talbot Locke, Denver, Colorado; and Lindsey Locke Anderson of Nashville – all of whom held a special place in her heart.

Wilma was an uncommonly kind and candid woman who lovingly gained momentary notoriety when on January 1, 1972, she gave birth to the county’s first baby of the New Year, her daughter Anne Murrell.

She was passionate in her pursuit of her family’s genealogy and was an avid local history buff, contributing research to the late Jill K. Garrett who’s “Hither and Yon” writings recalled the diverse history of Maury County. As a life-long Mt. Pleasant resident, Wilma also provided many contextual facts to those creating the Maury Phosphate Museum. She held membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Maury County Historical Society, and she was a lifetime member of the James K. Polk Auxiliary. Wilma was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church in Mount Pleasant. She was passionate about her books and was a voracious reader. She once read that spending thirty minutes a day with a good book may add years to your life, she proclaimed that she would live forever as she far surpassed that goal.

To a certain extent, Wilma always regretted that she may have left her college studies prematurely. So, after Tennessee’s Board of Education picked Columbia as the location for one of three new community colleges, she set about to address that shortfall. In 1966, as a mother of two and homemaker, she enrolled in Columbia State Community College along with 392 others. Wilma only took Tuesday & Thursday courses, ever, but ultimately earned her Associates Degree in Education. At the time of her death, she was the oldest known CSCC alumni.

A private graveside service and burial will be held in Wilma’s memory at Arlington Cemetery in Mt. Pleasant. Family will receive friends at the Locke residence in Mt. Pleasant on Saturday, March 9 between 3:00-5:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, memorials made in her name to the President James K. Polk Home and Museum (301 West 7th Street, Columbia, TN 38401).

The family would like to recognize Special Friends: C.F. Alexander, Bill Alexander, Elizabeth and Billy Blackstone, Alan Blevins, Nan and Don Chunn, Martha Davis, Lawrence Douglas, Jodi Blevins-Duren, Mary Sue Fisher, Danny Hogan, Dawn Blocker Hudson, Candace Tron-Keeler, Mary Susan and Delk Kennedy, Donna and Dan Morency, Jeff Quirk, Anne Nicks Rochelle, Mary Rochelle, Gerri Sisco, Nancy Tron, Bill White, and Ferrell White. A very special thank you to Dr. Manny Sethi, at Vanderbilt Medical Center, for his care and compassion

Williams Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. You may send your condolences to the family at www.williamsfh.com

 

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