‚ÄúTell my friends I‚Äôm not a wimp!‚ÄĚ whispered a dying Alan D. Wilma into the phone to one of his friends. Then Al turned in his hospital bed and managed a smile at his wife, Saundra, and their daughter, Genevieve.
Even as Al lay dying at Holy Family Hospital in Spokane, he did not lose his courage or his wry sense of humor. Alan was a most unusual man. He was intuitive, immensely intelligent and imaginative. All who truly knew him enjoyed his wit and ironic sense of humor.
Alan Delos Wilma, retired Colville CPA, died in the arms of his loving wife, Saundra, on Dec. 30, 2013. Al was fortunate to have his closest family and friends accompany him through the last week of his life‚Ä¶in person, in thoughts or in prayers. For his greatest and last Christmas wish, he re¬¨ceived the Sac¬¨raments of Confession, Communion, Confirma¬¨tion and Last Rights, all on the celebrated day of our Lord‚Äôs birth. He was ec¬¨static to become a member of the Catholic Church. Thank you Father Uche!
Al was born (and raised) in Longview on March 14, 1945. His father and mother, Delos and Agnes Wilma, who preceded him in death only by a few years, raised him to be a good citizen, a Boy Scout and a God-loving Methodist. These attributes served him well as he attended schools in neigh¬¨boring Kelso and Longview. He graduated from Washington State University in 1968 with a BA in Business Administration. He was a member of ROTC and the National Society of Scabbard and Blade.
After graduation, Al became a proud officer of the U.S. Army. He was fond of saying he was made ‚Äúan officer and a gentleman‚ÄĚ by an Act of Congress. Al served in Korea as a 2900 Headquarters Unit Commander. He was honorably dis¬¨charged as First Lieutenant on Sept. 14, 1970 and re¬¨turned to Washington State University to complete his education as a Certified Public Accountant.
Alan D. Wilma, CPA, was a mainstay on Main Street in Colville for many years. In addition to operating his own firm, Alan had been a beer distributor, a stockbroker and the CFO of Vaagen Brothers Lumber. He always liked to tell people that as a student, he was in the strawberry business; he was a ‚Äúpicker‚ÄĚ...
Then, sometime during the last of the 20th century, he met Saundra (Berger) Carter, Interior Designer. Neither of their worlds were ever the same. They emitted an unparalleled aura of love and true friendship. Saundra was happy just to be with Al as he enjoyed his favorite sport, fly fishing, on their Deep Creek property, or boating at their Waiits Lake home. Al also loved to spend time reading about the American Civil War and WW II. He studied the considerable battles and blunders of war and admired all the great soldiers of history.
Al and Saundra married, had their daughter, Genevieve, and purchased with friends, John and Donna Armstrong, Eg¬¨ger Furniture in Colville (not necessarily in that societal cor¬¨rect order). Al and Saundra operated ‚ÄúSaundra‚Äôs Furniture‚ÄĚ store on Main Street for 20 years until it unfortunately burned to the ground in a spectacular fire on Feb. 15, 2013. They relocated their retail operation to their warehouse on Wynne Street in Colville and were in the process of formulating plans for a re¬¨placement building on Main Street when their Comptroller and close friend, Gary Young, CPA, passed away. With his business burned, his close friend dead and corporate taxes due. Al dis¬¨covered he had stage four colon cancer. Naturally, Al rendered unto Caesar and finished the taxes, including all his tax cli¬¨ents‚Ä¶for the last time. He has left a legacy to his ca¬¨pable daughter, Genevieve, who will now continue to operate the fur¬¨niture business.
Al is survived by his wife, Saundra Wilma, at the home; daughter, Genevieve Wilma, Colville; a son, Tim and Trina Carter, Spokane; step-children, Kathy Moss and husband, Jesse, Cut Bank, MT; Michael Carter, Hawaii; John Carter and his wife, Jennifer, Osburn, ID; Jacob Carter and his wife, Shandy, Coeur d‚Äô Alene, ID; siblings, Gail Miltimore, Enumclaw; Don Wilma, Longview; Mary Parker and her husband, Steve, Castle Rock; Lucy Wilma and her husband, Max Ericson, Seattle; favorite uncle, Doug Wilma and his wife, Sheila, Spokane; grandchildren, Ryan, Jeremy, Aaron, Zebulon, Celeste Margret, Samantha, Steven and the in vitro fraternal Carter twins; also niece and nephews, Ti Louise, Guy and Brandon.
Saundra‚Äôs first gift to Alan was a book of maxims by 17th century Jesuit, Baltasar Gracian: The Art of Worldly Wis¬¨dom. A particular passage coexists with Al‚Äôs philosophy:
Adapt Yourself to your Company. There is no need to show your ability before everyone. Employ no more force than is necessary. Let there be no unnecessary expenditure either of knowledge or of power. The skilful falconer only flies enough birds to serve for the chase. If there is too much display today, there will be nothing to show tomorrow. Always have some novelty wherewith to dazzle. To show something fresh each day keeps expectation alive and conceals the limits of capacity.‚ÄĚ
Services for Mr. Alan D. Wilma began with a Vigil Rosary Jan. 9, followed by the Funeral Mass on Friday, 1 p.m., Jan. 10, both at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Colville--Father Daniel Barnett as celebrant.
Memorial contributions may be given to the Tri-County Veterans Standdown, a community-based intervention program designed to help our homeless Veterans, P.O. Box 1062, Kettle Falls, WA, 99141.
Please visit the online memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com.
Danekas Funeral Chapel & Crematory is entrusted with the arrangements.