Wilma I. Fosholt
May 10, 1923 - September 7, 2021

Wilma I. Fosholt

Wilma I. Fosholt
May 10, 1923 - Sep 7, 2021

Wilma I. Fosholt

MUSCATINE, Iowa - Wilma I. Fosholt, 98, of Muscatine, passed away on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, at SunnyBrook of Muscatine.

Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, September 10, 2021, at the Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home. Reverend Susan Bantz will officiate. Pallbearers will be Nick Ratcliff, Ron Munday, Eric Schnedler, John Jesson, and as Wilma always referred to them, the Church Boys, David, Albert, Frank, and Harry. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Friday, September 10, 2021, at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran Church, Muscatine Arboretum, Salvation Army, or Muscatine Garden Club. Online condolences may be made at www.wittichfuneralhome.com.

Wilma was born on May 10, 1923, to Royce and Ruby (Main) Partington, at their home on a farm near Cairo. She attended Cairo rural school from first through eighth grade, walking 1 ½ miles each way. She graduated from Wapello High School in 1940, and later obtained an A.A. degree from Muscatine Junior College in 1959. After high school she obtained a teaching certificate from Iowa State Teacher College in Cedar Falls. Wilma taught rural country school for several years and spent most of her career as a professional executive secretary for Carver Pump Company/Bandag and Stanley Consultants. She was the first secretary in Muscatine to obtain the Certified Professional Secretary rating. Wilma served one year as Iowa State Secretary for the National Secretaries Association.

She married Harlan L. Johnston on September 1, 1946. Four sons were born to the marriage. After 26 years of marriage, they divorced. She married Sanford K. Fosholt on September 20, 1974.

Wilma was a member of many organizations and chose those that helped people, or that benefited the environment as well as some for her professional education. Some of those were the Muscatine Garden Club, Muscatine Arboretum, Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary, DAR, state and local genealogical and historical societies, Friends of the Mill, and Women of the Moose. She served as an officer, as well as on many of their committees. Wilma was a member of the First Baptist Church for many years but transferred to the Zion Lutheran Church upon her marriage to Sanford Fosholt.

She and Sanford loved to travel which they did extensively. They traveled around the world twice and visited over 64 countries in the world as well as the 50 states in the United States. They traveled to Norway many times to visit many of Sanford's numerous second cousins. Perhaps one of the highlights of their travels was returning from Europe to the United States on the Super Sonic Concord with Elton John and Golfer Gary Player aboard. Sanford passed away at Vylkove, Ukraine, while they were on a cruise on the Danube River in August 1998.

Wilma spent many hours working in her beautiful yard and enjoying her flowers. In her later years, she continued to do some traveling but also spent much time making comfort tops for Lutheran World Relief and assisting with completing them at the Zion Lutheran Church.

She will be sadly missed by sons, Greg Johnston and his fiancé, Holly Oppelt, Doug Johnston, Rocky Johnston and his wife, Penny. Her son Mark in 2020 and his wife Fran in 2011 preceded Wilma in death. Also missing her will be her grandsons, Aaron Johnston and his wife, Lisa, and their children, Rhett and Cleo, of Sherman Oaks, California; and granddaughters, Katie Schnedler and her husband, Eric, and their children, Madelynn, Dylan, and Devyn, of Tiffin, and Maggie Johnston of Durant; her stepchildren, Linda Clark, Louise Jesson and her husband, John, and John Fosholt and his wife, Laura; and her step grandchildren, Rick Clark, Andy Jesson, Matt Jesson, Kris Fosholt, and Carl Fosholt.

Wilma is preceded in death by her husband; parents; half-brothers, Russel and Merle; brothers, Melvin, Delbert, and Ronald; sisters, Devene Frownfelter, Carol Stevens, Pauline Hixson, Merna Francis, and Donna Partington; grandson, Matt Johnston; great grandson, Ethan James Schnedler; and stepdaughter, Lucy Deyerberg.


Pam Hungate on Sep 15, 2021

So very sorry to hear about Wilma. I always enjoyed talking with her when I saw her. My thoughts and prayers to all of you. Pam Hungate

Gary Hixson on Sep 9, 2021

Wilma. my aunt, was my last connection to my mom, (Pauline) who I lost in 2002. I enjoyed picking her mind and she was always spot on and very specific. Living in Tennessee but, an Iowa Farm boy, she asked me to come see her whenever we came home and in her words, "Come see me as long as I'm here". That was her spirit and it is contagious. Wilma, When I come home, I'll come see you again. Those of you not familiar with the Partington's, this was who there were and area. FAMILY was the bedrock of who they were and area. Thanks boys for sharing her with all of us.. Gary Hixson - Nephew..

Dennis Hixson on Sep 9, 2021


In 1961, Dad had been planning a fishing trip with Uncle Dean to Canada. When Dad got to go fishing with Dean this was something that he talked and planned about for a couple months in advance, ordering special fishing supplies from the Herters Sports catalogue, talking to Dean long distance a couple times through the week and of course talking all about it to Mom.

Mom was more of a family person, I feel certain, when it came to vacationing. She really did not like it that he was taking a vacation and not involving the family but did not say too much.

So she was talking to her sister Wilma and they came up with a vacation of their own. She presumably left Shirley and Karen with grandparents while the two of them put together this vacation plan.

Wilma, Greg, Doug, Mark and Rocky along with Mom, Gary and I embarked on a vacation in Wilma's 1949 Mercury with these 6 boys! Not even sure how that many got in the car but Rocky was little enough that he slept in the back window!! Can you imagine? This would have been in 1961 when seat belts were just beginning to be talked about.
Tent camping in Chicago vicinity,
Chicago Museum of History
Chicago Museum of Science and Industry,
Chicago Cubs ballgame,
Indiana Dune State Park tent camping,
Muskegon Mich tent camping and surprise visit to Uncle Russell & Aunt Dora, (got in trouble for this pop-in visit without notification).
Rode the Milwaukee Clipper, a ship crossing Lake Michigan going from Muskegon, Mi to Milwaukee, Wi, (an all night trip with car included),
Across Wisconsin going to Dickeyville Grotto,
LaCrosse and/or Dubuque riding the 4th st Elevator or railway up the bluff
Then back home
Dad was at Wilma's when we arrived!! The tears did flow and that is when Dad confessed he would never be taking another vacation without Mom and the family.

Aunt Wilma was adventurous, obviously a great parent to take on such a move with 6 young boys!!

It had to have been about the fall of 1963. It was that time of the year to come up with $$ for kids school supplies and clothes. Leonard and Pauline had moved to the Blankenhorn farm east of Columbus Junction. This was about the time that Dad announced to us kids that Mom & he had decided what we needed was a little baby brother or sister, (later to become Kimberly Kay). It had been a good crop year however it was always a drain on cash flow to get the kids started back in school. I am certain Mom and Aunt Wilma dreamed up this plan. We hand picked a car trunk full of sweet corn and took it to Muscatine to Aunt Wilma's neighborhood where Greg, Doug, Gary and I went door-to-door selling a dozen hears of sweet corn for $.60/dozen and raised enough funds to make this work.Sold all of it, Mom & Wilma driving us to block by block and emptied the trunk!

Aunt Wilma knew no strangers, and loved to travel.

What a great family, and what a great Aunt. She will be sorely missed.

From: Nephew Dennis Hixson

Dyann Roby on Sep 8, 2021

May the promise of eternal life grant comfort to the entire family.
Wilma and Sanford were faithful servants.
Dyann & Dave Roby

Jean Eichelberger on Sep 8, 2021

I got to know Wilma through the National Secretaries group in Muscatine and enjoyed seeing her throughout the years, including at Sunnybrook. She was always very nice and personable. RIP

Vada Timm on Sep 8, 2021

Sorry to hear of the passing of Wilma. We were members of the DAR together and I always enjoyed her friendship. RIP.



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Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home
1931 Houser Street
Muscatine, IA 52761
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home
1931 Houser Street
Muscatine, IA 52761
1:00 PM

Wilma I. Fosholt

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