Mrs. Calender passed from this life on Saturday, August 24, 2019 in Kilgore surrounded by her loving family. Born May 20, 1921 in Caddo Mills, Texas, she was the oldest of eight children born to Ernest and Pauline Stansel. Wilma was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 71 years, John Calender; her brothers Harry, Dubart, Edsel, and Jesse; and her sister, Dorothy Chevalier. Wilma spent her younger years in Navarro, where she attended elementary school. Her family moved to East Texas, where she then attended school at Laird Hill before graduating from Kilgore High School in 1937. At the age of 16, she was baptized in a pond near Leverett’s Chapel. She married John Calender on October 31, 1941 in Quinlan, Texas. During World War II, Wilma followed her husband to Sioux City, Denver, and Waynesville, Missouri before settling in Kilgore in 1946. She enjoyed being a homemaker and mother of four children. For more than forty years, Wilma taught pre-school age children in Sunday School at Laird Hill Baptist Church and later at First Baptist Church of Liberty City, where she was currently a member. One of her passions was baking birthday cakes for the little members of her class. Other hobbies included quilting, sewing, canning vegetables from her garden, and fishing at Lake Florey. Those left to cherish her memory are her brother, Bobby Joe Stansel of Hackberry, Louisiana; and her sister, Mary Cox of Dumas, Texas; sons Reo Calender of Kilgore and Ardist Earl Calender and his wife, Cindy of Willis; daughters Janna Klein and her husband, Patrick of Vanderpool; Lawanna Williams and her husband, Tony, of Kilgore; sister-in-law Virginia Richardson of Dallas, six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Help Ministry of First Baptist Church of Liberty City or the charity of your choice.
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