Obituary for Wilma Harman

Ponca City Now - July 5, 2024 3:47 pm

Wilma Irene Harman

July 27, 1933 – July 3, 2024

On July 3, 2024, God opened His gate to welcome Wilma I. (Masters) Harman into His Heavenly choir. It just so happened that a new position had been prepared specifically for her. Wilma gladly accepted as she could never say “no” when it came to music in any way.

Wilma was born to Lloyd and Verna (Davis) Masters on July 27, 1933, at their home in the Ponca City area.

At a young age, the family moved to an area northwest of Nardin. This is when her parents’ noticed Wilma was quite intrigued by music and opened that world to her. At the age of 6, she was introduced to Lucille Donnelly to begin accordion lessons. Quickly it was determined that the accordion was larger than she was, so a smaller one was purchased to accommodate her small frame. Wilma continued to study with Lucille through grade school. During this period, Wilma entertained PTA’s around the area, competed in contests, and was approved for a scholarship with a music group affiliation of Mrs. Donnelly. Her piano journey began with Ella Darland of Deer Creek. Soon after, Mrs. Donnelly introduced Wilma to Alan Stone of Blackwell where she continued with her piano lessons. At Mr. Stone’s suggestion, she began learning the organ. Wilma gave her first piano solo recital while a junior in high school for family and friends. Mr. Stone told her it was like a college recital!

Wilma graduated from Deer Creek High School, where she played varsity basketball and worked in the principal’s office. While attending Nardin Methodist church, Wilma met Lyman F. Harman, the man with whom she would continue her life’s journey. After a short courtship, they married between Lyman’s basic training and assigned duties in the U.S. Navy. When not traveling with Lyman, she worked at Locke’s Dress shop and was a dental assistant for Dr. C.L. Hooper.

Lyman and Wilma moved to Blackwell in 1957 with their growing family Lyman Wayne (5), Lee (2), and she was pregnant with their third son, David. She continued her music career with the Blackwell Methodist Church, she sang with the choir, and was assistant organist and pianist. She then joined the “Mother Singers” and eventually became their accompanist. In 1962, Wilma completed her family when she gave birth to twin daughters, Karen and Sharon.

In 1965, she became the organist for the First Christian Church eventually becoming choir director and music chairman, a “job” she adored for 52 years. Concurrently, in 1965, Wilma became the music teacher of the Braman Public School system. In 1973, she became the assistant director of the Roustabouts at Northern Oklahoma College, enjoying many music obligations throughout a 30-year tenure.

Interspersed throughout these years, she continued her formal education at NOC, Northwestern Oklahoma State University at Alva, and attained her Master of Music Education at The Wichita State University. She continued giving private accordion, piano, organ, and voice lessons in her home. She organized and often directed many community musicals, celebrations, and music related events, including organizing and directing the “Wheatheart Sweet Adelines”.

Wilma retired from full-time employment at NOC in 2002 and was honored in 2018 at the NOC Roustabouts Alumni Reunion. After retiring from NOC, she spent a few years caring for her husband before she returned to the classroom. She spent several years working at Blackwell Public Schools as a high school choir accompanist, and she also played for several school musicals.

In 2017, Wilma retired from full time teaching, because of her health, but continued to keep up with her students from NOC and Blackwell.

Wilma had a charismatic presence about her, greeting all with a smile, a chuckle, and a hug. She was patient, kind, and never felt a need to restrain her affections. She was known for becoming close with her students and friends, sharing her family with them, as her door was always open.

Her warmth will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved her. She made an unforgettable mark with her music and her love.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Lloyd and Verna Masters, and older brother Charles as an infant. The love of her life, Lyman Frank, grandson Michael Lee Harman, great granddaughter Montana Glenny, great grandson Jase Brower, in-laws Ann & Glen Price, son-in-law Bob McGowan, and very special friends & godparents to their children, Bob & Marie Bayles.

Wilma is survived by her older brother Wayne (Karen) Masters of Buena Vista, AR. Her children, Lyman Wayne (Charlotte) Harman of Fallon, Nevada; Lee Edwin (Patty) Harman of Blackwell, OK; David Clift of Spring Hill, TN; Karen Kay Harman-McGowan of the home; Sharon Gay (Tom) Harman-Hill of Glade, KS; bonus daughter Alice Bayles Kelly. She is also survived by her grandchildren; Greg (Michelle) Harman, Staci (Joey) Handy, Kari (Jason) Maness, Grady Harman, Jeff (Karen) Glenny, Amanda Glenny, Sarah Glenny, Brittany (Jason) Brower, Jennifer Brumley, Jessica (Jeff) Jordan, Jared (Jessica) Harman, Misti (Morgan) Carmichael, Shelby Yearout, Cory (Lauren) White, 27 great grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren. The family expresses grateful appreciation for special caretaker and family friend LaNell Horton and Hospice of North Central Oklahoma.

Services are scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 9th in the First Christian Church in Blackwell with Jimmy Berkenbile officiating. Burial will follow in the Mt. Olive Cemetery in Nardin, Oklahoma.

Honorary casketbearers are Jared Harman, Bart Cox, Bill Hall, Rick Edgington and Dineo Heilmann. Casketbearers are Jason Maness, Morgan Carmichael, Cory White, Joey Handy, Greg Harman and Grady Harman.

In Lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Blackwell Music Booster’s Association in memory of Wilma Harman.

Funeral Services will be Live-streamed: