HOWARD: Wilma Irene “Granny” Kent, 97, of Howard passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family Friday morning May 17, 2019.
Wilma, who was known to everyone as Granny was born January 18, 1922 at her family home on Coots Hill in Howard to the late Ira Coots and Effie (Gulliver) Armstrong.
Wilma was a life- long resident of Howard. As a child she attended the one room school house on South Woods Road. She later attended Canisteo Central School and graduated in 1938, the very first class to graduate from the centralized district. Following school, she worked as a live-in nanny and housekeeper for Dr. Leon Roe.
Wilma and Frank were married on October 10, 1942 while he was on leave from the Service. In November she joined him in Madison, Wisconsin where he was stationed at Truax Field. During the four months they were there Wilma worked at the Oscar Myer and Co Meat Packing plant in the sausage packing department and the box shop. When Frank was transferred to Puerto Rico she returned home and worked in the horseradish plant owned by Raymond and Pauline Kamenuk.
When Frank returned from the service, they began farming on the farm that had belonged to her grandparents Thomas and Olive (Stewart) Gulliver, where she lived for the remainder of her life. They began farming with horse drawn equipment and slowly upgraded the farm over the years, eventually milking 80 dairy cows.
After she retired from farming, she spent some time working at the Hartsville General Store owned by Tom and Joyce DeWall.
Wilma’s family was very important to her. She was a devoted mother and grandmother and very proud matriarch of a five-generation family. She had a special relationship with each family member.
Even though she felt that she did not belong in the modern world, she mastered the art of texting and was able to keep in touch with family and friends. At family gatherings it was not unusual to see her texting just like the younger generations.
Wilma was a lifelong member of the Buena Vista Church. In her younger years she played an active role in the young adult group. Her love of her lord and savior was a comfort and blessing to her always. She was an inspiration to everyone who knew her.
Everyone knows that Wilma loved ice cream. Wherever she went people asked her if she was getting ice cream today and they looked forward to seeing her pictures of her latest adventures.
Wilma’s advice to everyone was always, “don’t get old.”
Wilma was predeceased by her husband Frank Kent, a son Paul Kent, her brother Cameron Coots, three sisters, Norine Edgett, Neola Barnard and Pauline Kamenuk, a nephew, Archie Coots and niece Denzil Abbott.
Wilma is survived by three daughters: Evelyn (Carl) Patterson of Hornell, Audrey Campbell of Olean and Joyce (Thomas) DeWall of Hartsville, 7 grandchildren: Patty (Dave) Grumbine, Jonathan and Scott Campbell, Shawn (Denise) Kent, Brian (Jennifer) Kent, Amy (Sean) Emerson, Jason (Amanda Smith) DeWall, 9 Great-Grand Children: Shawna (Colin) Valenta, Caitlin (Tyler) Jaggi, Bobby Brownell, David Grumbine, Teaeria Campbell, Ierla (Sebastian Gowins) Campbell, Caleb, Brielle, and Brianna Kent, Jeremiah Howard, John Emerson and Elizabeth (Evan Schroeder) Emerson, James and Colin Smith, 5 Great Great-Grandchildren: Aiden, Abigail, and Alex Valenta, Thea Jaggi and Elizabeth Gowins, and her extended family Diane Kent, Scott Smith and Marleen Varina.
The family will receive friends from 1-3 and 6-8 pm Monday at the H.P. Smith & Son, Inc. Funeral Home, 29 East Main St. in Canisteo. A funeral service will take place Tuesday at 11:00 am at the Buena Vista Wesleyan Church, 6034 County Route 69, Canisteo, with pastor Daniel Pickering officiating. Burial will be in Howard Cemetery, Howard, N.Y.
Memorial contributions in Wilma’s name may be made to either the Buena Vista Wesleyan Church, 6034 County Route 69, Canisteo, N.Y. 14823 or to Care First, 3805 Meads Creek Rd., Painted Post, N.Y. 14870.
Online condolences and memories may be shared at hpsmithandsonfuneralhome.com.