Irma Malee Schultz Wissman, 95 years old and our mom, spread her wings and flew to Jesus on May 12, 2023, surrounded by family. Her parents were Charles and Mona Schultz, and she was born on August 15, 1927 in a farmhouse near Heizer, Kansas during the Depression. She always felt that her family, as wheat farmers, was luckier than most during that epoch due to having the ability to raise chickens and keep a large garden. She moved into town to live with cousins during her high school years and attended a larger public school where she skipped a grade and graduated as valedictorian of her class at the age of 16.
She was employed by Natural Gas Pipeline Company and it is there that she met her husband and our dad, William Benjamin Wissman. They became engaged on Valentine’s Day and married on May 18, 1952. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary together before Dad’s passing in 2002. They had four children: Malee, Melissa, Mark David, and Don. Camping many weekends at Lake Kanopolis was the family pastime, graduating from a tent to a camper and broadening vacations to Colorado and South Dakota.
In 1968, Dad transferred to Lovington, New Mexico with NGPL and during the period in Lovington, Mom continued growing a large garden at our home east of town. She supported her children in their 4-H projects, which included showing rabbits, lambs, and horses, all the while perfecting her secret dill pickle recipe and winning the blue ribbon at the Lea County Fair more than once! She was a faithful member of Hillcrest Baptist Church for many years, eventually becoming a member of First Christian Church. After taking accounting classes at New Mexico Junior College, she became the bookkeeper at Mechanics Incorporated for several years. Mom learned to play the guitar, and she and Dad played their instruments together frequently. She loved walking and reading. She was a breast cancer survivor for over 20 years, and she was very proud and blessed by that.
After health issues with Dad, they moved to Hobbs, New Mexico to be closer to the kids. After Dad’s passing, Mom went to work for Dr. Lance Lee for many years. She became a member of First Christian Church in Hobbs. We also began traveling together, and she experienced many locations including Pennsylvania, Durango, Santa Fe, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Washington State (which included a very adventurous ferry ride to Whidbey Island), South Dakota, and Canada. Her 90th birthday found her flying in a helicopter through the Three Sisters Peaks (Faith, Hope and Love they were named) in Alberta, Canada.
Faith, love and hope symbolized how she lived her life. She was kind, gentle, devoted, and a great listener. She was a living example exemplifying a Christian life through her strong belief in Jesus Christ. It was her constant desire that all people would come to know Him as their Savior. She is laughing and singing with the angels today.
She always believed that her greatest job was taking care of her family and being a strong mother figure to her children. And she accomplished that to perfection. We can shed tears because she is gone, or we can rejoice because she lived. She was planted on Earth so that she could bloom in Heaven.
Preceding her in death are her parents, her husband “Bill,” her infant son Mark David, her brother, Wayne Schultz, her grandson Chad Simpson and his wife Sandra, her nephews Galen and Randy Schultz, her niece LaRee Reifschneider, and her beloved dogs, Tanner and Nicki .
Survivors include her children Malee Morin (Joey) Plainview, Texas, Melissa Simpson (Keith) Hobbs and Cloudcroft, New Mexico, Don Wissman, Hobbs, New Mexico, grandchildren Aaron Morin, Odessa, Texas and Alesha Walker (Zac), Plainview, Texas, nephew Kenneth Cocke (Diane) Safford, Arizona, nephew Brian Schultz, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, sister-in-law Evelyn Schultz Cosby, LaCrosse, Kansas, great grandchildren Rivers, Poppy, Kash, Emmarie, Caiden, Jude, Joaquin, great nephew Clay (Kathy) Safford, Arizona, and her beloved fur babies, Penny and Paco.
Many thanks to the entire staff at Desert Springs Healthcare and the third floor unit at Covenant Hospital for the loving care they gave mom.
Per her request there will be a small, family burial service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to New Mexico Children’s Home, 1356 NM 236, Portales, New Mexico 88130 (or donate online) and/or Gideon’s International.