Wilma G. Haines, 93, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011.
She was born in Indiana County, a daughter of the late Ralph W. and Clara Gall of Punxsutawney.
She was married to Dr. W, Ardell Haines, who preceded her in death, of Sun City West, Ariz.
Mrs. Haines was a 1935 graduate of Punxsutawney High School and attended Indiana State Teachers College (now Indiana University of Pennsylvania). In 1937, she earned a two-year teaching certificate, which entitled her to teach in the rural area of Canoe Independent Township in the two-room country school where her father had taught 20 years earlier. After two years there, in 1939, she was assigned to the Henry School, and in 1940, to the first two grades in Adrian.
In 1941, Mr. and Mrs. Haines were married and moved to the Pittsburgh area. During World War II, Mrs. Haines accompanied her husband and lived in Baltimore and Atlanta, where he was serving in the Army.
In 1950, the Haines family moved to Cumberland, Md., where Dr. Haines was principal of Allegany High School and later president of Allegany College of Maryland.
While substitute teaching, Mrs. Haines pursued her full teacher certification at nearby Frostburg State University, earning a B.S. degree and a M.Ed. degree in elementary education.
She taught in the elementary schools of Allegany County, Md.: Cresaptown, Parkside in LaVale and the BelAir open-space school when it opened in September 1974. Prior to her retirement in 1980, Mrs. Haines was the “Nutrition Resource Teacher” in a project which featured “Cooking in the Classroom” in the elementary grades. She worked with elementary teachers, planning specific food experiences, including food preparation in the classroom, and conducting food demonstrations.
Mrs. Haines was an active member of the LaVale United Methodist Church in Cumberland. She was a dedicated Sunday School teacher during all of her years in Cumberland.
She was an artist in many crafts. She developed a high level of skill in both oil and watercolor and enjoyed this diversion over the years, resulting in very creative art which has decorated her home.
Mrs. Haines was also involved in many other arts and crafts, experimenting and perfecting her skills. These special crafts included calligraphy, flower arranging, stained glass, paper maché, plaster casting, sewing, embroidery, crocheting, knitting and quilting. She was also an ardent and skillful artist in the kitchen with foods, menus and specialties.
In Cumberland, Mrs. Haines taught many adult education classes in tailoring and home arts, such as slip covering, draperies and upholstery.
In 1988, the Haines family moved to the retirement community of Sun City West, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix, where Mrs. Haines became a member of the Sewing Club and taught classes in tailoring the Aurora Borealis quilted jacket.
She entered the Mrs. America contest in 1956 and was selected through local competition as Mrs. Maryland to represent the state of Maryland. The final contest involved homemaking skills exhibited during a week of homemaking at Elinor Village in Florida, where a selected homemaker represented each of the 50 states. They competed for the title of Mrs. America, which was won by Mrs. Oregon.
In Sun City West, Mrs. Haines soon became involved as a member of the Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church. With her husband, she was chairman of the Membership Development Committee for a period of three years, during which almost 300 new members joined the church. She also was chairman of the Fine Arts Committee of the church for several years.
In celebration and observance of the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary in 1991, Mrs. Haines wrote a biographical story of her life, “Every Day Will Be Sunday By and By.” She described memories of her early childhood as she visited her grandfather’s farm, the years in education and classroom teaching, the good times in her married life and the rewards and challenges in retirement years. The book was published and distributed as a surprise to the guests who were present April 12, 1991, for their 50th anniversary dinner.
Surviving relatives include a son, Dr Gordon A. Haines and wife Beverly (Brockman) of St. George, Utah; a brother, Ernest Gall of Jackson Mich.; and four sisters, Mrs. Eleanor Graff of Lafayette Ind., Mrs. James Jenkins of Green Bay Wis., Mrs. Gerald Leidy of Mt. Holly Spring, and Mrs. Evelyn Breting of Fountain Hills, Ariz.
A memorial service will be held Friday, Dec. 2, 2011, at the Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church.
Interment will be in the family plot in Circle Hill Cemetery, Punxsutawney.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made, if desired, to the LaVale United Methodist Church, Woodlawn Avenue, LaVale, Md. 21502 or to a charity of one’s choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Camino Del Sol Funeral Chapel, Sun City West, Ariz.