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Wilma Grote
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Obituary for Wilma Grote

Our beloved Wilma Grote, of Morehead, died on August 18, 2018, at her home. She was the kindest person any of us ever knew. She loved her family and friends wholeheartedly. She was funny, smart, strong, poised and sassy.

Wilma was an Illinois farm girl who grew up knowing how to feed a hungry crowd and mind her younger siblings. She loved to sing hymns and country gospel, and to listen to all good music, especially Nat King Cole.

She was a teacher of gifted elementary-school children, high school social studies, college English, and was an ESL tutor. Earlier on, she substituted in several one-room schoolhouses in Illinois and Kentucky.

She met her future husband, C. Nelson Grote, as a freshman at Eastern Illinois State Teachers College in 1945. They were married in 1949 and enjoyed 69 years of marriage, having an agreement never to go to bed angry with each other. Nelson became president of Morehead State University in 1987 and Wilma was his steadfast partner in many university activities.

Wilma was a long-time member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Morehead, was on the founding board of Morehead Habitat for Humanity and helped raise funds to build their first house. She was a hospice and meals-on-wheels volunteer, helped create the Folk Art Museum, was on the founding board of the Morehead Theater Guild, and helped form Morehead's PEO chapter. She was active on the commission that proposed the Women’s Studies program at MSU, and later the Wilma E. Grote Symposium for the Advancement of Women was created in her honor.

She is survived by her husband Nelson; her children Carol, Jan and Mark; her grandchildren Jamie, Jessie, Matt and Zach; and her great-grandchildren Wynne, Linnea, Brody, Cora, Luca and Emilia. Her son Steven died at age seven in 1973. She is also survived by her sister Doris and her brother Joe, both of Illinois. Her brother Tom preceded her in death. Wilma is deeply loved and will be missed.

A Celebration of Life will be conducted 1 p.m. Tuesday, August 21, 2018, at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with the Rev. Molly Smothers and the Rev. Donald Chase officiating. Interment will follow in Lee Cemetery.

Pallbearers: Mark Etherton, Wayne Fields, Sonny Jones, Matt Jones, Skip Vencill, Mark Grote, Joseph Ireland, and Greg McGee. Honorary pallbearers: Betty and John Philley and caregivers LeighAnn Adams, Judy Layne, Pat Sexton, Sherry Layne, Kesia Whitt, and Crystal Otis.

Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Tuesday, August 21, 2018, at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 227 East Main Street, Morehead, KY 40351.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the C. Nelson and Wilma E. Grote Scholarship Endowment, Morehead State University, MSU Foundation, 150 University Blvd., Box 1887, Morehead, KY 40351.

Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals in Morehead is caring for arrangements.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Wilma Grote, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Morehead First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

227 East Main Street
Morehead, KY 40351





1:00 PM
Morehead First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

227 East Main Street
Morehead, KY 40351

Cemetery Details


Lee Cemetery

Lee Cemetery Road
Morehead, KY 40351


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