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Wilma Iris Via, 90, Harrisburg, passed away peacefully Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 with her loving family at her side.  

Wilma was born Aug. 9, 1922, in Hurdland, Mo., and had lived in the Columbia area all of her life. Wilma was a member of the Woodlandville United Methodist Church and was formerly very active in the Senior Citizens Group in Columbia.  She was married to Romie Lee Burks and later in life to Robert Hartley Via.  

Wilma was preceded in death by her husband Robert Hartley Via in 1981, son James Lee Burks, daughter Deborah Sue Gay, grandson Ronnie Lee Burks, brother Craig Lile and sister Lillie Andrews.

She is survived by her children: Martha Wade (Roger), Ron Burks (Norma), Anna Osborn (Dean), Betty Retzloff (David), Lillie Downing (Charles) and Robert Via, her grandchildren: Shirladeen Day, Anna Tiffany (Charles), Tanya  Behrle (Jimmie), Yvonne Eckenrod (Kelly), Jamie Burks, Leslie Howard, Jeffrey Turner, Mark Turner (Tammy), Jeremiah Wade (Carmen), Jason Burks, Aaron Burks (René), Mikel Burks (Michelle), Don Osborn (Anna), Dean Osborn Jr., Betty Brison (John), Michelle Johnson (Eric), Jahia Murphy (JoAnna), Lauren Rodriguez-Retzloff (Rogelio), John Downing (Mary), Amy Crews, Lori Walker (William), Ashley Williams (Jay), Jennifer Via, Jessica Via and Justin Via, 50 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.  Wilma is also survived by the late Hartley Via family and her brother-in-law Harold Andrews and his family, numerous nieces, nephews and close friends.

Wilma was the longtime matriarch of the family and left with her family the love she had for them and many others. Early on in life, she struggled and received help through the kindness and generosity of others. It was her only wish throughout life to help those in need, as she had been blessed. Wilma never met a stranger and devoted her life to helping others as a Good Samaritan, by loving people, and through her giving heart. The smile she will always be remembered for was brought to her face by the many memories of her family that she had kept close to her throughout the years. She will be greatly missed by her family and many friends.

A celebration of her life will be 3 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Funeral Home.  Friends may call from 1 to 3 p.m. prior to the service.  Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery.  

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Meals on Wheels in Fayette, Missouri.  

Tributes may be left at

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