SUNNY CAL JOURNAL - Calhoun Teacher Wilma Hardman Stump, "Hard To Take Ones Eyes From Her"

(04/15/2017)

Grantsville Graded School - Grade 5, 1950-1951

Top row, left to right: Wilma Hardman Stump (teacher), Robert Yost, Jane Powell, Erroll Dotson, Elizabeth Plant, Howard Linville, Vivian Richards, Arnold Husk, Judy Hathaway, Cline Cogar; Second row: Joe Francis, Linda Hosey, David Owens, Patricia Vaughan, Glendon Arthur, Janet Westfall; Third row: Ruth Wilson, Bill Welch, Carolyn Plant, David Wilson, Jean Wright, Jackie Barnes; Fourth row: Jimmy Knotts, Carolyn "Kitty" Starcher, Bobby Snider, JoAnn Propst, Lewis "Bucky" Ferrell, Dorothy Ward, Bill Cunningham, Roberta Offutt, Robert Weaver, Rae Geho; Fifth row: Joyce Malona, Hibbert Linville, ________, John Flanagan, Lois Ferrell, Vearl Haynes, Marlyn Yoak, Bruce Chaddock, Estelle Husk, Nina Wilson; Sixth row: Leota Kight, Carolyn Clayton, Virginia Long, Sandra Brown, Joan Stump, Ureda Cogar, Sharon Lydick, Regina Richards.

(Photo Courtesy of Janet Westfall Kessner)

By Bob Weaver

She was likely among the most dedicated, motivated, and skilled teachers - Wilma Hardman Stump (1914-1988), who for most of her teaching career was a fifth grade instructor at Grantsville Grade School.

She had the gift to inspire myself and most of her class, certainly raising the curiosity level to read.

In addition to regular classwork, at the end of the school day, with drama and excitement she would read aloud a few paragraphs from Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, a serialized event to be continued until conclusion. What would happen next, we wondered.

The dedicated teacher was small woman, neatly dressed with a fluffy blouse and dark skirt, her hair in a tight bun, and full of energy. Usually moving, it was hard to take ones eyes from her.

Wilma was big on homework and studying, a habit I reluctantly developed.

I remember Wilma speaking in quite tones, choking back tears, about the death of student and classmate Butch Strader.

James Lowell "Butch" Strader was a handsome, bright young man, son of the Rev. George Strader, owner of Strader's Department Store, who was a member of the Board of Education.

While playing volleyball during recess, chased the ball into State Rt. 16, to be struck by a passing motorist.

Wilma honored him, speaking about the value of human life and its fragile uncertainty, and Butch's loss to the world. That we should always remember him and each hold to living a purposeful life, curious about its mysteries.

I have always remembered Butch, while hauntingly recalling the image of his lifeless body after being struck by the car.

These years later, I pay Wilma Stump the recognition I was never able to give her in life.

She died in a car accident in 1988 and reposes in Bethlehem Cemetery.


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