Cleo was born January 5, 1919, the only child of Nels and Christine (Petersen) Hjelm. They lived on a farm south of Royal. Cleo attended Willow Creek country school for the first eight years of her schooling. She then attended high school in Royal, graduating in 1936. Cleo and her close friends, Elsie Mae (Paulsen) Jones and Mildred (Toft) Swanson attended school together for all 12 years, and they remained lifelong friends.
Cleo then went to beauty school in Omaha, graduating in 1938. She had her own shop in Washta, IA and also worked at a shop in Spencer for 5 years. Cleo married Wayne Wild on July 3, 1943 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. They started farming south of Royal right away. They became the parents of two daughters, Candy and Shelley. The family moved to Royal in 1966 and lived with Cleo’s father after her mother passed away. They continued to commute to the farm until 1989, when they retired. Wayne preceded her in death in September, 2002.
Cleo was an active member of Bethlehem Lutheran all her life; participating in Altar Guild, teaching Sunday School, Circles, Bible studies, quilting and many other things. She was a strong woman of God, an example to all her family.
During her later years, Cleo enjoyed tending her flowers, gardening and crafts. She enjoyed traveling with her family and saw many new places including National Parks, Disneyworld, the Statue of Liberty, Alaska and several trips to Branson, MO. She also liked going to Casinos and feasting on crab leg specials.
Cleo passed away at Spencer hospital on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at the age of 99. She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Wayne. Left to cherish her memory are her two daughters: Candy (Bob) Ehmen of Missouri Valley, IA, and Shelley (Bruce) Berberich of Royal, IA; two grandsons: Josh (Jennifer) Ehmen of Honolulu, Hawaii, and Jared (Lindsey) Ehmen of Cedar Falls, IA; three great grandsons, Mason, Tanner and Caleb Ehmen of Honolulu, Hawaii; other relatives, friends and of course her many “precious” cats.
Prelude - "How Great Thou Art"
Postlude - "Amazing Grace"
"What A Friend We Have In Jesus"
"Heaven's Now My Home"
"In The Garden"
By Lynn Wilms
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