Archive for Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Tonganoxie woman celebrates 100 years

June 28, 2000

Tonganoxie has a new centenarian.

Edna Wilper, born June 28, 1900, in Garnett, celebrated her birthday Sunday with 35 relatives.

At 100, Wilper still shares memories of her early days with her family.

Her daughter, Helen Norman, Tonganoxie, said her mother was 2 years old when she traveled with her parents and younger sister by covered wagon to Oklahoma, where her father raised wheat.

Eventually, the family opened a hotel in Loveland, Okla., where they lived until 1914.

When Wilper was 14, the family reserved two boxcars, put the horses and livestock in one, and made family quarters in the other, and journeyed back to Kansas by train.

At that time, Wilper's parents had five daughters. Three sons were later born.

Two years after returning to Kansas, Wilper married Carl Weisdorfer, and the couple had five children, living part of the time in New Mexico. In 1936, Wilper moved back to Kansas and in 1942, she married Leonard Wilper, who died in 1978.

In 1979, she moved to Tonganoxie to live with her daughter. Since 1996, Wilper has lived at Tonganoxie Nursing Center.

Two of Wilper's children, Helen Norman and Leo Weisdorfer, Portland, Ore., are still living. She has 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Wilper will be celebrating her 100th birthday with another party today at Tonganoxie Nursing Center.

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