Wilda Eddith (Laughridge) Jones, age 75, fourth daughter of Dean and Gertrude (Odle) Laughridge, was born on October 28, 1938, in Wilder, Idaho. She died Monday March 31, 2014, at Mercy Jefferson Hospital in Crystal City, MO.
Wilda is preceded in death by her parents, her brother Lloyd, sisters Rosie and Ellen, and husbands Charles H Dunlap and John Jones.
She is survived by her children: Perry Dunlap of Fort Myers, Florida; Becky Bryan of Rolla, MO; and Connie Dunlap of Prescott, Arizona; 6 grandchildren and 2 great grandsons.
Wilda grew up in Wilder, Idaho, and moved to Branson, Missouri, for her senior year of high school. She graduated from Branson High School in 1956. She married Charles Henry Dunlap in 1956 and began a 22- year adventure in moving, including numerous locations in California, Oklahoma, Kansas, Hawaii, and Missouri. Home base was always the Dunlap farm in Huggins MO. Willie and Charley had 3 children. They divorced in 1977.
Wilda worked as a homemaker for many years. She worked as a waitress at the Lazy L restaurant before working at, then purchasing the Hungry Holler in Houston, MO, in 1979. Her cooking and work ethic were legendary. She made the best biscuits and gravy from scratch every morning until she sold the restaurant in 1993. Wilda also owned the lunchroom at the Lee Factory in Houston from 1980 to 1982.
She married John Jones in 1982 and shared many years with him. John passed away in 2003.
In addition to being an incredible cook, she was an avid gardener. She won several “Yard of the Month” awards for her beautiful hostas and ferns at her big yellow house at the top of the hill overlooking Emmett Kelly Park. She loved animals and kept several chickens and even a goat or two. Stray animals loved her. She always had a cat and sometimes birds in her greenhouse.
Wilda had an adventurous soul. She loved to explore the places she lived. In her sixties, she worked as a cook in an Alaskan resort, then worked several seasons at Towgatee Lodge in Moran, Wyoming. She went skydiving at 68.
Wilda spent her last years at Farmington Manor, where the administration and staff loved and cared for her until the end.
Memorials may be made to Houston Senior Center or Texas County Food Pantry. Online condolences may be sent to www.evansfh.com.
Visitation will be held Saturday April 5, 2014 from 1:00 to 2:00 P.M. at Evans Funeral Home with Services beginning at 2:00 P.M. with Elder David Keeney officiating. Cremation was under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.