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Morehead State mourns loss of former first lady Wilma Grote

Wilma GroteWilma Grote, of Morehead, died on Aug. 18, 2018, at her home.  

Wilma grew up in Illinois and was a teacher of gifted elementary-school children, high school social studies, college English, and was an ESL tutor. She met her future husband, C. Nelson Grote, as a freshman at Eastern Illinois State Teachers College in 1945. They were married in 1949 and enjoyed 69 years of marriage. Dr. Grote became president of Morehead State University in 1987, and Wilma was his steadfast partner in many university activities.  

Wilma was a long-time member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Morehead, was on the founding board of Morehead Habitat for Humanity and helped raise funds to build their first house. She was a hospice and meals-on-wheels volunteer, helped create the Kentucky Folk Art Center, was on the founding board of the Morehead Theater Guild, and helped form Morehead's PEO chapter. She was active on the commission that proposed the Women’s Studies program at MSU, and later the Wilma E. Grote Symposium for the Advancement of Women was created in her honor.  

She is survived by her husband Nelson; her children Carol, Jan and Mark; her grandchildren Jamie, Jessie, Matt and Zach; and her great-grandchildren Wynne, Linnea, Brody, Cora, Luca and Emilia. Her son Steven died at age seven in 1973. She is also survived by her sister Doris and her brother Joe, both of Illinois. Her brother Tom preceded her in death.  

A Celebration of Life will be conducted 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with the Rev. Molly Smothers and the Rev. Donald Chase officiating. Interment will follow in Lee Cemetery. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, at the First Christian Church, 227 East Main Street, Morehead, KY 40351. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the C. Nelson and Wilma E. Grote Scholarship Endowment, Morehead State University, MSU Foundation, 150 University Blvd., Box 1887, Morehead, KY 40351. Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals in Morehead is in charge of arrangements.