Wilma Jean Hood Deck: 1931-2023


Wilma Jean Hood Deck, 92, of Centralia, passed away peacefully at home on May 23, 2023. She was born Jan. 26, 1931, in Parke County, Indiana, to William R. and Gladys M. Stewart Hood. 

Wilma and her husband, Eddie “Ed” P. Deck, were married 71 years and lived in Centralia, Washington, since moving from Indiana in 1961. Wilma and Ed sold their house in Crawfordsville, Indiana, bought a covered box truck and loaded it with all of their belongings before setting out for Washington. Wilma drove the kids in the station wagon and Ed drove the truck! (The Interstate Highway System was just being built and there were no cell phones.) They questioned their sanity again and again but ultimately rejoiced in their decision. 

Wilma worked many years for the Centralia School District, initially in the schools as a teachers’ aide and later as a secretary in the administration office. She retired from the school district in 1991 after more than 22 years. 

Wilma was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She touched us all with her generosity, her work ethic and her spirit. She and Ed tended to an enormous garden and numerous fruit and nut trees and raised animals for decades on their 3-acre farm. Wilma canned and froze much of what they harvested. She cooked virtually every meal and participated in almost all of the work around the farm. She was always petite but she had the drive and stamina to more than make up for her small stature. When given the opportunity (which was frequently during retirement), fiWilma loved to fish. Whether fishing for trout on Riffe Lake, salmon at Neah Bay or sturgeon on the Columbia River, she was a formidable angler. She never tired of the quest and loved every minute in the boat with Ed. Those who knew and loved her will remember Wilma for her uncanny winking ability, her cheery disposition and for her cause of unusual figures of speech, which she must have learned as a child. 

When declining health forced a change, Wilma and Ed moved to Chehalis West, an assisted living facility in Chehalis. The staff were loving and affectionate beyond expectations. The Chehalis West staff, along with Ed, friends and family, helped make her last 2-plus years treasurable. 

Wilma is survived by her husband, Ed Deck; her children, Sharon Hamilton and husband, Jay, of Chehalis; Stan Deck and wife, Laura, of Fox Island; and Dwayne Deck and wife, Karen, of Sulfur Springs, Texas; eight grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. She also leaves behind her sister, Shirley Kinkead, of Crawfordsville, Indiana; and her brother, Gary Hood, of Greencastle, Indiana. 

A memorial and celebration of life will be announced at a later date.