West Newbury, MA — Wilma Horster Grammer died of old age on October 19, 2012, at home with family in West Newbury, Massachusetts. She was 94.
Born on June 24, 1918 in Orange, New Jersey and raised nearby in Springfield, she worked as secretary to the president of Newark College of Engineering (now New Jersey Institute of Technology), where she met her husband, Dean of Admissions Frank A. Grammer. These early ties remained long and deep all her life: a host of grade school friends joined Wilma to celebrate her 85th birthday in 2003.
When widowed, she moved to Alexandria, Virginia near her daughter and son-in-law. She helped them raise two sons and volunteered for some 25 years at the information counter of Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory Art Center. There, she fielded many questions that could only be asked inside the Washington beltway. A favorite was the inquiry during the Reagan Administration’s Iran-Contra affair regarding whether any of the artists were selling Ollie North dolls.
In late August 2012, she moved with her family to Massachusetts. She died surrounded by her family — daughter Elisa J. Grammer and son-in-law Fredric D. Chanania of West Newbury; grandson Andrew G. Chanania of Helena, Montana, and grandson William D. G. Chanania, a freshman at Bucknell University. Other survivors include step-grandchildren Allen K. Grammer, Elizabeth B. Grammer and John T. Grammer.
ARRANGEMENTS: Services will be private and under the direction of the Mackey Funeral Home, Danvers; see www.mackeyfuneralhome.com. Donations in her name may be made to the Torpedo Factory Art Center, http://www.torpedofactory.org/donate/.