Estella Wilson

Written by Theresa Rose on September 20, 2017

Estella Wilson, 101, formerly of Wapello, IA, passed away Thursday, August 17, 2017, in Fort Collins, CO.

The family will receive friends in the Fellowship Hall at the United Methodist Church in Wapello from

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 23, 2017. A memorial service will follow at 2:30 p.m. at the church with the Rev. Pam Kranzler officiating.  A private burial will be held in the Wapello Cemetery.  Gifts of love and friendship may be given to Wapello Cemetery.  The Olson-Powell Memorial Chapel assisted the family with the arrangements.  On line condolences may be directed to

Born March 9, 1916, in Centralia, IL, Estella Elizabeth was the daughter of Charles Willis and Bertha J. (Wein) Ford.  She was a graduate of the University of Illinois and Vogue Design in Chicago, IL.  On December 17, 1939, “Stella” was united in marriage to J. Loyd Wilson in Centralia, IL.After the Wilsons were married, they lived in several cities before settling in Wapello in July 1946 where together, they started Wilson Implement Company.  Stella wanted to raise her family in a small town.  She was also a businesswoman, and in 1955, embarked on a successful 40 year career by establishing Stella’s Smart Shop. Stella was very active in the Wapello community.  She was an energetic Girl Scout leader and organized several area style shows. A vigorous participant on the Chief Wapello Days committee, Stella lent her talents to the events’ success.  During the holiday season, Stella made sure that Santa was always present for visits with the children of the town.  After moving to Fort Collins, CO, Stella continued to work at Stella’s Smart Shop in the Columbine Health Systems’ Uniform Shop until she was 100 years of age.  Though she loved to work, spending time with her family and friends always received top priority.

Survivors include two sons, William C. “Bill” (Linda) Wilson of Mt. Pleasant, IA and J. Robert “Bob” (Kitty) Wilson of Johnstown, CO; one daughter, Katherine J. Fisher and her husband Bob Hillberry of Crete, IL; 8 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and three step great-grandchildren.

In addition to her husband, J. Loyd Wilson who died on July 7, 1984, Stella was preceded by three brothers, Cecil Ford, Raymond Ford and Kenneth Ford; and by one sister, Sarah Ford Mosley.