November 15, 1936 — October 12, 2023

Born November 15, 1936 in Bemidgi, Minnesota, Wilma was the daughter of William and Lamilla Sandin.  She was the middle child with older brother, Irwin, and younger sister, Lois.  She was raised with them on Dixon Lake in Minnesota where her grandparents owned a fishing resort.  Wilma loved helping her Grandma Weisert, even at the age of 6, spending time helping make bread, cleaning the cabins and cooking for the hunters who came in the fall.

At 16, Wilma married Joseph Leroy “LE” Zebro.  Her daughter, Karen, came at 17 with little brother, Joe, 3 and a half years later.  Her father-in-law once told her, “Any mother that doesn’t teach her children to cook, clean and sew and to become good adults was a failure as a mother.  But any child who refused to learn those things was the failure.”  Wilma was an extremely protective and loving mother.  She made sure her children were always clean and well dressed in clothing she sewed.  A woman of many talents, she was a wonderful cook, baker and teacher.  She could sing beautiful harmony with anyone, and she was a fine artist whose paintings grace more than one home.

A very hard worker, Wilma would tend her gardens, often canning as many as 1,000 jars of vegetables, meat and fruit, nearly every year.  The family never went without good food.

Wilma loved the Lord and served faithfully in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She served for years in the Boy Scouts of America, was president of the Relief Society for adult women and the Young Women’s president for girls ages 13-18.  She was asked to be the Mission Girls camp director, taking approximately 100 girls and their local leaders to a “roughing it style” camp where the girls were taught to set up tents and latrines, tie knots, build fires and cook many of their own meals.  There were to be prepared to live without daily conveniences and help increase their spirituality.

Throughout the years, Wilma and LE had several foster children, the first of which was Karen Saltzman, who is still a part of the family and mourns with them.

Following the death of LE in 1977, Wilma moved to Texas at the request of her brother to help him run his business.  One day in 1985, she met Dale Courtney at a little Arlington convenience store.  Both of them were going through a tough time and quickly found a connection.  A year later they married and have been inseparable for 38 years, holding hands as the walked through life together.

Wilma and Dale have traveled and moved where-ever their family needed them.  Many times, she went to Minnesota to take care of her mother and sister.  When Karen and Joe needed them, they were right there to help.  While in Corsicana, Texas, they took care of Dale’s mother and dad, as well as their neighbors.

In 2000, Dale and Wilma made the decision to sell their cottage on the lake and move to St. George, Utah, to help Karen where they lived for 20 years.  She got right into serving in the church and community and joined the Republican Women, where she soon headed a committee called “Caring for America.”  She next spear-headed a scholarship fund for families of the local military unit.  She and her friends made many beautiful patriotic quilts to be raffled to support the scholarship fund at the local university.

‘lest you think Wilma was perfect, you want to remember she was a spitfire.  When things didn’t go as she thought they should, she could get fiery.  Throughout her life, she was a woman of service and blessed the lives of all she touched.  Wilma loved her family with all her heart, including Dale’s children as well as her own.  She will be missed by all who knew her, but most of all by her family.

In addition to her husband, Dale, Wilma is survived by her children, Karen and Chuck Kurtz, Joseph Lee Zebro, Debbie and Monte Smitherman, Beverly and Mark Mayo, Rick and Belinda Courtney and Robert and Cathy Courtney; foster-daughter, Karen Bontems; 15 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of WILMA HARRIETT SANDIN ZEBRO COURTNEY, please visit our flower store.


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