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In Memoriam

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2018 brought a sad loss to the San Antonio Highland Games and Celtic Music Festival. We lost our beloved Wilma on February 3rd, 2018. Always one to volunteer, she served many organizations including the San Antonio Highland Games Association and the San Antonio Scottish Society. Within the Highland Games she served as our resident chef, providing and compiling recipes for our Highland Games official cookbook, "Needs More Whiskey". She could also be found at the Games presenting cooking demonstrations. For two years she cooked approximately 15 pounds of haggis each year for our Haggis Eating Competition. In addition to being a chef, she acted as emcee for our Bonnie Knees competition, helping to recruit strapping young (or or not so young) lads to show off their knees on stage and encouraging a fine young, blindfolded lass to judge them all based upon their feel. In her "spare time" at the Games she also helped to run the Kid's Glen, making miniature versions of the highland game events for the kids. She showed up early for press events, stayed late to help clean up, and was always willing to lend a hand with whatever needed to be done. The list is endless of the ways she will be missed. We love you Wilma and thank you for your many years of service!

In 2018 we memorialized her by naming two of our stages in her honor. The dance performance stage was named "MacKenzie Stage" and the Children's Glen stage was named "Wilma's Corner".

Mini Biography of Wilma (McKenzie) Heberling

Here is the mini biography that was presented in the memorial card at her funeral.

Wilma Katharine Gordon MacKenzie was born in Wick, in extreme north-east Scotland, on May 23, 1935. Her father, Murdoch, was headmaster at Killimster school and taught Primary 4-6,and her mother, Elizabeth, taught Primary 1-3.
She had an older sister, Elizabeth Campbell, an older brother, George Angus, and a younger sister, Eleanor Margaret.
She grew up in Scotland, and lived in several towns including Wick, Killimster, Townhead, Stronord, Port Seton, Gullane, and Cockenzie. She spent her summers in Croick at the croft, or at her grandmother's house in Inverness. Some memories she had from Croick were of the Border Collies (used for herding the sheep). The dogs were named Roy, Jen, and Bob. She enjoyed spending time in the company of her Uncle Bill, and she enjoyed the freedom of playing outside all day.
Wilma loved school and was quite accomplished. As she grew up, she participated in the Girl Guides, and in sports. She earned a bronze medal in life saving, and won a girls' championship in swimming and diving. Another award was top honors in the Robert Burns Federation contest (a national essay competition).
Wilma's mother had a series of strokes that left her an invalid. In 1953, her mother passed away peacefully.
Wilma started nurses' training in Scotland, but soon made the choice to emigrate to Canada with her father and sister, Eleanor.
She took a break from nursing while studying for the RNA exam. Wilma worked in the Registry Office in Welland (where she made great use of her exquisite handwriting skills), and on weekends worked for the Bogner and Broughton, a local photographer.
In June 1956 she met John Heberling. Their first date was at the Copper Kettle cafe where they had numerous cups of coffee, a slice of pie, and engaging conversation. October 6, 1956 they were married. After John and Wilma were married, Wilma went back to work at the hospital and continued studying for the nursing exam. She took the exam, passed it, and received her nurse's pin.
On July 18, 1957 Katharine Elizabeth was born. John, Wilma, and Katharine moved to Port Robinson. The house required lots of repair, so John and Wilma dug in and started fixing the house to bring it to a more reasonable standard.
On May 28, 1959 Annette Michele was born. This was followed with John Andrew on November 21, 1960.
Another move was in store for the family, and Welland was our new town.
In early 1961, John and Wilma applied for entry to the US. It was a long process, but on October 7, 1962 the family crossed the border and began a new life in Chicago, Illinois.
After a couple of brutal winters, Wilma felt Chicago was not "her kind of town", and the family moved again. This time the move was to Downey, California. Wilma went back to school and earned her B.A. in English. Besides teaching, Wilma found the time to be a Girl Scout leader. She also drove the three children to dance and music lessons. In 1973 the family moved again- this time across the pond to England. This adventure continued until September 1975 when the family returned to California.
Wilma went back to school again and earned an M.A. in Linguistics.
A final move for John and Wilma was in 1992. They lived first in New Braunfels, and then Selma. All three of their children are married and there are seven grandchildren and two (soon to be four) great grandchildren.
Wilma had a varied and prolific career and volunteer life. Some organizations who benefited from her talents include:

Welland County General Hospital
Welland County Registry Office
Bogner and Broughton Photographers
Brooks, Cromarty, Baker, and Swaze Law Firm
Downey Community Hospital
Glossop Comprehensive School
Mt. SAC and Rio Hondo Colleges
California State University, Long Beach
New Braunfels Christian Academy
Harcourt Testing Corporation
Girl Scouts of America
Downey Children's Theater
Cook's Illustrated (Wilma was a recipe tester)
NISD Adult Enrichment Program (Wilma taught cooking classes)
Sophienburg Museum in New Braunfels
New Braunfels Kindermasken and Folkfest
Wurstfest Association
Folklife Festival
Institute of Texan Cultures, San Antonio
San Antonio Airport Ambassadors
San Antonio Scottish Society
San Antonio Highland Games Association
British Society of Texas
Friends of Selma History Society
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
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