Wilma Jean Spence

Robert A. Waters Funeral Home

Obituaries | The Tube City Almanac | March 01, 2024

Wilma Jean Spence, 84, beloved daughter of the late Isaac Mabon Webb and Helen Inez Jeffries Webb, departed this life peacefully surrounded by her family on Sunday, February 18, 2024, at her home in Braddock, PA. 

Wilma was born on November 2, 1939, in Wheeling, WV, and was one of eighteen children.  She was raised in Wheeling, WV, and later came to live in the North Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA in 1957.  Wilma graduated from The Pittsburgh Beauty Academy with a cosmetology degree and also earned a degree in culinary arts.  In 1982, Wilma settled her family in Clairton, PA where she raised and loved her six children.  She was employed by Allegheny County Youth Programs where she worked as a lunch coordinator. 

As a young adult, Wilma played softball and was a proclaimed accurate left-handed pitcher.  Her brother Donnie has a scar on his forehead to prove her accuracy in pitching.  She was an avid reader of Harlequin Romance novels and many different types of mystery novels.  She enjoyed Westerns and watching football especially her favorite team, the Cleveland Browns.  She liked to garden, BBQ, and spending time in the kitchen cooking for her family; everyone’s favorite dish was her famous macaroni and cheese.  Wilma, affectionally called “Nana” by her grandchildren, loved being a grandmother and great-grandmother and was a major presence in their lives. 

Wilma gave her life to Christ at a very young age.  She could recite the bible scripture word for word and has been a long-standing member of the Church of Christ.  She was a member of the White Oak Church of Christ, Homewood Church of Christ, and later became a member of the McKeesport Church of Christ.

Wilma was preceded in death by her three sons, Willie Coles, DeWayne Keith Coles, and Dale Sean Coles, Sr.; daughter, Willa “Dee Dee” Coles; father, Isaac Mabon Webb and mother, Helen Inez Jeffries Webb; sisters, Virginia Taylor, Elizabeth Webb, Edna Thompson, and Paula Webb; brothers, Raymond Webb, Floyd Webb, James Webb, Burke Webb, and Paul Webb; grandson, Damian Keith Coles, granddaughter, Kyra Evans; great-grandson, Kevin Joseph Coles III; husband, Leonard Spence; former husband, Elmer Coles, Jr.; and devoted companion, Paul Foster. 

Wilma is survived by her beloved children: three sons, Elmer Coles, III of Pittsburgh, PA, Kevin (Evette) Coles, Sr. of Penn Hills, PA, and Kareem (Kathleen) Coles, Sr. of Murrieta, CA; daughter, Tonya (Gerald) Coles-Mitchell of Monessen, PA, and stepdaughter, Mona (Spence) Sizemore of Penn Hills, PA; 85 grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sister, Ruby (Willie) Dukes of Duquesne, PA; two brothers, Donald (LaVaughn) Webb of Bridgeville, PA and Robert (Blanche) Webb of McKeesport, PA; and a host of loving nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Wilma Jean (Webb) Spence, please visit our floral store.

Originally published March 01, 2024.

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