Good Luck

September 22nd, 2020

wilma loganbill book coverROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times


Paul Toews served as principal at Liberal’s McKinley Elementary in the 1970s and early 1980s. Near the end of the 1982 school year, after about a bout of depression that had lasted six to nine months, Toews took his own life in a suicide that shocked many in the area.

After her husband’s death, Toews’ widow, Wilma, moved to Newton in 1985 and married her current husband, Earl Loganbill, in 1987.

It was two years later in 1989, when the Toews’ youngest son, David, was murdered in Wichita. Now after some encouragement from friends and family, Wilma has written a book about the experiences of losing a husband and a son.

Over the ensuing decades, Wilma had shared her story with congregants and friends, and with encouragement from Mildred and Roy Unruh and assistance from Carol Duerksen, she finally agreed to have her story published.

“I’ve had people tell me ‘You need to write a book,’ and I finally agreed to write a book,” she said. “I didn’t want to, but I’ve had people who were telling me it would be helpful to people to read that book. I think there are people in Liberal who would probably like to read that because they know our family.”

Comprehensive Behavioral Health ARTICLE NEW SEP

The name of her book is “A Very Unfortunate Woman,” and it is available for $11 plus postage by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Wilma said the book talks about her struggles with the deaths of both her husband and son.

“At the end, I’m showing that I am okay and what I’ve done and how I have overcome all that,” she said. “Several people have read it now, and they have said it was very helpful for them to read it.”

Having losses such as those Wilma experienced would be difficult for anyone, but she said there have been several things that got her through the pain.

“First of all, I did not blame God for what was happening. God was helpful to me,” she said. “I had good family. My parents were there for me, my siblings were there for me, and my church was there for me. We attended the Turpin Mennonite Church. I went for counseling, and I did a lot of reading. I’ve had two tragedies, but I’ve had hundreds of good things happen to me, which I feel outweigh the bad stuff. I really do feel like I am a fortunate woman, and it’s because of God and my family, my friends and my church.”

Wilma, who now lives in Hesston, said she hopes readers will be encouraged by her story and challenges, and she said based on responses, they have been. Several family members and other readers have written praise of Wilma’s work, which she read.

“My middle son wrote a comment,” she said. “His comment is on the back of the book and says ‘My mother, Wilma Loganbill, has a remarkable ability to be optimistic and generous and assume the best about situations and people in a way that transcends the way other people think and operate, and she is able to do this despite everything that has happened to her. People who meet her often point this out to me. It’s the opposite of the bitter person who relives what God has handed them. Life has handed a suicide and a murder into our family, and yet, my mother considers herself a very fortunate woman.’”

A pastor’s wife also praised ‘A Very Fortunate Woman,’ and Wilma read her thoughts.

 “‘Thank you for writing this book,” she began. “‘I just read it and feel honored that you would share your feelings and experiences in an honest open way.  By reading your feelings, I recognized times I felt the same way and that it was okay. God loves me even then. We are all in a journey through life and are so blessed to have God with us. I don’t know how people who don’t know Him can’t make it. I truly felt his presence when we went through hard times. Sometimes, I even felt it before the bad times began. It was as if God was getting me ready to get through the specific bad times. I also appreciated that you shared how friends and family helped you. You have been blessed to have Christian caring people around you. That shows how we can all help each other, also where to look for comfort and understanding. It also encouraged me to be more involved in groups so I will have support when I need it.’”

Wilma read two more letters of praise for her book.

“‘I finished your book, and I have to say it was difficult to put it down,’” she said as she began the first letter. “‘I’d read it when I went to bed, and I’d get sleep, but wanted to know what came next. I’m so amazed that after all you’ve been through in your life, you are still such a warm, friendly, caring and trusting person. Many people who have had far less trauma in their lives turn bitter and cold. You were one of my favorite cousins to visit with, and now that I understand better what you’ve endured, I’m even more in awe of your personality. ‘A Very Fortunate Woman’ was so well written, and I felt like all the incidents you wrote about were in such good sequence. It just flowed from one misfortune to another. I’m so thankful you found your way through some very dark times and have come out such a warm, nice person.’”

Wilma then read one more letter supporting her story. 

“‘I wanted to thank you for our copy of ‘A Very Fortunate Woman,’” she said. “‘It was a very impactful read. I know when I read a book like yours, one where you have the courage to open up and share your story, it gives me more courage to live mine. I agree this will help others through their pain and hopefully learn how forgiveness works.’”

Wilma said the enduring message of her book is one of faithfulness and also one of showing it is possible to get through things such as the deaths of her family members.

“I have learned a lot,” she said. “The title of my book is purposeful. I feel like I’m a very fortunate person. I’ve had two really, really bad things happen to me.”

Log in

Pick your language/Elige su idioma