Wilma  Cavill


Wilma Jean Cavill, 88, of Slippery Rock, passed away on Thursday (May 16, 2019) at Butler Memorial Hospital following a brief illness.
Wilma was born in New Castle on Dec. 15, 1930, to James Charles Cavill and Mildred Vandegrift Cavill.
She was a very popular and much-admired educator at Slippery Rock University, teaching for more than 56 years. Cheryl Norton, former SRU president, called Wilma "A Slippery Rock University Treasure." Wilma had been quoted in a recent Slippery Rock University publication, "I love to teach; I've had a fascinating and interesting career, I'm very proud to be a graduate of Slippery Rock, and I'm terribly proud of my career here." The publication went on to say, she commanded the ear of nine presidents; pioneered women's athletics; settled disputes as a faculty union leader; and educated thousands of students. At Slippery Rock University's 125-year celebration, she said that "she viewed herself as a good teacher, listener and troubleshooter."
Wilma won several awards. She advocated early on for anti-drug, and alcohol education and demonstrated civic leadership through involvement in many organizations, including service as grand wizard for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Wilma's awards included the SRU President's Award, Outstanding Women of the Year and APSCUF Distinguished Service Award.
She had led an adult retreat program at SRU for several years, and for the past several years has served as grand marshal for university events such as the honors convocation and commencements.
Her memberships were many, including the Slippery Rock United Methodist Church and the Slippery Rock Rotary Club.
Survivors include: family members, Rita B. Harrell and Rita's husband, Jim, and their daughter, Katie Harrell, of Fountain Inn, S.C.
She was preceded in death by: her parents; sister, Edith Cavill; and brother, James Cavill.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Wilma J. Cavill 52 Endowed Scholarship, payable to the SRU Foundation, 100 Old Main St., Slippery Rock, PA 16057.

Wilma Jean, 88, of Slippery Rock.
Calling hours: 1 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday (5-21-19) at SMITH FUNERAL HOME, 421 New Castle St., Slippery Rock, and prior to the service at 9 a.m. Wednesday (5-22-19) at Slippery Rock United Methodist Church, 130 Franklin St.
Funeral: 9 a.m. Wednesday at the church with Rev. Keith McIlwain, pastor, presiding.
Published on May 21, 2019
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