Skip to content

Norva (Fern) Hayes, Wilder, Zortman

Norva “Fern” Zortman, 90, of Centralia, formerly from Nashville, passed from this life to the next at Centralia Manor on July 16, 2017, with her family by her side.

Fern was born the daughter of George Henry and Nellie Myrtle (Day) Hayes on September 29, 1926, in Scott County close to Manchester. She attended Fairview Country School and Winchester Community High School, and Advanced Bookkeeping at Ford Motor Company. She first married Donald Wilder of Pittsfield and they had two sons, Craig Wilder of Nashville and Larry Allen Wilder (deceased). They later divorced, and she then married Zedekiah “Zed” Z. Zortman in Nashville.

Survivors to cherish her memory are her husband Zed of Centralia, son Craig Wilder of Nashville; two step daughters, Susan Renee and Husband Bill Hundt of Pekin, and Kimberly Ann and Husband Don Woods of Princeville, and a step son, James Z. Zortman and wife Lesa of Virginia; two grandsons, Randal Wilder of Nashville, and Dan Wilder and wife Tiffany of Centralia, five Granddaughters Pattie-Jo and husband Kalkbrener of Centralia, and Trisha Basse of Springfield, Brittney Nichole and husband Adam Irwin, Kayla Ann and husband Kory Robinett both of Nashville, and Lexi Wilder and fiance Patrick Bielong of Dix; step-grandchildren, Chad Thomas and wife Jodi of Monticello, James Simmons and wife Jessica of LeRoy, Nicole Dickerson of St. Louis, Mo., Thomas Dickerson of Tampa, Fla., and Christopher Handegan of Pekin, along with twenty great grandchildren; a sister, Neva Faye Watkins of Jerseyville; four brothers-in-law, Ezra Ezekiel and Wife Lorena of West Jefferson, Ohio, Frank Benjamin, Jr., of Mountain Home, Ark., Clyde Orlando and Wife Janet of Haydon Lake, Iowa, and David Donn and Wife Donna of Blue Water, N.M., and four sisters-in-law, Zenobia Irene Mammen of Aloha, Ore., Rachel Ida Morgan of Noblesville, Ind., Velda Jeen Szyck of Union, Mich., and Heather Alece of Spring Valley.

Preceding her in death were her parents, a son, Larry Allen Wilder, a step-son, Jeffrey C. Zortman, a great granddaughter, Sierra Wilder, a brother, Carl Henry and wife Francis Hayes, a sister, Norma Rose and husband Edward Murphy, and brothers-in-law, George Watkins, Jonathon Zortman, and Seth Zortman.

Fern was a bookkeeper and legal secretary most of her life. Some of her jobs were at Deppe’s Dress Shop, two dentists, McMurray College Library, Ford Motors, Illinois Superintendant of Public Schools Ray Page, National Mine Service Co. Washington County State’s Attorney, and Hoyleton Children’s Home Administrator. She also ran for the City Commissioner of Public Property for the City of Pinckneyville, losing by only 24 votes, and refusing to go through a messy recount.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 24, 2017 at Styninger Funeral Home in Nashville with Rev. Don Smith officiating. Burial will follow in the Winchester City Cemetery in Winchester.

Friends may call one hour prior to services.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested and may be made to Garden Court at Centralia Manor.

Online expressions of sympathy may be made at


Leave a Comment