Surrounded by family, Wanda passed away at Memorial Hospital at the age of 100 following a brief illness. She was born on September 11, 1919 in Leith, ND to John Will and Edith Mary (Jones) Will. During the depression, Wanda and her siblings, Izeta and Warren, moved to several towns in North Dakota and Montana where her father turned around failing banks. She graduated high school in Sheridan MT. She graduated cosmetology school and opened her shop in Sheridan. In 1946 she moved to Modesto with her best friend Gertie. She married Gertie’s brother Jack in 1949. Wanda was known and loved as an extraordinary wife, homemaker, seamstress, knitter, and as an active and involved parent. She had a sharp sense of humor and her last words were cracking a joke with the staff in the ER.
She and Jack raised two daughters and Wanda supported them fully, as a Girl Scout Leader, Parent Club mom, hot dog mom, car pool mom and even participated in the Fatima follies. Her sewing and knitting skills were excellent and she cut hair for all the neighborhood kids.
She and Jack enjoyed 31 years of marriage and loved square dancing, bridge, pinochle, snowmobiling, and weekends at the cabin. She also enjoyed traveling, especially cruises. She was active in YLI, Catholic Daughters, St. Agatha, OLF Seniors and several bridge clubs.
Nothing mattered more to Wanda than her family. She nursed Jack until his passing in 1980. She put her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren before everything in life, and surrounded herself with their photos. She proudly attended jogathons, gymnastics, reading time at the library, sports events, awards ceremonies, graduations and weddings, and was always available to babysit the grandkids.
Wanda was preceded by her parents, husband, and brother and sister. She is survived by her daughters Barbara Kissinger Santos (Mark) and Carol Fairbairn (Greg). She loved her grandchildren Elika Beckwith (Ryan), Kendra Shiu, (Loren), Mark Santos (Kayla), Alanna Santos, Danielle Tapia (Jon) and Sean Fairbairn. She adored her five great-grandchildren Kyle, Joshua, Madison and Brady Beckwith and Caden Shiu.
Her family thanks the many caregivers who loved and cared for her at Dale Commons. Visitation will be held at Franklin and Downs 1050 McHenry Avenue Modesto from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Tuesday January 14 with a vigil/rosary at 7:00. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 am on Wednesday, January 15 at Our Lady of Fatima Church; burial will follow at St. Stanislaus Cemetery.
Remembrances may be made to YLI #110 c/o 3961 Finney Road, Modesto CA 95358 or the American Cancer Society.
To send flowers to Wanda's family, please visit our floral section.