Wanda Wankel, 87, died Thursday morning, May 15 at Sheridan Memorial Nursing Home in Plentywood.

Funeral services for Wanda Wankel were held on May 21. Pastor Len Shatkus officiated at the service at the First Congregational Church in Plentywood. Following a time of fellowship and refreshment at the church, interment was in the Huffman-Wankel family cemetery at the farm in the Raymond community. Casketbearers were her grandchildren, Gwen Budd, Joey Chandler, Billy Chandler, Bobby Chandler, Bonne Chandler, Meghan Wankel and Mallory Wankel. Recognized as Honorary Bearers were the “Golden Girls,” Jean West, Dorothy Melle, Rosemary Paulson, Rita Lindblom, Betty Lou Westphal, and Marge Solomon; Steve Zeidler and Glen Huffman were ushers. 

Wanda Glenn Harris was born to Glenn and Mabel Harris on Sept. 11, 1926 in Miles City. Her sister, Bonne Lu was born three years later. They lived for a time on a ranch southeast of Miles City, where her father herded horses. Her mother died when Wanda was nine and Bonne was six. They remained on the ranch for a year, then went to live with Glenn’s sister, Fern Emrick, in Conrad. After graduating from high school, Wanda joined the U.S. Public Health Service  “Cadet Nurse Corps,” training in Great Falls. There, she met Bob Wankel on a blind date; they were married Dec. 6, 1947, and moved to the farm northeast of Raymond. They raised three kids, Mark, Mike and Diane. Wanda and Cleone cooked many harvest meals. Wanda trimmed trees, planted flowers and mowed, mowed, mowed! There were great times when they were young, sledding, skiing, skating, and snowmobiling. She was a Raymond Homemaker and Raymond Park Board member. Baseball was a big part of their lives, with Wanda cooking in concessions and keeping score for the little league and Big Muddy Leagues. She loved to ride horses. Her church, the First Congregational church in Plentywood, was very important to her: she taught Sunday School and over the years held all the church offices. Her faith was strong; she retreated to her room daily for prayers and devotions. 

After Bob’s death in 2006, she suffered small strokes which affected her both physically and mentally. She spent time at the Pioneer Manor and at LaCasa before she moved to the nursing home March 21, 2013.

Wanda devoted her time to helping others, but never wanted any fanfare for herself.

She is survived by two children, Mike and his wife Sandy; and Diane and her ex-husband, Alan Chandler; seven grandchildren, Gwen (Kenny) Budd, Joey (Tracie) Chandler, Billy (Penny) Chandler, Bobby Chandler, Bonne Chandler, and Meghan and Mallory Wankel; and great-grandchildren Danny, Tyler, and Dillan Budd; Angelina, Michael, and Violet Chandler; and Abbie, Mason, Hudson, and Avenlie Chandler. She is also survived by her cherished sister, Bonne, who was a devoted companion and visited Wanda daily; and by her sister-in-law, Katie Zeidler, as well as numerous nephews and nieces. Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her son, Mark, in 1999.

 

Fulkerson Funeral Home of Plentywood had charge of arrangements. You may post remembrances online at www.fulkersonsplentywood.com .