March 8, 1921 - September 9, 2016
Wanda S. Lewellen died unexpectedly on September 9, 2016, after a full, active life of 95 years. She expired at the University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. Born on March 8, 1921 in Neosho, Missouri to William H. and Jessie Borah Saunders, she was the sixth of the eight children they raised. She outlived all of her four brothers and three sisters. They moved several times before settling in 1936 in a neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, where she later graduated from High School. While at Adamson High in Dallas, Wanda was selected for a tennis program, and became a city-wide champion in the girl’s public school tennis completion. She always retained her interest in healthy personal diet practices, including an avoidance of cigarette smoking even at an earlier time when it was popular and widely considered fashionable. By 1942, the United States had become involved in World War II, and Wanda was living in Kansas City, Missouri with an older sister, Ara Coffey, whose husband Dr. Ralph Coffey was already a doctor in military Service. While studying to be a laboratory technician at a hospital in Kansas City, she met a medical intern, Dr. Charles H. Lewellen. They were married on September 2, 1942. They lived in San Antonio where Dr. Charles was assigned to the Army Air Force. He was soon transferred to England where he served as flight Surgeon in the War effort. They were not reunited until his release from the military in late 1945. In the meantime, she had given birth in 1943 to a son, Charles R. (“Chuck”) Lewellen. Mr. and Mrs. Lewellen moved to Louisiana, Missouri upon his return his return from the war where he went into medical practice with his father, Dr. C. P. Lewellen and Dr. Eric Cunningham. A daughter, Wanda Ara (“Ara”) was born in October, 1946. Dr. Charles practiced medicine and served the community in many ways until an illness forced his retirement in 1985, and he then passed away in May 1986. Their daughter, “Ara” preceded her mother in death, in 2015. Mrs Lewellen was active over many years in a number of local organizations, and she held leadership positions with the PTA and PEO from time to time, among others. The Lewellens were long-time members of the Christian Church. Family members and close out-of-town friends frequently visited their home overlooking the river and were made very welcome. Nephews and nieces and especially her two granddaughters, Kelcy and Wendy, fondly remember the boating and visiting, and also the always warm receptions by the Lewellens, wonderful circle of close friends in Louisiana. Wanda Lewellen is survived by her son Chuck and daughter-in-law, JoAnne and by very close granddaughters, Kelcy Lofgren and Wendy Montgomery and their husbands and children, many loving nieces and nephews and special good friends, Bob Wahl and Elizabeth Fry Matteson. In lieu of flowers, memorials contributions may be directed to a national charity of choice (such as the American Red Cross), or a local charity such as the Community Food Pantry.
Wanda S. Lewellen died unexpectedly on September 9, 2016, after a full, active life of 95 years. She expired at the University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. Born on March 8, 1921 in Neosho, Missouri to William H. and Jessie Borah Saunders,... View Obituary & Service Information
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