June 4, 1933 - June 11, 2021
Wanda passed away on June 11, 2021, in Corvallis, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She laid down for an afternoon nap and went peacefully in her sleep. Wanda will be remembered for her love of life, her compassion for others, her love of family and friends and the selfless giving of her time and energy to anyone in need. She was a beloved daughter, mother, wife, aunt, grandmother and friend, and she enriched the lives of those around her. Wanda was born in 1933 to John Willis and Iva Stewart Willis. She was the next to youngest of eight girls born to John Willis. She is preceded in death by her parents and all sisters except one. She is survived by her sister Joan DenHartog, her children Michael Parker and Kathleen Gerke, and her grandchildren Jordan Harrington and Elizabeth Harrington. She also had many extended family members. Several nieces describe her as their “favorite aunt”. Wanda always loved music, and was very proficient on the piano. In addition, she played guitar, lead the church choir, and often sang solos at the churches she was involved in throughout her life. She was a loving Christian woman, who stayed involved with her church families even when outside of church activities. Within the church she would volunteer to lead a women’s group, or act as church secretary. In her years in Corvallis, she was an active and committed member of the Christian Science church and nurtured friendships with the other members, several of whom visited her and spent time with her right until the end of her life. She touched the lives of young people as a teaching assistant for students who needed some extra help, and also helped lead her church’s youth group during the years her children were not yet adults. She opened her home for youth group meetings, and made many happy memories with the young people, touching their lives with love and laughter. In later years, she volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club in Corvallis, assisting with their office tasks. During holidays, friends and family would look forward to Wanda’s special treats, including her delicious bran muffins, dilly bread, and divinity candy. She loved cooking for get-togethers and often hosted holiday gatherings of family and friends at her home. Many people have treasured memories of those gatherings. The family members enjoyed bringing friends to join in for a holiday, making those times even more precious. Wanda’s career included positions in banks and schools, and eventually she received her license to sell real estate. When she moved to Corvallis in 1978, she was hired by Town & Country Realty as a realtor, and eventually managed their extensive property management rentals. Her strong organizational skills and attention to detail made her excel in that position for many years. She made many friends through her years in real estate, and enjoyed her work. She remained active in real estate even after her official retirement. For Wanda, there was no greater pleasure than spending time with the people she loved. She is missed beyond measure and will always live in our hearts and memories.
Wanda passed away on June 11, 2021, in Corvallis, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She laid down for an afternoon nap and went peacefully in her sleep. Wanda will be remembered for her love of life, her compassion for others,... View Obituary & Service Information
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