A Woman of Courage
Wanda Mae Wootton, 87, of Topeka, Kansas, died Friday June 28, after a short illness, in Iowa City, Iowa, where, Stephen, her youngest son, lives.
She was born to Pete and Eva Thomas of Milford and Lamar, Missouri, the oldest of three children. They are Bob Thomas of Iowa and Beverly Lucas of Lamar. She was schooled in Lamar and married the late Bob Wootton in 1944. He almost immediately went overseas to serve in the Pacific. She was a war bride of two weeks when she parted with him. When the war was over, he became a teacher, and, after that, a government adviser, advocate for teachers, and state legislator. Bob and Wanda lived in Topeka, in the same house, for forty years.
Bob Wootton died in 2011. He became bed-ridden and partially paralyzed after suffering a benign but slowly debilitating brain tumor. After he became bed-ridden, she nursed him valiantly in their home for five years. She seemed to find hidden reserves of strength and determination, and her courage, always in evidence, became absolute and inspiring, a marvel to her family and younger friends. For that alone, she will be remembered by us with pride.
She was the best of wives, mothers, grandmothers, unconditionally loving and loyal. Modest about her many skills, she was a wonderful cook, a clever seamstress, who gave to many her quilts—gifts that are just like her, something, like her memory, that will keep people warm for a long time to come. She had an astute and canny political brain and accompanied her husband on his trips around Kansas for many years, serving him well as an informal adviser.
Wanda leaves four children: Karen Harmon of Hastings, England; Mark Wootton of Worthington, Massachusetts, Kate Wootton of Colorado; and Stephen Wootton of Iowa City. She had two beloved grand-daughters: Claire, daughter of Stephen and Mary Lou, and Ann, daughter of Mark and Jeanette.
In lieu of flowers, may we please request that donations are made to Helping Hands Humane Society in Topeka.
There will be a memorial service at Konantz Warden Funeral Home in Lamar, Missouri, on Saturday, July 13, 2pm, private family burial in Howell Cemetery.