Vondel L. Smith & Son Mortuary at South Lakes 4000 SW 119th Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Wanda Daniels was born Wanda Jean Everett in Tulare, California on February 25, 1936 to Winnie Fore Tapley.
Like many other Okies born of the Great Depression, her family had migrated from Oklahoma to California just a few years earlier.
Wanda was always a strong -- and strong-willed and determined woman and she would credit the source of her strength as having come from her mother Winnie, who raised four beautiful (“Fore”) girls during the depression.
It was in Brawley, California, she first met her husband-to-be, Othor Daniels. Wanda and Othor first met when he began work at her family’s service station in Brawley. Wanda was not yet a high school senior and only 17 years old; too young to be legally married in California without her father’s permission. We’re not sure why Othor had reservations asking her father, Olon for Wanda’s hand. Maybe it was because of Olon’s reaction as Othor would show up on the porch in swimming trunks and cowboy boots? Regardless, Wanda’s mother, Winnie helped to make the wedding dress. And Wanda and Othor headed to Yuma, Arizona to be married. And thus began their loving relationship and marriage of over 64 years.
Together, Wanda and Othor were blessed with three children — all now living in Oklahoma City: their son, Stuart Aubrey Daniels (and his wife Susan), daughter Tammy Jean Yager (and her husband Jan) and daughter, Terri Gale Graham (and her husband Tom.)
Her mother, Winnie had raised Wanda and her sisters in the Church, but Othor was not a Christian for many years into their marriage. Wanda shared her love for the Lord and His church with Othor and their family. But with Othor, it took a while.
1 Peter 3:1 says, “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives…”
Wanda tried this “conduct” approach for many years, but finally, when their third child, Terri was born, her patience had worn out and she let Othor know that it was well past time that he began to help her with the kids at church. Soon afterward he was baptized, quit smoking, and began teaching a Bible class. And surely Wanda was as surprised as others when he decided to attend preaching school and moved the family to Denver and the Bear Valley School of Preaching.
Wanda knew both the rewards and challenges of being a preacher's wife and raising preacher’s kids. Preachers are under an unreasonably close scrutiny; but for their wife and children, sometimes that glass house can even become a magnifying glass. Others would never hear her complain of this scrutiny, but some of these experiences she would eventually internalize – and they became another part of her steeled resolve. Wanda never pretended to be perfect, yet she lived her life in such a way that we would all be well advised to follow her example in almost every way.
Wanda had been a homemaker most of her early adult life – but then like her mother -- after raising her children, she started her college education; first at Marin County College in California. And, following the time at Bear Valley in Denver, the family relocated back to Oklahoma and she resumed college and went on to receive her undergraduate degree in Education from Oklahoma Christian College, and later, her two master’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma.
In middle-age, she began her career in public education as a classroom teacher in the Moore Public School system and soon afterward served as a guidance counselor in junior and senior high, finally serving several years as an elementary school principal before her retirement after 20+ years.
In retirement, she remained active as she and Othor loved to camp and hike with family and close church friends, and together they shared the hobby of creating crafts and travelling across the Southwest to sell them in craft shows.
Wanda’s passing is preceded by both her parents; and her husband, Othor.
Her memory and loving legacy is survived by her Fore “beautiful sisters”: Marlyn Edith Hooser of Chattanooga, TN, Pat Patterson of Sacramento, CA and Sue Shaffer of Pollock Pines, California, all three of her children: Stuart, Tammy and Terri, her seven grandchildren, Carrie and Matt Daniels, Lacy Williams, and Sean and Haley Yager and Trey Graham and Sara Durham -- and now 11 great grandchildren.
The joy she felt with her grandchildren was surpassed only as her great-grandchildren began to come along.
Wanda cherished her family. It was her constant prayer and the thought she consistently shared that her children love each other and the Lord. And a favorite scripture that was one of the first that she would underline in her Bible is 3 John 4: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
For each of us to best honor her memory, her legacy – and her wishes, we should remember that she wanted her children to love and cherish the Lord --- and to love and cherish each other.
…One of her only regrets was that as her health declined in later years, she couldn’t regularly join her church family in worship. Yet her faith remained strong to the end.
Wanda passed this life on November 24, 2019 surrounded by those she loved -- and who loved her dearly.”
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to the Oklahoma chapter of the Alzheimers's Association. https://www.alz.org/oklahoma