Wanda Stewart Gardner went to be with the Lord Friday, July 28, 2023. She was born in Devine January 20, 1929, to parents Maude and Eugene Stewart.
A lifelong resident, Wanda attended Devine schools and graduated as valedictorian from DHS in 1946. Her class did not have a formal graduation because of the polio epidemic, but they did go on the first senior trip to Colorado. She was a cheerleader and the editor of her senior yearbook, and that was the first yearbook for Devine High School.
She was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church in Devine where she was active in her Sunday School class. In her young years she taught Sunday School, and was a leader for the Baptist mission groups, Women’s Missionary Union, and GA’s.
Wanda married James, the love of her life, June 7, 1949. They met in Miss Maude Loggins’ Sunday School class when FBC was housed in what is now Primrose Funeral Home. She and James were active in the church, Little League, PTA, Band Boosters, Athletic Boosters, and all things “Devine”. She also served on board of Medina Memorial Hospital, where she advocated for rural health care availability and affordability.
Wanda had a sharp mind for numbers. Her first job was in the office of Loggins and Lilly. Later, she worked for Sara Hicks, CPA.
Wanda loved her hometown of Devine. In her later years, she was a regular attendee at City Council meetings where she never hesitated to champion the things she believed best for her community. Her family called her “Watchdog Wanda” or “Deputy Devine” as she was vigilant in holding local government accountable to its citizens and letting others know what was happening. In her time, Wanda knew practically everyone in Devine and to whom they were related.
She was active in the Devine Garden Club for which she served as treasurer and hosted many meetings at her home on Harralton Circle.
Wanda is preceded in death by her parents Maude and Eugene Stewart, her husband James, sister Marie Stewart, brothers Truett, Elmo, Glen, and Eugene “Happy” Stewart. She is survived by sons Jim (wife Brenda), and Bob; brother Nick Stewart; grandchildren, Jimmy (Celissa), and Jason (Cathy), Bob, Jr. (April), and Laura Gardner; great-grandchildren Callie Gardner, Logan Klause, Emma Gardner, Addie Gardner, Liliana Gardner, and many nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be Friday, August 11 at 10 a.m. at Evergreen Cemetery.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Devine Dollars for Scholars or Devine Education Foundation in care of Brenda Gardner, 605 W. Hondo, Devine, Texas.