Wanda (Hodgkinson) McClelland was born July 3, 1925, in Goodland, Kan., to Earl and Opal Hodgkinson. She passed away Tuesday, May 6, 2014.
Wanda was a lifelong learner and teacher, beginning to read the newspaper as a preschooler.
She graduated from Sherman County High School at the age of 16 and graduated from college with highest honors at age 66.
She attended Fort Hays University after high school to earn her teaching credentials and helping the WWII effort by serving as an USO girl.
She took a teaching position in a country school south of Goodland, Kan. While teaching in the Smoky Township School, she had Bob McClelland's brother as a student and Bob found a lot of excuses to visit the school.
She taught two years in Sharon Springs, Kan. and Bob was never far away.
On May 28, 1946, Wanda and Bob were married in Goodland. They moved to the farm south of Burlington and became active members of the Smoky Hill community.
Her wedding present from her father was indoor plumbing in the farmhouse. It was a difficult time through the 50s drought but many friends became like family and their life's highs and lows were shared and treasured.
Family was her priority. She was so proud of the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren, as well as the many youngsters whose lives she touched. She stayed involved in their lives, sharing her support and wisdom.
She was a mother, an aunt, a neighbor, a 4-H leader, a church youth group sponsor, a volunteer at the elementary school, and always a friend.
Wanda remained an educator throughout the rest of her life. She helped 4-Hers learn to cook and sew.
She helped church youth learn about her faith by leading by example. She was as committed to volunteering to help a young child struggling to keep up with their class by tutoring as she was helping a patient and their family move through the hospice process.
She taught everyone she touched and helped many people learn how to tell their story through public speaking in 4-H and toastmasters.
Some of her favorite times were the summers when many nieces and nephews visited and worked on the farm.
The more the merrier around the dinner table. She enjoyed, encouraged and participated in the laughter and practical jokes.
Wanda had a deep faith in her Lord Jesus Christ and lived it through her church. She served as chairperson of the board and an Elder. She was chairperson of the Education and Outreach committees.
She was instrumental in the education annex on the church and the building and management of Burlington Manor.
She served as a youth leader for many years and sponsored trips. She was a worker and a teacher in her service to her God.
Of all of her life's pleasures, none compared to being a Grandma. She went to county fairs to root for them.
She loved and cuddled and played in the dirt with them. She cheered with them when things went well and supported them when they didn't.
She played games and laughed and was not above holding her own in a water fight. She went on fishing trips and did a thousand things her own kids were amazed she thought was suddenly fun.
She connected with many people over the years but she embraced her grandkids with a special love and celebration.
She is survived by her daughter, Peggy (Ted) Scott, her son John (Melody) McClelland, her grandchildren, Mandy Scott, Leaton McClelland, and Johna McClelland, her sisters- and brothers-in law, and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob McClelland, and son, Leslie McClelland, her parents, her sisters, Wilma Hartung, Marie Hodgkinson, and Alta Alice Hodgkinson, brothers, Carl Hodgkinson, and Lee Hodgkinson.
Funeral services for Wanda were held on Saturday, May 10, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at the First Christian Church in Burlington with Pastor Dennis Cherrington officiating. Interment followed in the Fairview Cemetery in Burlington.
Visitation was held on Friday, May 9, 2014 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Love Funeral Home in Burlington.
Memorials may be made in Wanda's name to the First Christian Church Youth Group and may be left at or sent to Love Funeral Home in Burlington.
Friends may go to www.lovefuneralhomes.com
to sign the family's online register book and to leave an online message of condolence for the family.
Funeral services were entrusted to Love Funeral Home in Burlington.