Wanda Morken died on March 16 at her home in Redmond Washington. Born in Rivoli, Italy on November 24, 1940, Wanda first came to America in 1952 with her mother and step-father. After completing high school at Clover Park High School in Lakewood, Washington, she attended Skagit Valley College and the University of Washington
, where she majored in Art. Wanda is survived by her husband, Don, and by their daughter, Sonya Prata, her husband, Tony Prata, and grandson, Dakota Prata.
She met her husband, Don Morken, in early 1965, when they worked in the same office building in Seattle. They were married on July 3, 1965 at the Genesee Valley Lutheran Church in Genesee, Idaho.
Wanda's life story is extraordinary with many ironic twists and turns. It began with her birth in Northern Italy during the early days of World War II. For reasons of safety she lived with her grandmother in the country during the war years. She was reunited with her mother after the war ended. In 1950 Wanda's mother married Leland Parker, an American soldier who was part of US effort to restore war-ravaged Northern Italy. When his US Army career ended, Leland Parker and his family settled in Lakewood.
Wanda was a woman who enjoyed several hobbies during her lifetime. During Wanda and Don's early married life, she was very involved in raising and showing Afghan hounds. Her natural grace and athletic ability allowed her to expand her activities into tennis at the Issaquah Tennis Club where she cultivated a variety of lifetime friendships. Wanda also had a passion for gardening, and that became a very important part of her life over the last 25 years. Wanda has been an active member of the Lake Washington Garden Club since 1983. Wanda also had a passion for reading. Over the years she shared with friends many literary works, gardening books and works by her favorite poet, Mary Oliver.
Wanda and Don have traveled the world extensively over the last 30 years, visiting some of the most famous museums and gardens on earth. Wanda was also an active supporter of Pacific Lutheran University where Don spent over 20 years as a Regent. Wanda and Don were the driving forces behind the construction of the Morken Center for Learning and Technology at PLU. Wanda has also helped PLU with a variety of landscaping projects.
A funeral Mass will be held at Sacred Heart Church in Bellevue on March 29 at 11:00 am. A private burial will be held at Holyrood Cemetery. The family suggests that memorials may be made to the Northwest ALS Chapter.
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