Dec. 30, 1923 — Sept. 18, 2013
Wanda Jean Broeckel peacefully went to be with her Lord on Sept. 18, 2013, with her family by her side. Wanda had a very positive attitude through her long courageous battle with breast cancer. She knew she was in God’s hands and she was ready to go when He called her home. She freely shared this testimony with all she came in contact with. Wanda chose to take “one day at a time” and make the most of each day she was given instead of crying over the “hand” she was dealt. She was a constant inspiration to all those around her.
Wanda was born December 30, 1923 to Ernest and Estella (Dodson) Santo at the family home in Walla Walla. She graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1942 and worked at Russell’s Candies. She married “JW” Reeves in 1943 and moved to Texas. They later divorced. They had five children, Jim, Patty, Billy, Trula and Lois. She taught her children by example a strong work ethic and a deep love of God.
She married Al Broeckel in Walla Walla in 1971, and she began a career in the business office at St. Mary Community Hospital, retiring 20 years later. She and Al enjoyed traveling to visit family and friends and they were active at 1st Church of the Nazarene, where Wanda taught toddler Sunday School for many years.
After Al passed away, she traveled to Australia, Hawaii, Alaska, and the East Coast with her sister Skip. She enjoyed gardening and nurtured her rose garden and blackcaps. Wanda was an avid reader and also enjoyed word search puzzles, passing the love of their challenge onto her great grandchildren.
She is survived by her children, Jim (Nancy) Reeves of Chelsea, Okla., and Bill (Barbara) Reeves of Lewiston, Trula (Kelley) McFarley of Walla Walla; Lois (Tom) Laeger of Eugene; step-daughters, Sharon (Elmer) Weaver and Mary Blankenship of Lewiston, and Sally (Steve) Mele of Nampa, Idaho; a brother, Rodney (Delores) Santo of Pendleton; brothers-in-law, Elbert Labenske of Santee, Calif., and Oscar Broeckel of Dusty, Wash.; Randal (Pat) Broeckel of Vancouver; a sister-in-law, Goldie Santo of Walla Walla; 18 grandchildren; 42 great-grandchildren; and 10 great-great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews and their families; and many, many friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Al Broeckel; daughter, Patty Rimbey; brothers, Henry Santo, Loren Santo, Wilfred “Bill” Santo; sisters, Lela Santo, Rowena Corlett, Marian White and Lois Labenske.
Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday Sept. 21, 2013, at Amazing Grace Church of the Nazarene, Clinton and Alder streets, Walla Walla. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Christian Aid Center or Walla Walla Community Hospice through Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362.
Friends and family may write memories and sign the online guestbook at www.mountainview-colonialdewitt.com.