Wanda Lee Rice Sanders, 94, of Abilene, passed away on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, in Abilene.
Visitation will be held 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., Sunday, February 19, 2023, at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene, TX.
Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Monday, February 20, 2023, at Elmwood West United Methodist Church, 1302 S. Pioneer Dr., Abilene, TX. Burial will follow at Elmwood Memorial Park, directed by The Hamil Family Funeral Home.
Wanda was born in Wilson, Texas, to Elmer and Letty Rice on August 11, 1928. She attended Wilson High School and graduated Valedictorian. She made the move to Abilene to attend McMurry College where she majored in Biology with plans to become a teacher. There she met William Robert (Bob) Sanders, an Air Force Navigator, just returned from WWII. They married on June 3, 1948, and she began life as an Air Force wife. After a time in Virginia and when Bob was sent to serve in the Korean War, Wanda moved back to Wilson and began teaching in the same farming community where she was raised. When Bob returned, they settled in Abilene and started a family. She would be a loving housewife and mother for the next 28 years.
Wanda was able to connect with her teaching skills again through the Adult Education Program with the A.I.S.D. She taught English as a 2nd language for 20 years before retiring to become a full-time grandmother to five adoring girls.
Wanda is preceded in death by her husband, William Robert Sanders; parents, Elmer, and Letty Rice; brother, Stewart Benson Rice; sister-in-law, Madeline Rice.
She is survived by her children, Margaret and Frank Mayo, Lee Anne and Steve Blankenship, Robert and Silvia Sanders; grandchildren, Michelle and Jason Williams, Jennifer Mayo, Casey Hatcher, Meagan and Jeff Neptune, and Sarah Blankenship; great-grandchildren, Seth Williams, Blake Williams, and Olivia Neptune; nieces, Camille Owens, and Kim Wylie; nephew, Ricky Rice; sister-in-law, Kathy Rice, and her loving dog Molly.
Pallbearers will be Robert Sanders, Frank Mayo, Steve Blankenship, Jason Williams, Seth Williams, and Jeff Neptune.
Memorials may be made in Wanda's honor to Meals on Wheels - Abilene, 717 N. 10th St., Abilene, Texas 79601, or Taylor-Jones Humane Society, 2301 N. 3rd St., Abilene, Texas 79603.
Memories may be shared, and condolences submitted at: www.HamilFamilyFuneralHome.com