Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Wanda Louise (Eberhart) Powell passed away on November 20th, 2017. She lived 91 full, happy years, and created joy for whoever was blessed enough to be in her presence.
Wanda was born September 10, 1926 in Punkin Center, Oklahoma, the night her parents, James Parks Eberhart and Middie Eberhart arrived by covered wagon from Texas. Her brothers J.C. and Walter, sisters Agatha, Leuna, Novella and she were always very close, supporting and relying on each other throughout their lives. The Eberharts were hard working folks, and survived by working long hours in the cotton fields of Oklahoma.
Wanda was fond of telling stories about her early life. She was particularly thankful to Ms. Agnes Calloway, her childhood Sunday School teacher, who taught her of the love of Jesus and was instrumental in Wanda accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior.
Wanda’s family moved from Oklahoma to Roswell, New Mexico, where she met and married Orban S. Waggoner. Times were hard in those days, and she and Orban worked side by side in the fields. Their first home was a small shack in which she nailed orange crates to the wall and used them as cabinets for their few dishes. Through hard work they were eventually able to save enough to purchase a small farm. They had four children, Larry, Dorman, Terry and Tamara. Later in life, she met and married Earl Powell, and they resided on a ranch in Puerta de Luna, NM where she spent her time as a rancher’s wife, caring for the home and taking care of the family business. Wanda was always excellent at saving money and guiding Earl in his business ventures, and they became very successful.
Earl and Wanda eventually retired and moved to Eufaula, Oklahoma, so Earl could indulge himself in his hobby of fishing. Every morning he would get up early, write Wanda a love note, and in it describe where he would be fishing that day, then head for the lake. She was always content to support him in his endeavors, and she found hobbies that satisfied her artistic flair. She was an excellent painter, seamstress and cook, and enjoyed making meals and gifts for Earl and her many friends. Her favorite color was pink, and much of her clothing was pink, though she also was fond of dressing in bright colors with flamboyant patterns and styles, especially jackets and caps with her trademark ìblingî!
Wanda was always a loving, giving person. She was willing to help anyone, at any time. She was not bound by many of the prejudices and judgmental attitudes that many people seem plagued with, and she was a ìgiverî whose generosity blessed many, many people. One story she enjoyed telling about herself was that, as young as 5 or 6 years of age, she realized that racism was wrong, that we are all God’s children, and even at 91 years of age she had never been able to understand how people could judge another by the color of their skin. She loved everyone, and was not judgmental, though she was always quick to offer advice if she thought her advice could benefit the person. Her children often commented that she would, at least one time in every conversation with them, say ìYou know what you need to doÖî, and then proceed to tell them what they could do to have a better life.
Wanda always loved to read, and in her later years, she moved back to Roswell. Books became her constant companions. She was a voracious reader, and particularly enjoyed books by Tony Hillerman, though she was partial to nonfiction books about the Southwest. She often noted that by reading, she was able to travel to distant times and lands, and was able to learn a lot about life. One comment she consistently made as she read about the Middle Ages was, ìI am so glad I didn’t live then! They had it rough!î. Her life, too, was kind of an open book that she shared with others, and she was quick to admit that she had made mistakes in the past, though she did not allow overcoming her mistakes to become excuses for withdrawing from people or developing a ìholier-than-thouî attitude. She acknowledged that she was not perfect, but that through the grace of God she was forgiven and redeemed, and she desired more than anything that others would accept Christ’s forgiveness and become a part of His family.
She was preceded in death by her son, Dorman, her first husband and children’s father Orban, and her husband Earl. Her brothers and sisters Agatha and Novella preceded her in death. She is survived by her sister Leuna, sons Larry and wife Katherine, Terry and wife Jackie, her daughter Tamara Toon and husband Paul, grandchildren Michelle, Dorman Jr., Todd, Chris, Dana, Anita, Kyle, Colter, Rhiannon, and many great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Tom Wadsworth, her ìgood sonî as she liked to call him, was a dear friend who brightened her days with laughter. Also dear to Wanda’s heart was her lifelong friend, Peggy Lindsey, and special friend Steve Nunez, who filled the last years of her life with loving companionship.
One niece, Linda Gaye Davis, always occupied a special place in Wanda’s heart, and was present, along with Tamara, when Wanda passed away. That sweet moment of release from the cares and pains of this world was made easier by their presence, and they witnessed how easy and painless it was for her to step from this poor existence on earth to that glorious promise of eternity, where Christ welcomed her into His arms with ìWell done, my good and faithful servantî.
A memorial was held Saturday, November 26th 2017, at Paradise Valley Baptist Church in Lawton, Oklahoma.
Interment will be at Rock Creek Cemetery, Central High, Oklahoma.