Wanda Lou Thurman, the twelfth child of fourteen children born to Noah Johnson and Esta (Boner) Johnson, was born February 11, 1935 at the family home near Tunnel Hill, Illinois. She went to her eternal joy with Jesus on Saturday, November 24, 2012, at 12:44 p.m. at Herrin Hospital.
Wanda attended the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in her youth and was a graduate of Hailey’s Public School. She later earned her GED and attended college classes. Wanda left Southern Illinois, to work in the Chicago area and to raise her family. She enjoyed her work and many friends at Borg-Warner, an auto parts manufacturing plant where she was employed for 18 years. In the 1980’s, Wanda returned to Goreville, where she owned and operated a restaurant. She later moved to Florida and worked for Tropicana for many years and was involved in property management, prior to her retirement. She was a member of the Teamsters Union and the N.R.A.
Wanda returned to Southern Illinois following the death of her husband William Thurman. She enjoyed many visits and holidays with her family. She always enjoyed painting and decorating. In her youth, she enjoyed making handcrafts, especially crochet.
Her last year of life was mixed with setbacks in health and miraculous rebounds. The family thanks the many healthcare providers who lovingly helped with all her needs. A super-special thank you to all the staff at Shawnee Christian Nursing Center in Herrin, IL and the Herrin Hospital for treating her as they would have treated their own Mother. You are so appreciated.
Wanda embraced the Church of God and loved Jesus with all her heart. Her prayer was for everyone to give their heart and life to Jesus as their own Savior with the Holy Spirit, be baptized, and make plans to join loved ones in Heaven when this life’s journey ends and eternal life begins. Her greatest joy was her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and two poodles, “Gi-Gi” and “Zha-Zha.”
Wanda is survived by:
Her Sons – Noel D & Susan Wright of Alton, IL
Terry D. Wright of Missouri
William L. & Donna Warner of Carbondale, IL
Wayne L. & Ruth Warner of Las Vegas, NV
17 Grandchildren – Jeremy Wright, Joshua Wright, Jessica Wright Bastura,
Tonya Johnson, Matthew Wright, Nolan Wright, Erin Wright, Rachel Wright, Benjamin Wright, Jennifer Warner Flores, Wendy Warner Reams, William Warner III, Crystal Warner, Wayne L. Warner, Jr., Amber Warner Williams, Allison Warner, & Austin Warner.
18 Great Grandchildren – Jerod Wright, John Fugate, Tyler Wright, Chloe Wright, Conner Wright, Steven West, Rachel Warner William L. Warner IV, Angelina Warner, Isaiah Warner, Alyzabeth Warner, Evan Reams, Joshua Reams, Edward Reams, Carson “McCoy” Hanshew, Riley Warner, Wayne L. Warner III, & McKynzie Williams.
Daughters-in-Law – Christa Wright and Barbara Wright
A Brother – Lawrence & Connie Jean Johnson of Marion, IL
3 Sisters – Lona Mae Brookes of Marion, IL
Gertrude “Gi Gi” & Val Gene Gould of Herrin, IL
Judy Cash of Harrisburg, IL
Nieces & Nephews
In addition to her parents and husband, Wanda was preceded in death by:
A Son – Jerry M. Wright
3 Sisters – Pauline Webb, Mary Lowery, Hazel Vinson
6 Brothers – Verna, Earnest, Wilburn, Earl, Kenneth & Billy Johnson
Funeral services will be held Saturday, December 1, 2012, at 1 p.m. at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna. Pastor Shorty Alsip will officiate.
Burial will be in the New Salem Cemetery, near Tunnel Hill, IL.
Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.
Memorials may be made to the Shawnee Christian Nursing Center, 1901 S. 13th Street, Herrin, IL 62948.