May 29, 2024

A life-long resident of Durham, Mo., Mrs. Wanda Louise (Shanks) McReynolds, 88, passed away peacefully (even with the roosters crowing) in the early morning hours of May 23, 2024, at her home, in Durham, Mo., holding the hand of her daughter and beautiful caregiver (the one she bossed around and loved it) of many years, Cathy.

Wanda was born (not in a barn) on, March 18th of 1936, in Canton, Missouri to the lovely Wade and Katie (Griggs) Shanks.  In Wanda’s childhood, she grew up on a farm, not the prairie one, but darn close! She raised pesky chickens, and churned the ultimate butter. Warshed clothes and hung ‘em out to dry. She graduated high school in 1953, in Ewing, Missouri, being the very first in her family to complete all twelve grades of education.  And, during this time, she definitely walked uphill both ways, specifically when it snowed. She attended Durham Baptist Church in Durham, Missouri, and was of the Baptist faith.

On September 26, 1953, Wanda married William (Bill) H. McReynolds in Durham, Mo.  With the “birds and bees talk” — three children were born to Bill and Wanda: Cathy (Mom’s favorite, the very smart and stubborn one), Deborah (Daddy’s Girl, the sweet and innocent one) and Randy (“The Sore Thumb”, the joke-ster, and the one that gave Mom (Wanda) all of the gray hair. These three children were “Wanda’s World” and she made sure her children were taken care of; providing for their needs and wants, even when they didn’t have a lot of money. She always made it work, regardless of the circumstances.

You could always find Wanda in her kitchen, cooking and cleaning! She always welcomed her family (and their friends) by saying, “Are you hungry?” …and… “Do you want something to eat?” …and… “Are you sure you aren’t hungry, and want something to eat?” And, basically would continue until you ate her food.

Although Wanda had cooked a variety of meals throughout her lifetime, her specialty was “homemade noodles and tomato juice.” You could hear her rolling pin rollin’ away as soon as you walked in her door, due to the bearings needing to be repaired. But, as she rolled them out on the daily newspaper, you knew soon “the cure” was coming!  If you had a headache, the “homemade noodles and tomato juice” cured it. Stomach ache? “Cured” it! A terrible, no good, bad day? “Cured” it!  Cardinals didn’t win the World Series for Randy? “Cured” it!

  Wanda cultivated a life around her three children, with them being her number one priority and joy.  She’d always be sure each child: Cathy, Deborah (Debbie), and Randy had their needs met throughout their childhood and adulthood.  While raising her kids, she always went overboard at every Easter, being sure massive amounts of candy was scattered throughout the house.  During Christmas, “Santa Claus” always found the best Christmas presents, specifically finding a purple poodle that was requested!  And, a bicycle that was asked for was “upgraded” to a cool motorcycle, instead.

Wanda kept a growing garden, canning many quarts of tomato juice, and her kids still complain about picking all of those green beans.  She was always so creative when helping her children make Valentine’s boxes for their school parties.  This was a very fond memory the three children hold within their hearts to this day.

Wanda was also known for cooking A LOT of catfish in a skillet and frying mushrooms.  But, sometimes you’d also find her cooking whatever her husband brought home that day, including squirrel and rabbit.

She was a homemaker, thee best and thee most rewarding job, but thee very hardest.

As Wanda’s kids grew older, her husband said her, “Wanda, you can go to work outside the home now.”  But, she stood firm, and said, “Nope! I have grandkids now.”

From the three children, Wanda and Bill gained 11 grandchildren: Regina (Glenn) McClanahan; Ryan (Crystal) Keith of Ewing, Mo.; Renee Brownell of Ewing, Mo.; Brock McReynolds, and Dustin (Tempa) McReynolds of LaGrange, Mo.; Richie (Beth) Keith of Ewing, Mo.; Todd Sutton and Leanna Sutton of Laddonia, Mo.; Christopher (Kaci) Hunolt of Bethel, Mo.; Timmy Sutton of LaBelle Mo.; Rebecca (Bradley) Dreyer of Ewing, Mo.

After telling Bill, “NO!” … Wanda then cultivated her life around her grandchildren, spoiling them specifically with a back yard pool.  It did become well known for her grandchildren to pack their suitcase, and go to Grandma Wanda’s because “we were mad at one of HER children.”  She’d always have popcorn popping on the stove for her grandchildren, and her tidy, clean home always consisted of fort building supplies.  At her kitchen table, many games of “War” and “Go Fish” were played, including “Rise, Table, Rise.”  At Christmas, her granddaughters always received tea towels, and grandsons receiving Reese’s peanut butter cups, and peanuts.

Wanda also would get very frustrated at Bill when he’d bring home snapping turtles, for the grandchildren to play with. Bill would often stand behind Wanda while she was talking, and mock everything she’d be saying.

Even as she helped her children and grandchildren on a daily basis, she’d always be sure she had her husband’s meal on the table at 5:00 P.M. when he’d come home from work, along with crackers and a “Mount Everest” amount of butter.

In her latter years, Wanda enjoyed reading books and cross-stitching, but Sunday Dinners were the best!  Everyone would gather, and eat after church, with a food table that consisted of many dishes. Thanksgiving was a favorite of hers, too!  Specifically, deviled eggs and cranberry sauce.

You could also find her on an Oats Bus, with the Red Hat Ladies, going from Casino to Casino.  She also gained interest in the St. Louis Cardinals, specifically when David Freese hit a walk-off home run in 2011.  She watched the whole game, and her son believes this is when she fell in love with the Cardinals!

She also gained interest in rootin’ for the Kansas City Chiefs, while eating dilly bars from Dairy Queen, in her living room chair.  She was adamant about keeping DQ in business, and now we fear they’ll be filing for bankruptcy soon.  Wanda loved to go for many car rides, being sure to grab the “Famous Chili” from Steak N Shake, or a hot dog from Sonic.

And, we all knew not to call Wanda between 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM, during the week, or you’d have to “hit the receiver” to let her know we were still on the line.   She was “too busy” watching Marlena being possessed by the devil on “Days of Our Lives.”  She also enjoyed watching “Big Brother” in her home filled with blue, which even included blue carpet, while eating her red tomatoes—which she also had a love for!  And, we can’t forget her eating Nutter Butters, while listening to the Grand Ole Opry!

Wanda is survived by her most treasured assets—her children: Cathy (the late Charles) Temple of Durham, Mo.; Deborah Sutton-Wayne (the late Randy and late Bill) of Laddonia, Mo.; and Randy (Susan) McReynolds of Quincy, Ill.

She is also survived by her 11 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Bill; two sisters, Mildred Lair and Patsy Raleigh.

Throughout the “Days of Her Life”, Wanda taught all of us along the way; even being bossy at times and stubborn.  (Some are delighted that we got this from her!)

Wanda came into this World, with nothing.  She learned, lived, and left peacefully, with an abundance of people who loved her dearly.

As a family, we know in our hearts, Wanda is in the loving arms of Jesus, and also reuniting and conversing with her husband she loved so dearly, Bill  We are sure she is “chattin’ him up” about what has happened in the last 24 years.

“I’m ready whenever the good Lord takes me,”

is what Wanda always said… and Grandma, the good Lord has taken you to your forever home, eternal life.

Well done, Wanda Louise!

 You’re home, now.  And, we all sure hope Heaven is playing country music in the streets of gold for you, while smelling all of the wonderful lilacs, and dancing with daddy.

You will never be forgotten, and were so VERY loved.  Rest easy now Grammy, you left a legacy.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, May 29, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. at the Ball-Davis Funeral Home in Ewing, Mo., with Rev. Russell Brownell officiating.  Burial was in the Durham Cemetery.  Visitation was held Tuesday morning from 9:00 a.m. until time of services in the funeral home. 

The family suggests memorials be made to Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology (IBD) Department, Rochester, MN or to the American Cancer Society in care of Ball-Davis Funeral Home, P.O. Box 273, Ewing, MO  63440.

Music will be:   “Angels” by Randy Travis; “Vietnam Deck of Cards” by Red Sovine; and “Mamas” by Anne Wilson and Hillary Scott.

Pallbearers will be: Brock McReynolds; Dustin McReynolds; Todd Sutton; Christopher Hunolt; Timmy Sutton; Andrew Lair; Codee Dredge; Caedon Brownell; Drasyn Keith; and Evan Keith. 

Honorary Pallbearers are Ryan Keith; Richie Keith; Brad Dreyer; Robert Sutton; Brady Puls Lucas Berry; also including Shailee Dredge, Morgan Keith; Emery Keith; Kasy Puls, Sue Sutton; Emma Berry; Crystal Keith; Regina McClanahan; Renee Brownell; Leanna Puls; Rebecca Dreyer; and Abbie Lair.

Online condolences may be left at www.davis-fh.com

(Note- Unique spellings are phrases were requested by family.)