Wanda Gilligan

Wanda Sue Bowers Gilligan passed away peacefully on April 1, 2017 with family by her side. Services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, April 6, 2017 at Merle Hay Funeral Home. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m.

Wanda was born to Frank and Annie Spence Bowers on August 4, 1924 in Churdan, Iowa. Wanda graduated from Churdan High School in 1941. She was married to William L. Gilligan for 70 years and had two daughters, France Suzanne Evans and Marilyn Kay Noe.

Wanda and Bill moved to Johnston, Iowa in 1945. Wanda was a homemaker until 1947 when she began working for Pioneer Hi-Bred Seed Corn Company. On her retirement she was honored for 38 years of service. Her family increased at this time as Pauline Gilligan joined the family making a family of five. Always active in the activities of the girls she became a Johnston band parent. During football and basketball season she would make and serve sloppy joes, pies, cookies, and cakes at each home game.

The family’s activities expanded to horse shows and then to the Quarter Horse show. Wanda served in several different board positions for many years. Wanda and Bill were inducted into the Iowa Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2007.

Wanda enjoyed staying active. She still attended the Quarter Horse meetings, she was a frequent presence at The Prairie Meadows race track. Not for betting; it was to bring some baked goodies to her friends and family who worked there.

Wanda and Bill enjoyed dancing all their lives, Big Band and Square dancing especially. They also traveled often to Quarter Horse conventions and to Florida to visit their family there. They would fish with the Florida boys and attended their graduations and weddings. With so many grandchildren they traveled a great deal.

Wanda was preceded in death by her parents, husband, a granddaughter and six brothers.  Survivors are daughters, Suzanne Evans and Marilyn Noe; granddaughter Jolene Edmundson; grandsons, Bart Edmundson (Chris), Martin May (Margaret), Randall May (Amy), Ronald May (Susan), Phillip May, William May (Amanda), and Daniel May (Amy); sister-in-law Gertrude Nabor; brother-in-laws, James Gilligan (Jean), Daniel Peters, and Mike Gilligan (Carol).  Wanda was blessed with many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren with whom she enjoyed spending time with.  Affectionately she was called Grandma 14, Little Gramma, and Grammy.  She will be missed by many.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Grimes Public Library.

Merle Hay Funeral Home, Des Moines.

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