Wanda Sue Edwards, 68, of Gillette, Wyoming, passed away peacefully on May 18, 2021 at her home of natural causes. Wanda was born July 2, 1952 to Violet and George Hoffman in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, the fourth of five children. Her childhood was spent growing up on a ranch in Broadus, Montana where, at a young age, she developed a strong work ethic unlike any other. This is also where she developed her love for horses and animals.
She spent a great portion of her life raising, showing, and enjoying horses. At the age of 17, Wanda left the family ranch and was hired to do ranch work for Neil Collins where she started as the night calver and worked her way up through her several years on the ranch.
Wanda loved working hard and never backed down from anything asked of her. The Collins family still tell stories of Wanda climbing up on a heifer even though she was very pregnant, and they even have the pictures to prove it.
While working on the Collins Ranch she was introduced to Bunk Edwards who was working on a neighboring ranch. The two began dating and after a number of months they were married. Of this marriage there were three amazing children, Aileen, Fran, and Taco.
The couple eventually made their forever family home on a ranch south of Wright, Wyoming. Wanda took great pride in the ranch, as well as the animals they raised, including the bums they would take in for the kids to use for 4H. She instilled this love for animals into her children who all share her sincere passion for animals. Although they later divorced, Bunk and Wanda remained friends and enjoyed many family gatherings with their kids.
After leaving ranch work, Wanda settled into a long career in both the coal mine and the oil field industry which she retired from in 2012. Wanda’s work ethic carried her through many years in the industry. She truly loved her jobs and everyone she worked with. She took great pride in everything she did and built lifelong friendships throughout her career.
Her greatest pride was in her children and grandchildren (and maybe her yard). You could find her any summer day walking around her large and beautiful yard, barefoot and running around a million miles a minute, plucking, digging, and just enjoying what she had created. Her green thumb was unmatched and envied by us all.
She had the wittiest personality that left everyone in her path laughing and smiling. She had a heart of gold and loved hard and never left a single person wondering where they stood with her. She was loved by many and will be missed dearly. We are very fortunate to know that Wanda left this earth with each one of us knowing how very much we were loved, because she let us know every single day, and we have peace in our hearts knowing that she left us also knowing how very much she was loved by all of us. For this we are eternally grateful.
Wanda is survived by her children, Aileen and Mike Rodgers of Florence, Alabama, Fran and Kory Fillinger of Newcastle, Wyoming and Taco and Janene Edwards of Gillette, Wyoming; her grandchildren, Kaleb, Kaden, Jensen, Brodie, Brayden, and Branden. She is also survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Georgia and George Bement of Ashland, Montana; her brother, Jim Hoffman of Wright, Wyoming; sister-in-law, Marla Hoffman of Broadus, Montana; brother-in-law, Paul Ott of Rapid City, South Dakota; and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents; her granddaughter, Halle Edwards; brother, Lewis Hoffman; sister, Sandy Ott; as well as her grandparents.
A memorial service will be held Monday, May 24, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at the Inspiration Gardens at Mount Pisgah Cemetery with Pastor Dan Helvey officiating. A reception will follow at the cemetery reception hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the memorial fund which has been set up at First National Bank to benefit the Blessings in a Backpack Program in Gillette, as well as the Totes for Hope Program in Newcastle. Donations will be split between the two programs.
Memorials and condolences can be sent in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel 210 West 5th Street, Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences may also be expressed at www.gillettememorialchapel.com.
Some obituaries have been republished with permission from Gillette Memorial Chapel.