Cover photo for Wanda F. Donley's Obituary
Wanda F. Donley Profile Photo

Wanda F. Donley

January 19, 1928 — November 22, 2023

Wanda F. Donley

Wanda Fay Ward was born at home on January 19, 1928 in Eldorado, Saline County, Illinois. Wanda was one of ten children born to Forrest (Tony) and Goldie Ward (nee Anderson). Wanda's siblings were: Luther Thomas, Annabel, Mable Ruth, Mary Edith, Tony Samuel, Jackie Lee, Phyllis Jean, Jacob Frederick and Richard Dale. Forrest Ward had pet names for all his daughters. Wanda was called Shug (as in sugar); a name later picked up and also used as a term of endearment by her husband Ray. Wanda spent most of her younger years on her parent's farm in Eldorado. Wanda and her siblings attended school at Crossroads School; a two-room schoolhouse covering grades one through eight. Wanda was particularly good at math and won a medal at the spelling bee; she later attended Eldorado High School ( I [ daughter Linda] must say that it feels somewhat strange to refer to my parents by their given names, rather than the usual mom and dad.). Wanda once told me that she thinks the reason she's not the fondest of strawberries was because for weeks before and after every Memorial Day weekend she and her sisters would be busy picking strawberries to be sold at their roadside stand. Several acres were devoted to strawberries, and people from all over the area would come for their strawberries; some from as far as Indiana. According to my mom, when she was growing up, they also had pigs, cows, geese, ducks, chickens, guinea hens, goats, and horses. One of her chores was to gather the eggs from the chickens each morning. Her favorite animal, though, was a Shetland pony named Ribbon. She would tell me stories of riding bareback on that pony. You just grab hold of Ribbon's mane, swing on up, and off you go, riding around the acres of farmland. After graduating from Crossroads School, Wanda attended Eldorado High School. While at Eldorado High School, Wanda met schoolmate Raymond Donley who would later down the line become her one and only husband. Economics being what they were, Wanda left high school early to find work outside of Eldorado area. Wanda's sister Mable, and Mable's husband Ray, found employment in Evansville, Indiana, and encouraged Wanda to move to Evansville in order to find a job for herself. Wanda managed to find a job atan A&P Store in Evansville. Wanda worked and stayed in Evansville during the week and traveled to Eldorado on weekends to be with her family .Wanda did not know it at the time, but Ray Donley had the same train of thought as she did with respect to employment. Ray too left school early, and as jobs were extremely scarce in Eldorado at that time, also sought work in Evansville, Indiana. Ray worked at the shipyards in Evansville, and during a chance run to the local A&P for groceries, ran into his old high school friend Wanda. The two began dating, and a year or so later, decided to marry,

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Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

9:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Sax-Tiedemann Funeral and Crematorium

9568 Belmont Ave, Franklin Park, IL 60131

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

11:00 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Sax-Tiedemann Funeral and Crematorium

9568 Belmont Ave, Franklin Park, IL 60131

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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