Leilani Wongwai Wakeman Dillard

July 7, 1926August 7, 2018
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Leilani Wongwai Wakeman Dillard passed away peacefully while surrounded by her family after a courageous battle against Pancreatic Cancer on August 7, 2018. She was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 7, 1926. She was pre-deceased by her parents Archie and Lily Chang Wongwai, her brothers Sonny and Walter, her sisters Beatrice and Pearl, and her husband’s Richard Frank Wakeman and Roger Frank Dillard. She is survived by her children Dr. Richard John Wakeman (Christina), Brenda D. Durham, Roger Dean Dillard (Kim) and Steven Frank Dillard. She leaves behind five grandsons, four great granddaughters, and her dog Chloe. Lani, as she was called by her family and friends, received a BS in chemistry and a minor in piano from the college of St. Theresa in Winona, Minnesota in 1947. She received an MBA from the University of Western Michigan in 1988. She was a career medical technologist and was a board certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathology. She was the senior and supervising medical technologist at The Madigan Army Medical Center from 1958-1963, and Martin Army Hospital from 1964-1991. After retiring from the Civil Service, she taught medical technology courses at Meadows Junior College in Columbus, Georgia. She was an avid reader, an active bridge player (playing well into her 90’s) and she was a Sunday Mass greeter at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Columbus, Georgia. She loved to travel, having visited China five times, Western Europe, Russia, Thailand, South America, Alaska, Canada, Africa, Japan, and dozens of trips back to her home in Hawaii. Lani has been a resident of Columbus, Georgia since 1964 and was loved by co-workers, family, and friends. Her heart was generous, her soul was pure and her mind was challenging and very bright. She will be missed but never forgotten. We wish to give our heartfelt thanks to the staff of Columbus Hospice for their kind and attentive care given to her in her last days. Funeral services are will be held on Saturday 11, 2018 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church at 1:30 pm with Father Manny officiating. Visitation will be held beforehand at Striffler-Hamby from 11:00am-1:00pm. Striffler-Hamby is entrusted with the arrangements. The family would like to encourage people to donate to Columbus Hospice or the American Cancer Society.


  • Dr. John Wakeman (Christina), Son
  • Brenda D. Durham, Daughter
  • Roger Dean Dillard (Kim), Son
  • Steve Frank Dillard, Son
  • Archie Wongwai, Father
  • Lily Chang Wongwai, Mother
  • Sonny Wongwai, Brother
  • Walter Wongwai, Brother
  • Beatrice Wongwai, Sister
  • Pearl Wongwai, Sister
  • Richard Frank Wakeman, Previous Husband
  • Roger Dillard, Late Husband
  • Mrs. Dillard leaves behind five grandchildren, four great grandchildren, her dog Chloe and many family and friends to cherish her loving memory.


  • Visitation Saturday, August 11, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Saturday, August 11, 2018

Leilani Wongwai Wakeman Dillard

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Betty Kennedy

August 12, 2018

Dr. Wakeman,
So sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. She surely accomplished a lot in her life to be proud of and left behind a great legacy of love. I know how much you loved her and will miss her. She was a beautiful lady. You all have so many wonderful memories of her to sustain you until you see her again.
Prayers for you and your family.

Nat McCall

August 11, 2018

I never had the pleasure of meeting Leilani, but heard many stories of the love she had for her children and life from Rocky. The loss of a parent is always hard, but there is some solace that her legacy lives on in Rocky and Sean. Condolences and prayers for you and your family, my friends.

Colleen Rosenberg

August 9, 2018

I had the pleasure of working with Leilani at Martin Army. She was always very kind. She had a gentle spirit. Always willing to help and teach with great patience.
May God's grace help the family thru the celebration of a life well lived.

Susan Perkins

August 9, 2018

I enjoyed playing duplicate bridge with Lelani at the Bridge House. She was a very good player.