Wanda Pearl Tipton
Passed away on August 8, 2018
Wanda Pearl (Hodges) Tipton was born July 25, 1922 in Roy, Missouri to Ebon (Ebb) Hodges and Chloe Gott. She had seven sisters and brothers. Wanda was a spirited young woman who left home on her first adventure shortly after high school, moving to Kansas City where she worked for Cessna leading a team of women who inspected gliders that were being built for World War II. She married Banner Smith of Seymour, MO and they set off traveling around the western states, working whatever jobs they found from picking apples in Washington to ranch-hand work, having fun and “seeing the world”. They had three children, Sheila, Vicki and Curtis. When Banner’s mother told them it was time to settle down so Sheila could begin school, they returned to Colorado for its mountains, hunting and fishing. They became care takers for the Buffalo Bill Museum, which they loved. Banner then worked for the Colorado Game and Fish and the Colorado State Penitentiary until his early death at age 43. Wanda raised three children on her own for the next seven years, working for Glenwood Medical Clinic in Glenwood Springs. She married Ray Tipton in 1963 and they blended families and moved to Wyoming for her next adventure. Ray worked at the Casper Tribune and Wanda for Natrona County Hospital during the weekdays, but the weekends were filled with exploring Wyoming, driving over sagebrush to get to out- of-the-way streams to fish, and hiking into Outlaw Canyon packing her perfect picnic. She always said “it was never a question about if they were going, but where they were going” every weekend. They later returned to Glenwood Springs, Colorado where Wanda worked as office manager for Garfield County for 15 years. They retired to Grand Junction and continued to make their own adventures, taking many road trips to Arizona and Oregon to see their daughters and grandchildren, always seeking new routes to travel and new country to see. They enjoyed Mesquite for casino fun and they loved time together on their breezy patio. Ray passed in 1999 and Wanda continued to live in their home until her death at age 96. Wanda was always ready to go, whether to a grandson’s wedding in Jamaica or a drive to spot Sandhill cranes, wild turkeys and deer. She loved her home and road trips, but mostly she loved her family – two husbands, 3 children, five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren. She lived her life with gusto, courage, humor and great love. She brought much joy into the world and we will miss her forever.