Wanda Lee, age 87, passed away on January 10, 2022, at Ava’s House in Sioux Falls, surrounded by her family. Funeral service will be on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at George Boom Funeral Home & On-Site Crematory, Sioux Falls. Visitation will be from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home on Tuesday.
Wanda Karen Johnson Lee was born August 4, 1934, to Walter K. and Harriet (Aldrich) Johnson in Gregory, SD, the oldest of three children. When Wanda was 4 ½ years old, her mother died. In 1943 Walter moved his family to Estelline, SD. There Walter met and married Gloria Rymerson and they had two more children.
Wanda graduated from Estelline High School in 1952 and earned an associate degree in Secretarial Science from South Dakota State College. In 1955 she began working for U.S. Senator Karl Mundt in Washington, DC. Wanda began in 1973 as Field Office Manager to U.S. Congressman and then Senator James Abdnor and continued in that role until 1983. Wanda was active in Republican politics throughout her life and was a delegate to the 1968 Republican National Convention.
Wanda married Myrth “M.O.” Lee February 1, 1958, and they made their home in Huron, SD. In 1986 they retired to Bella Vista, Arkansas, where they could work on their golf game year-round. M.O. passed away in 2009, and Wanda moved to Sioux Falls in 2013.
Wanda and M.O. were parents of three children, Mark, Karen, and Todd. Throughout her life, Wanda was the family caregiver. She cared for her siblings Paul and Harriet when their mother died, and she helped her new mother Gloria with her new siblings, Cynthia and David. When M.O.’s father died in 1959, his sister Mary joined the family and completed high school in Huron. She also cared for her brother-in-law Jim as he recovered from an automobile accident. Wanda spent countless hours running neighborhood children to Huron Country Club, the pool, baseball diamonds and other activities during their time in Huron.
Her interests included golf, bridge, antiquing, traveling, crafts, Garden Club, family, and a good vodka tonic. She particularly enjoyed cheering on the University of South Dakota basketball team, coached by her son Todd, and attending her grandchildren’s activities.
Wanda is survived by her three children and their families – Mark (Lesa) Lee, granddaughter Meagan (Bryan) Hentges and sons Hank, Walt and Levon, and grandson Michael Lee; Karen Lee and her friend Winston Flowers, granddaughter Allison Koenig and daughter Lyric, granddaughter Amanda (Luke) Waddell and son Link and grandbaby girl due in May; and Todd (Kim) Lee, grandsons Carson, Jackson and his friend McKenna Klecker and Peyton. She is also survived by three siblings, Harriet (Don) Scott, Cynthia Johnson, and David (Jan) Johnson, as well as sisters-in-law Neva Johnson and Mary (Tom) LeRoy, and brother-in-law James (Carolyn) Lee.
She was preceded in death by her husband M.O., her parents, her brother Paul Johnson, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Jack and Marianne Lee, and her grandparents.
If you are vaccinated for COVID and not evidencing any symptoms, the family invites you to join them in-person for visitation and services. Masks are welcome for those who choose to wear one. You may also view the service streamed through the George Boom website. Memorials received will be dedicated in Wanda’s honor to the University of South Dakota Men’s Basketball program.