Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association in care of Pitman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 248, Wentzville, MO 63385.
Asleep in Jesus. Wanda Jean Van Ness nee Walker, age 87, a long-time resident of Lake St. Louis, Missouri, left this life to be with the Lord following a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Wanda was born to Lester Odell Walker and Thelma Walker nee Harris on June 9, 1928. She graduated from Wendell Willkie High School in Elwood, Indiana and was married to Forrest Van Ness Jr. on April 27, 1946. She was a devoted wife, loving mother and sister. Wanda attended classes at Ball State University and pursued a career in retail management. She broke through the gender barriers of the day and rose to executive leadership levels. Her vocation brought her to St. Louis where she later retired to a waterfront home in Lake St. Louis, Missouri. She spent many days enjoying her grandchildren, boating, golfing, playing bridge and attending church. She inspired people to attain their goals always viewing the world through rose color glasses. She constantly looked for the best qualities in all people. Wanda's parents, stepmother and husband preceded her in death but she is survived by her loving sister, Donna Hinshaw nee Walker, a son Forrest L. Van Ness, daughter Penny L. Van Ness, two grandchildren, Kyle A. Van Ness and Matthew R. Van Ness, a nephew Stan Hinshaw and his wife Malinda, a niece Diana Brown nee Hinshaw and her husband Walter, along with her companion and cousin Edna Updegraff, 6 grand nephews, nieces and cherished cousins in Indiana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. A special thanks to the skilled and caring staff at Garden View Care Center of O'Fallon, MO, the friends, co-workers and loved ones who came to visit and share their joy and happiness with her. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her.