Wanda Christensen (Jacobsen)
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the United Methodist Church, Good Samaritan Society, or Avera Holy Family Hospice in Wanda's name.
Wanda May (Jacobsen) Christensen, the daughter of Ernest and Myrtle (Madsen) Jacobsen was born May 31, 1933 in Ringsted, Iowa. She learned early that she would have to help take care of (7) brothers. It was at this time her full blooded Danish heritage showed in her baking abilities. She graduated from the Ringsted Schools in 1950.
She had a brief stint at cosmetology school in Mason City but decided that wasn’t for her.
She then went to work for Dr. Wolters at his practice in Estherville as his secretary/receptionist. It was here that Don met Wanda. He seemed to have a “frequent sore throat” and visited regularly. He noticed Wanda, thinking she seemed really “efficient” and asked her out. They were married November 18, 1954. Their honeymoon was “to tear down the road as fast as we could to the Ozarks and tear back home because we had to get harvest done!”.
Don and Wanda lived and farmed near Ringsted, building a home and family. Wanda had a huge garden from which she froze and canned the produce and her tried and true recipes were used for social and church functions. Her conservative ways were evident though as she had the cost per ingredient on the back side of each recipe.
In the ensuing years Wanda became a major element of the farm. She would run all the tillage equipment, ran the combine, drove 600 bushel grain trucks, and took care of all the weighing-in of the grain. She spent untold hours watching over the drying operation. All the while, she would put (2) full
warm meals in front of all people helping. She would run the logistics of moving the equipment from farm to farm, usually as the taxi driver. Once, a grain truck broke down at the Gruver elevator. As men attempted to fix it, Bruno walked out and said, “guys, why don’t you step back and relax . . . Wanda’s on her way!”.
Wanda achieved her private pilot’s license, somehow, between all the other activities.
Wanda formed and sat on the board of (2) corporations. Kept the books for (2) businesses, and was very active at the United Methodist Church, UMW, Relay for Life, and Good Samaritan Auxiliary Board. She volunteered countless hours at Good Samaritan, specializing in helping the lady residents with their nails. Once they moved to Estherville, many people remember her walking around town to her many events at a pace few could match.
In the slower times, Wanda enjoyed having grandchildren stay with her. A common story among them was the consumption of “Rice Krispies”, both as breakfast and as a snack. Grandma was pretty stingy on the sugar sprinkled over the top and they would sneak more sugar when she left the room. I think she knew! Claire remembered Grandma taking her and Kellie to McDonalds for her 6th Birthday. There was an understanding that they would eat all their happy meal – all of it. Ellie and many of the children have their names written on the toy storage room walls under the steps. She was amazed when Great
Grandma would show her old toys and they had “no batteries!”. Amanda was very aware of Grandma’s strong faith, humble and modest demeanor. Denise is amazed that Wanda was a pilot. She also related how she took a course at the college on handyman skills “so she could fix her own things”. She was also aware of healthy eating even before it was main stream (except for the margarine). You had to be on your toes to catch her dry humor. Therese, the duly appointed “farm wife”, loved how Wanda taught her to freeze, can, bake pies, garden, make curtains – she could do anything. Emily remembers Grandma’s hats, trick or treating for apple juice and pudding, and her meatloaf, bran muffins, and homemade jam. And according to Grandma, the correct pronunciation is “cats-up … not ketch-up”. Wanda never had daughters, so she was so fortunate to have many granddaughters. There was also an issue when Abbie and Emily didn’t finish a plum! Steve and Roger were known to have to stand with their nose pressed into the corner of the kitchen walls. There is no record of the youngest needing this type of discipline.
Wanda departed this life on a beautiful May 19th, 2018 evening at the Good Samaritan Society in Estherville, Iowa at 6:20 p.m. I’m sure in her mind, Roger was putting in the crop, the men were fed, the next day’s chores were laid out, and all the grandchildren were accounted for. Her work was done.
Left to remember Wanda is her husband Don, son Steven and his children Abbie (Minneapolis), Joel and (Fiancé) Lauren (Spirit Lake), and Kellie (Spirit Lake). Son Roger and Therese (Estherville) and their children Emily and Jim Coniglio (Omaha) with their children Zoey, Jimmie, Brody, Amelia Coniglio and
Ellie and Jack Peterson. Michael and Kelsie (Estherville) and their children Caroline and Emma-Kate. Amanda and Kris Kirchner (Estherville) and their children Michael, Leah, and Hattie May. Marcus (West Des Moines), Daniel (ISU) and Matthew (ELC). Son Dean and Denise (Estherville) and their children
Claire (Vancouver) and Lee (Anamosa). Four brothers Ronald (Estherville), Myron (Troy, Ohio), Lloyd and Sue (McHenry, Illinois), Jerry and Becky (Naples, Florida) and sisters-in-law, Marcia Jacobsen (Leroy) and Joyce Jacobsen (David). Preceding Wanda in death were her parents, brothers Dave, Leroy, infant brother James and sister-in-law, Rojean Jacobsen (Ron).