Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877


Wanda Sheahan

Apr. 10, 1927- Dec. 21, 2018


February 7, 2019

Wanda Jean Klingbeil Sheahan

Wanda Jean Klingbeil Sheahan

Our beloved mother and grandmother, Wanda Sheahan, passed away peacefully on December 21, 2018, near her winter home of San Marcos, California. She was 91 years old and bravely fought liver and pancreatic cancer for the past 12 months. Her family and friends meant the world to her, and we will be forever grateful for all she taught us through her courage, cheerfulness, generosity and faith in God.

Wanda Jean Klingbeil was born April 10, 1927, to Herman and Emma Klingbeil in Tekoa, Washington. She was the sixth of eight children, and growing up on a dairy farm during the Great Depression had a great impact on her character and spirit. In fact, she later wrote a book about the challenges and hardships during her early years.

Wanda was blessed with a beautiful singing voice, and in high school she was in numerous musical groups. From triple trio to quartets, she enjoyed performing in local communities as a way to show support for those in the military through USO sponsored dances. She also played the french horn and was delighted to have been chosen drum major for the marching band.

After completing high school in Tekoa, Wanda moved to Spokane and graduated from Kinman Business University. She later relocated to Seattle, where she worked her way through college while majoring in English at the University of Washington. Her creative writing ability served her well in the years to come.

One of the great thrills of Wanda's life was winning an essay contest in 1949 about her courtship with the handsome, Don Sheahan. The grand prize was an appearance on the nationally broadcast "Bride and Groom" radio show, plus an expense-paid wedding ceremony and honeymoon. This was the memorable beginning of their marriage which spanned over 56 years.

Wanda worked as Don's legal secretary when he started his practice in his hometown of Rosalia. Together they loved and nurtured their five children; spending the summer months swimming and boating at Lake Coeur d'Alene, and going on family vacations throughout the western states and Canada. Their oldest son, Lonny, passed away when he was five years old.

Being Mom & Nana gave Wanda great joy, and she was the ultimate "parent volunteer". She was the Den Mother for Cub Scouts, Camp Fire leader, Rainbow mom, and Vacation Bible School song director. She was also very proud and supportive of Rosalia schools and her community. Wanda enjoyed cheering for the ball teams at various events, driving for FFA and FHA outings, and serving as PTA president. After her grandchildren were born, she delighted in seeing their musical performances, sporting competitions, and even chaperoning field trips.

A member of the Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Star, and DAR, Wanda formed lasting friendships through her participation in these organizations. In early adulthood, she loved playing in Bridge clubs and on bowling teams. More recently she enjoyed reminiscing with long-time friends at "Senior Citizen" luncheons and making new friends while on her daily walks.

Her faith was strengthened as a member of the Rosalia Christian church, and later the United Methodist church. Wanda volunteered her time on civic projects that ranged from decorating parade floats to serving ice cream at the Whitman County Fair. Her dedication for service reached beyond the city limits to Spokane in her leadership roles with Camp Fire's Inland Empire Council and American Heart Association.

Wanda loved to travel, and often wrote articles for the Whitman County Gazette about family journeys. From Ireland and Germany to Japan and the Panama Canal, her expressive writing style gave readers a vivid description of the people and places they encountered. A favorite excursion was a cruise on the Mediterranean Sea in celebration of Don and Wanda's 50th wedding anniversary in 1999. They enjoyed traveling with their dear friends, Randy and Annette Mattausch by air, car, ship, or train, and had fond memories of their trips in the United States, Asia and Europe.

Wanda was preceded in death by her husband, Don (2006); and son, Lonny (1956). She is survived by sons, Don L. of Chula Vista, Calif., Tim of San Marcos, Calif., and Larry (Lura) of Brinnon, Wash.; and daughter, Cathy (Steve) of Sacramento, Calif. She is also survived by her cherished grandchildren, Danny (Charlotte), Joey, Donald, and Kelley; and Wanda's younger brother, Dale Klingbeil. No memorial services are scheduled at this time. Love you and miss you, Mom....

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race,

I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7

Donations may be made in Wanda's memory to Rosalia Methodist Church or Rosalia Lions Club.


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