Wanda Jo Windham McLaughlin, 87, of Baird, Texas, was born Sept. 1, 1929, to a third generation frontier ranching family, Ernest and Marie Windham in a house in Oplin, Texas.
Her great-grandfather was the first doctor in Callahan County, Texas in 1874.
Wanda Jo peacefully passed away July 12, 2017, at the Commons in Enid, Oklahoma.
Wanda Jo attended school in Baird, Texas and graduated in 1946. She attended college at McMurry in Abilene, Texas, and Texas Christian University in Fort Worth; she represented both schools in college rodeos throughout Texas.
She won All Around Cowgirl in the first Hardin Simmons College Rodeo held at Fair Park in Abilene.
For most of her life, Wanda Jo was a rancher on the Twin Mountain Ranch in Callahan County, Texas. During that time and after her retirement, she was a member of The Women's Club in Ruidoso, New Mexico, and in Breckenridge, Texas.
She was a member of the Oil Wives Bridge Club in Ventura, California and Abilene, Texas, where she served as Vice President and then President. She played in two bridge clubs in Baird, Texas. She taught bridge at the Petroleum Club while living in Tripoli, Libya.
She loved spending time and having parties with family and friends, and playing bridge. Her enjoyment of life was strongly evident to all who knew and loved her. She lived her life according to her values, that a person needed to be honest, keep your word, do your work to the best of your ability, and work hard.
She was a bigger-than-life beautiful, classy, true Texas rancher with a personality that you could make a movie about. She was loved and admired by many, and will never be forgotten by the people whose hearts she touched.
Wanda Jo is survived by her life-long best friend, Forrest "Sonny" Burleson of Baird, Texas. She is also survived by three children, Roy H. McAdams of Baird, Texas, Amber McLaughlin Gill and husband Ray Gill of Enid, Oklahoma, and Kelly Don McLaughlin of Baird, Texas; a step-daughter, Laura Smith Flowers and husband Don of Lake Leon, Texas; a grandson Brett "Chief" McAdams of Dallas, Texas; two granddaughters, Cassidy Hope McLaughlin of Baird, Texas, and Cheyenne Marie Gill of Enid, Oklahoma; one step-granddaughter Shawna Walters Slaughter of Flower Mound, Texas; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and other loved ones.
She is preceded in death by her parents, one brother, Richard Windham, one sister Laura Mae Yarbrough, and two granddaughters, Molly Jo McLaughlin and Julie Walter-Carrillo.
The family wishes to thank The Commons in Enid, Oklahoma, and Lyndale of Abilene, Texas, for their kindness, compassion, and friendship in their care of Wanda Jo.
A service to celebrate the life of Wanda Jo is 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at the First Methodist Church, in Baird, Texas.
Burial will follow at Ross Cemetery in Baird, under the direction of Parker Funeral Home.
Visitation with the family is 5-7 p.m. Monday, July 17, 2017, at Parker Funeral Home in Baird.
Published on July 15, 2017