Our beloved Mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, Deanna Wankier, returned to the arms of her Heavenly Father on Thursday, April 9th, after a short battle with brain cancer. She was greeted by her eternal companion, our father, Farrell Wankier. We can only imagine how sweet and beautiful the reunion was after spending almost 50 years of marriage.
What we all knew of Mom was her determination, relentless drive, work ethic, and loyalty to all those around her.
What you might not know about our mom is her lifelong pursuit of adventure. As a young woman she wanted to live in San Francisco, she boarded a train, not knowing anyone, or having a job and began her life adventures. She was quickly welcomed with open arms, met many new friends, and landed her then dream job. Deanna was always willing to embrace her fears and take risks; these traits steered her through many of her lifetime of adventures. She moved to Washington DC to work for a member of Congress as his secretary, put herself through college, and attracted many suitors during her younger years. Our favorite story was how our mother and father first met in the spring of 1966, over apples at a local grocery store. Mom was engaged to another man, but this did not deter our father from pursuing his future wife. Their courtship was pure and simple and led to a wedding on July 30th, 1966. Fourteen years later, they were sealed with their children, for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake City temple.
After mom and dad were married, they pursued many real estate adventures. Her strong work ethic and vision enabled her to self-manage 60 plus rental units in Salt Lake City while raising a young family. She served in multiple church callings, as a Relief Society President, a missionary with our father at the LDS conference center, and as a volunteer at the Utah State Prison. Mom exemplified the life of our Savior by selflessly serving others. Mom was always willing to open her heart and her home to anyone. She was able to see the good in people and had a sincere desire to help those that couldn't stand firmly on their own two feet. She lived to serve, and most of all, she loved to serve her family.
"I have a Motto- I won't give up my hair, nails, or my lawn care." She was forever a lady, never leaving the house without her make-up on, and teaching her girls the importance of not just being a lady, but a lady who can stand on her own two feet. Mom loved life, whether it was tending to her gardens, remodeling an apartment, taking trips to all corners of the globe, volunteering at the theatre, homeless shelter, or simply going for a walk. Despite all of her accomplishments as a successful businesswoman, her greatest success was her four children and her ten grandchildren.
Mom was a dedicated mother, first and foremost. She treasured her children and embraced every moment to be with them. Whether it was working side by side, making daily connections, or supporting us in all our moves, jobs, and relationships. Mom actively made an effort to be a part of our lives. She especially loved her role as grandma. She welcomed all of her grandbabies into this world; she rarely missed any of their school, sports, church events, or significant life milestones. She created extraordinary and unique relationships with each of her ten grandchildren. Whether it was as a best friend to her oldest grandson, Noah, reading books, putting together puzzles, teaching you how to make a pie, packing presents into her suitcase, or making banana hotcakes for all her other grandchildren; Ethan, Kaela, Jacob, Ryan, James, Landon, Reid, Harrison and Anna. She loved and adored her grandchildren. They were indeed the light of her life.
Mom was preceded in death by her eternal companion Farrell Wankier, her parents, Al G. and Bernice Rigtrup, brother Jim, sister Elaine, and her brother-in-law, Leon Zeeman, Bud Shephard, Chuck Foote, and her sister-in-law Vicky Nelson.
Mom loved flowers, but she loved serving others more. In her memory and to honor her, if you choose, please make a charitable donation to any of the following charitable organizations:
• Primary Children's Hospital: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/locations/primary-childrens-hospital/giving-volunteering/intermountain-foundation/service-projects-donations/
• Broadway Centre Cinemas https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/WebLink.aspx?name=E157586&id=1
• Huntsman Cancer Institute: https://huntsmancancer.org/giving/foundation/ways-to-give/
• Shriners Hospital for Children: https://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/shc/donate
Or simply give a bouquet of flowers to somebody that you know, in her honor.
We will be celebrating Deanna Wankier with a service on July 18, 2020, with a short opportunity to meet the family from 1000-1030 and a service from 1045-1130 at 107 North G Street, SLC, Utah. Please save the date and join us at that time, for sharing of memories and honoring our dear Mother.
We love you, mom, and we know we will see you and dad again. God be with us until we meet again.