Thief River Falls - Wanda Melvie, 82, Thief River Falls, died on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at Oakland Park Communities in Thief River Falls.
Wanda Lafern Johnson was born January 19, 1931 in Galveston, Texas, to Harry A. and Lela F. (Hendrix) Johnson. At the age of 3, she moved from Texas with her family to northwestern Minnesota. She grew up and attended Northstar Country School.
Wanda worked on the family farm until marrying Frank Gillespie on Dec. 4, 1947. They made their home in Thief River Falls where she raised two daughters, Susan and Shirley.
Wanda worked at the creamery for 5-6 years cutting butter and later worked for about six years at Land-O-Lakes picking turkeys.
She married Ivan Melvie on May 12, 1963 and they made their home in Holt, for 33 years. She helped Ivan run “Ivan’s Service” gas and repair station, where Wanda took care of the full service gas and was the parts runner. They moved to Thief River Falls in 1998.
Wanda was famous for cooking and baking for her family and friends.
She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Ivan Melvie of Thief River Falls; two daughters: Susan Parnham of Thief River Falls, and Shirley (Glen) Stengrim, Westminster, Colo.; two grandchildren: James (Jennifer) Parnham of Colorado and Laura Stengrim of Arizona; one sister, Jeanne (Ray) Bentfield of Elk River; stepsons: Galen (Tracy) Melvie of Spearfish, S.D., and Ricky Melvie of Port Charlotte, FL
Wanda was preceded in death by her parents; five infant stillborn children; and grandson, Tim Parnham.
Condolences may be sent to Wanda’s family at: www.johnsonfuneralservice.com. A00003B2013JY10