Wanda June Humphrey was a life-long advocate for girls in sports. In St. Johns, MI, she taught girls’ middle school physical education for over 30 years. In lieu of flowers, we ask for donations to support girls’ athletics in the district she loved. Thank you for your generosity on her behalf. Again, all donations will be given to the St. Johns Athletic Department to support girls’ sports.
Obituary: Wanda June Humphrey passed peacefully, surrounded by family on Saturday, August 15, 2020. Wanda was born to Velma (Salisbury) Upham and Ervin Upham July 2, 1925. She graduated third in her class of seventeen from Maple Rapids High School. She graduated from the Central Michigan University during World War II and often commented on the lack of men on campus. While at CMU she was a member of Delta Omicron Upsilon sorority. After graduation, she was proposed to by two men in the same week.
Impacting the lives of children for over 30 years, Wanda had an extensive teaching career. She taught second grade in Maple Rapids but spent most of her career in the St. Johns, MI as the traveling elementary music teacher and middle school girls’physical education teacher. If you are between the age of 50 and 78 and grew up in St. Johns, you very likely had her as a teacher. In the 1950’s, she started junior high school dances at the municipal building in St. Johns. Where she taught kids how to fox trot, swing dance, and jitterbug. Loving kids, she often chaperoned senior trips and band camp at Interlochen, where she also life guarded. Wanda was also beloved among her teaching peers and often mentored and inspired new teachers.
Wanda was an active member of the communities where she lived. She served as President of Clinton Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, a founding member of the Elks Rapids Women’s Golf League, and an active member of first Congregational Church of St. Johns and the First Presbyterian Church in Elk Rapids
Wanda was a lifelong athlete and sport enthusiast. She dedicated most of her career to the physical education and development of sport for girls. She was an avid golfer who had hit a hole-in-one in 1990. An excellent dancer, she could always be counted on to lead dances on the dance floor. In her retirement, she taught yoga in Michigan and Florida. In her 60s, she showed off her waterskiing skills to her grandchildren. At 80, she parasailed and bought herself a convertible.
A lover of fashion and the color aqua, Wanda was always dressed beautifully and in style. She loved to socialize and was always the life of the party. Whether she was playing the organ, leading everyone in song, or coordinating the activity, you could always count on her to bring the fun. She was loved by all who met her. Her generous spirit, charisma, and love for life was infectious. If you are wondering about the secret of a long life, just follow Wanda’s lead - socialize often, love fiercely, and always be active. She was always up for an adventure!
Wanda lived most of her adult life in St. Johns while summering on Birch Lake in Elk Rapids, MI. She retired in the early 80’s and split her time between Naples, Florida and Elk Rapids, MI. Proceeded in death by her husband Myron Humphrey, daughter Sue Ellen Flowers and her son Todd Michael Humphrey. She is survived by her son Randy (Melanie) Humphrey, grandchildren Kerry Humphrey, Sarah Marshall (David), Emily Humphrey (Mitchel Murry), Brett Flowers (Molly), and Amanda Flowers. She is also survived by her ten great grandchildren Madeline, Jonathan, Benjamin, Lauren, Anna Grace, Sienna, Aria, Luccio, Burke, and Anabelle. She spent the last 16 years sharing her life with her partner, George Zambo. Together they traveled, laughed, and provided each other with love and companionship in the later years of their lives.
A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. In liu of flowers, donations may to the St. Johns Athletic Department. The family has requested that the donations be allocated to support girls’ sports.
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