Wanda Marie (Swadley) Buckmaster was born on August 28, 1931, in Council Hill, Oklahoma, the third child and third daughter, to Hugh and Nettie (Wood) Swadley. She went to be with her Lord and Savior on April 27, 2013, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
She grew up in Council Hill, Oklahoma, with her parents, two older sisters, Ruth and Alma Lee, and her younger brother, James Howard, and graduated from Council Hill High School as Salutatorian in 1949. She attended Elm Grove Baptist Church near Council Hill, where she made her profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ at 10 years of age and where she met her future mate for life, Albert Buckmaster. She attended Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma for two years. In June of 1950, she went to a church service at Falls Creek Baptist Youth Camp, and sat with Albert, which was the beginning of their dating life. They married on November 23, 1951, and began married life on a farm near Checotah. They welcomed their first child, their son, Philip Clay, on their first anniversary, November 23, 1952. They then had three daughters, Jan, Jeanne, and Joanie.
They reared these four children on the farm, teaching them the importance of hard work, honesty, and faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They encouraged them to “love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their mind” and to seek to be obedient and pleasing to the Lord in their lives. They encouraged them to get a good education.
Wanda was a wonderful helpmate to Albert on the farm. As a farmer’s wife, she helped him put up bushels of vegetables, especially corn, tomatoes, and okra. She was a great cook and loved to prepare meals for friends coming over after the Sunday morning church service or snacks after the Sunday evening service. She was a great seamstress, sewing many, many outfits for her three daughters and eight granddaughters at Easter, Christmas, birthdays, and many other times. When Joanie was a baby, Wanda began working at the Parman & Payne Clinic in Checotah, and then later worked for many years as a medical secretary at the VA Hospital in Muskogee, retiring in 1992.
Throughout their married life, practicing hospitality and ministering to others was very important to Wanda and Albert. After their kids were gone and they moved to Muskogee, their home was still always open to whoever needed a place to stay, and Wanda continued to cook big, wonderful meals for family, for friends, or for those who were sick or bereaved and needed a hot meal.
Wanda and Albert also loved music. She played the piano at church, and she and Albert made sure that all four of their children received piano lessons as a part of their growing-up experience. After the kids were grown, Wanda and Albert went on mission trips with the Nailbenders, a ministry group that would travel to places to help build churches. Wanda also learned to quilt and made many beautiful quilts for her children and grandchildren as well as others.
In 2004, Wanda was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and on November 21, 2008, she and Albert moved to Yukon, Oklahoma, to be near Jan and Jack for future needed help. Albert chose to take care of Wanda at home instead of putting her in an institution and he took care of her with unselfish devotion and with great love and care.
They became members of Yukon Baptist Church (SBC), transferring from First Baptist Church in Muskogee. Wanda had a calm, sweet, unselfish personality. She was a godly Christian woman who was a wonderful example to her children and grandchildren, and she will be so greatly missed by her family and friends.
Wanda is survived by her husband, Albert Buckmaster; four children, Phil Buckmaster and wife Jerri of Ardmore, Oklahoma; Jan Stewart and husband Jack of Yukon, Oklahoma; Jeanne Caldwell and husband Mike of Shawnee, Oklahoma; and Joanie Mowery and husband Dale of Louisville, Kentucky; nine grandchildren, Kara Caldwell, Lisa Myers and husband Adam, Amber Parnell and husband Dustin, Kami Jones and husband Michael, Dina Stewart, Kristi Martinson and husband Eric, Megan Kacirek and husband Nathan, Maryann Stewart, and Preston Buckmaster and wife Allison; six great-grandchildren, Rebecca, Zachary, Abigail, Ashton, Kylee, Elliana and one on the way, already named Landon Albert; one brother, James Howard Swadley and wife Joyce of McKinney, Texas; brothers and sisters-in-law, Vella Neumeyer and husband Don, Don Buckmaster, Dan Buckmaster and wife Judy, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Hugh and Nettie Swadley, her two sisters, Ruth Voigt and husband Alvin, and Alma Lee Voigt and husband Bob, two grandchildren, Scott Michael Caldwell and Kristen Leigh Wallace, mother and father-in-law, Roy and Lydia Buckmaster, brothers and sisters-in-law, Zella Mitchell and husband Homer, Delbert Buckmaster and wife Betty, and Roy Delmas Buckmaster.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or to the mission fund of your local church. A special heartfelt thanks goes to the Mercy Hospice personnel, especially Becky Jacks and Tamie Crum, Nurses; Brenda Tasi, Home Health Aide; Cindy Berry, Social Services; Janet Neal and Duane Snavely, Chaplains and we appreciate so very much the presence of Vickie Brantley at the time of Wanda’s passing.
Funeral services will be 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at First Baptist Church of Muskogee. Burial will follow at the Council Hill Cemetery, Council Hill, Oklahoma.
Funeral service arrangements are under the direction of Foster-Petering Funeral Home.
Condolences to the family may be made at www.foster-petering.com