Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

Wanda Sweeney: 1935 ~ 2016


Wanda Joy (Walker) Sweeney of Woodlake died Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. She was 81.
Wanda was born January 9, 1935, in the Woodlake Hospital. She was one of nine children born to Freeman and Evelyn Walker of Lemon Cove. 
Wanda graduated from Lemon Cove Elementary, Woodlake High School, College of the Sequoias, and California State University, Fresno.
On May 8, 1957, Wanda married Thomas O. Sweeney of Woodlake. She and Tom grew up across the river from each other and met when she was four years old.  
Wanda’s love of learning and children led to a career in education. She dedicated 40 years between the Three Rivers, Traver, and Woodlake school systems. 
Wanda was a 4-H member and leader, a contributing writer for the former Woodlake Echo newspaper, a member of the Founders Circle Garden Club, and a member of the Lemon Cove Women’s Club. 
She was also on the board to help start the Woodlake Family Health Center. Wanda shared her love of singing by traveling to Europe with the California Girls Choir.
 Wanda was honored as Woodlake’s Woman of the Year in 1983. She was inducted into the College of the Sequoias Hall of Fame in 1988 for her part in bringing the giant redwood carving to the college. 
In later years, Wanda loved spending time with her grandchildren in the backyard; sharing her hobbies of gardening, swimming, and art; and her beloved miniature poodles.
Wanda will be missed greatly, and her legacy is all those she has taught.
Wanda is survived by her husband of almost 60 years, Tom; three children, Jerry Sweeney and wife Pam, Joy Sweeney-Aiello and husband Alex, and Erin Sweeney; her grandchildren, Alexandria Joy Aiello, Kyle Dwain Sweeney, and Caleb Michael Sweeney; her brothers, Bob Walker and George Walker; and her sister, Gail Jordan.
Services were held October 31 and November 1. Interment was at Woodlake Public Cemetery.