Wanda Faye Newton Geiken, age 90, of Gothenburg, NE passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, in Gothenburg. She was born on June 26, 1932, to Audie J. and Opal Marie Dorrell Newton in Checotah, OK.
She is survived by her daughters Janice Hinze and Judy Hyneman (husband, James); three grandchildren: Tim Hinze (wife, Alicia); Jason Hinze (wife, Michelle); and Trenton Hinze (wife, Whitney); five great-grandchildren: Madyx, Porter (Trenton/Whitney), Eve, Samuel, and Gideon (Jason/Michelle); one sister Mary Ann Newton Gossett and one brother Alvin ‘Leon’ Newton and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her late husband, Alvin Lloyd Geiken; her parents, Audie J. and Opal Marie Dorrell Newton; four siblings: Roy Lee Newton, Sylvia Dean Newton Neilsen, Ima Dell Newton Durham, and a twin brother Donald Raye Newton.
Wanda lived in Pierce, OK until she was five. At that time her family moved to Fresno, CA where her dad had a job working in a grape vineyard. When Wanda was ten the family left California to move back to Pierce, OK. They were escorted across Boulder Dam by the Highway Patrol and were told not to stop. This was during World Was II and the thought was they were guarding the dam.
Wanda’s dad bought a small farm where they grew cotton, peanuts, and pecans. The children had to work in the fields picking cotton and were told to pick 100 pounds a day. Wanda would throw in some of the stems so she could hit 100 pounds easier.
Wanda graduated from high school in 1951 and moved to Oklahoma City where she worked in a doctor’s office as a helper, getting the babies undressed for exams and shots. She also worked as a receptionist. After three years her sister, Sylvia, asked her to come to Cozad, and she was hired by Dr. Owens of Gothenburg. He taught her to give shots, do x-rays and even administer ether.
Wanda and her oldest sister went to a charivari and saw Alvin. Her sister and a friend set up a breakfast so Wanda and Alvin could meet. Seven months later Wanda and Alvin were married on July 25, 1954. After a month-long honeymoon Wanda moved to the farm where she learned how to ‘put up’ hay, irrigate and help with the cattle. They joined the United Methodist Church in Gothenburg where Wanda served as the four-year-old Sunday School teacher for over 20 years. She also spent much of her time in the church kitchen serving meals for funerals and church fund raisers.
Wanda and Alvin were very supportive of their daughters and attended many of their school activities, dance lessons in North Platte and piano recitals. They even turned an old chicken house into a dance studio so their daughters could give dance lessons to other children.
After Janice and Judy graduated, Wanda decided to teach other women to exercise and did so for over 20 years. Wanda’s mother had given her over 20 quilt tops so Wanda decided she would learn how to quilt and finish them. She loved quilting and was able to quilt until about a year ago when it became too difficult for her. In 2005, Wanda and Alvin purchased a home in Gothenburg across from their church and over the next few years fixed it up to fit their needs. They lived there until 2019 when they moved to Stone Hearth where Wanda enjoyed attending Bible studies, exercising, and even learned to play pool…. something she had never done.
Wanda had a fun-loving spirit and was always willing to learn something new. She was kind, generous, encouraging and a good listener. Her faith was strong, and she loved and trusted the Lord with all her heart.
We grieve her passing but not as one who has no hope. Her life will live on in our hearts as we look forward to the day when we will once again be together. She has fought the good fight and is now hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Visitation: Friday, February 17, 2023, 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Blasé-Strauser Memorial Chapel, Gothenburg, NE with family present from 4:00-6:00 pm.
Funeral Services: Saturday, February 18, 2023, 10:30 am at the Blasé-Strauser Memorial Chapel, Gothenburg, NE with Laron Peters officiating.
Burial will follow Funeral Service at Grandview Cemetery, Willow Island, NE.
Memorials may be directed to the Gothenburg Senior Center, 410 20th Street, Gothenburg, NE 69138.