Wanda Marie Stratton

StrattonWanda Marie Stratton, 87, on February 16, 2022, while being comforted by her husband of 67 years, Lewis Stratton, and surrounded by many of her children at the Bristol Village retirement community in Waverly, Ohio. Wanda was born on December 14, 1934, to Leslie and Dorothy Frazer in Chicago, Ill. Wanda had two younger siblings, Marjorie and David.

After living in Baltimore, Md., the family settled in Richmond, Ind. Wanda attended Olney Friends School in Barnesville, Ohio, where she met Lewis. Both attended Earlham College in Richmond. Wanda earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Earlham in 1957 and registered nurse diploma from Reid Memorial Hospital.

In August 1954, Wanda and Lewis married at Stout Memorial Meeting House on Earlham’s campus. They traveled to India with American Friends Service Committee as part of Lewis’s alternative to military service, spending a month in Vienna sorting clothes for Hungarian refugees, then flying to India where they were stationed in the small town of Rasulia. Wanda assisted at a nursing clinic for local women while Lewis taught agricultural best practices to nearby villagers.

Wanda gave birth to their first daughter while in India. At the end of two years, they returned to Ohio to continue growing their family, working on their dairy farm in Flushing, and integrating themselves into the local agricultural and Quaker communities. In addition to raising six children, they hosted students from Earlham.

Wanda’s Quaker values led her to become a staunch advocate for Ohio farmers. She served as president of the Belmont County Farm Bureau and was elected state trustee of the Ohio Farm Bureau, where she served for more than 17 years. Wanda was the first female Four County trustee.

The governor of Ohio appointed Wanda to be the agricultural representative on the Ohio Reclamation Board of Review (presently known as the Ohio Reclamation Commission), overseeing mining practices in the state. She served on the board for 30 years. Wanda’s spirit and determination in the largely male-dominated world of farming and mining influenced her family in ways for which they are forever grateful. Her interest in government and public service had been cultivated as a young woman during trips with her father to watch Friends Committee on National Legislation lobby Congress in Washington, D.C.

Wanda was a 4-H advisor, served as a board member of the Walton Retirement Home in Barnesville, and was a member of the Belmont County Tourism Council Board. One of her proudest accomplishments was being instrumental in the development of the Wilds, an exotic animal park in Cumberland, Ohio.

Wanda loved animals. She was an American Kennel Club registered breeder of Labrador retrievers for many years. A knitter and quilter, Wanda hummed ditties while stitching together blankets and scarves with a Labrador lying at her feet.

As they entered their 60s, Wanda and Lewis traveled the country in an RV, visiting friends and places of interest while looking for a suitable retirement community. They wintered for a few years in a home they built in Douglas, Ariz.

In 2008, Wanda and Lewis moved to Bristol Village. Wanda immersed herself in a vibrant social scene that included crafting, singing in the choir, potlucks, and worship at a nearby church. Her curiosity about the larger world never faded. She and Lewis enjoyed the pleasures of travel to Scandinavia, China, Alaska, Central America, and Europe.

Wanda lived her ideals. She was a generous supporter of organizations that fought for equality, civil rights, and environmental and pacifist ideals.

Wanda is survived by her husband, Lewis Stratton; six children, Lynn, Susanna, Steve, Michelle, Patricia, and Michael; ten grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; her sister, Marjorie; and brother, David.

Update on 6/23/22: This milestone has been updated to include the last name of Wanda’s parents.

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