Durango resident Wanda Lee Kenner died Wednesday, June 20, 2012, at Four Corners Health Care Center. She was 89.
Mrs. Kenner was born to George and Minnie Robinson on Aug. 13, 1922, in Augusta. She grew up on the Arnold Ranch at the foot of the Spanish Peaks in south-central Colorado. She attended a one-room schoolhouse, riding with her sister on horseback to the school.
She graduated from Trinidad High School and then attended Trinidad Junior College, earning a teaching certificate. Mrs. Kenner went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in teaching from Western State College in Gunnison. She taught school for nine years, first in a one-room schoolhouse and then in Trinidad.
She met her future husband, Elmer Kenner, at a country dance in Ludlow, and they married in June 1950. They started their family and lived on a ranch between Walsenburg and La Junta. Getting tired of living in drought conditions, the family moved to “greener pastures” in Ignacio in August 1963. The Kenner family grew hay and raised sheep, cattle and poultry on their ranch.
“Wanda loved her ranching lifestyle,” her family said. “Up until she was 80, she still milked her cow and took care of her chickens. She was a wonderful cook. She always served one large full meal to her family every day.”
Mrs. Kenner also baked bread and desserts, including much-anticipated pies on the weekends. She also gardened and canned. She enjoyed going on picnics with her family and for car rides all around La Plata County.
“She will be remembered as a good-natured person who liked to tease a time or two, was very open-minded about progress and spirituality,” her family said. “She loved her family, and Wanda herself used to say, ‘I’m the luckiest person in the world, I get to live near all my grandchildren.’”
Mrs. Kenner was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer Kenner; and her daughter Rhonda Kenner.
She is survived by her daughters Renee Hronich and Jean Marie Etzler, both of Ignacio; son, George Kenner, of Bayfield; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and numerous extended family members.
Visitation will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. today, June 24, 2012, at Hood Mortuary Chapel, 1261 East Third Ave. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, June 25, 2012, also at Hood Mortuary Chapel. Deacon Milton Van Cleave of St. Columba Catholic Church will officiate. Burial will take place afterward at Ignacio East Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Lupus Foundation of Colorado Inc., 1211 S. Parker Road, No. 103, Denver, CO 80231.