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Wanda Smith Center, 70, of Cherokee passed away March 3, 2021

Wanda Smith Center, 70, of Cherokee, Texas, went to be with her Lord on March 3, 2021. She was surrounded by her family after a long courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. 

Wanda was born July 31, 1950, in San Antonio to Loraine and T.J. Smith. She grew up in Pearsall, Texas, moving to Eagle Lake in 1964. She graduated from Eagle Lake High School in 1968 and attended Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa. 

In 1969, Wanda married the love of her life, Samuel Center, in Eagle Lake. They were blessed with a son, Brian Scott Center, in 1972, and their family was complete in 1975 with the birth of their daughter, Leslie Kay.

Early in her marriage, Wanda was a night dispatcher for the Eagle Lake Police Department and worked for Eagle Lake Insurance Agency by day. In 1982, Sam and Wanda purchased the Snack Center, where she spent many rewarding years providing delicious meals to their customers and friends throughout the community. Wanda also enjoyed her time as the librarian at the Eula and David Wintermann Library from 1989 until 1994. 

In 1994, Sam transferred to the vacant game warden captain position in Llano, where they started a new adventure. Wanda found a rewarding career and many wonderful friends during her 10 years working in San Saba in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and Texas Youth Commission as a purchaser. She retired from the state in 2004.

Wanda loved traveling with friends, hunting, fishing, spending time with granddaughters, and, most of all, spending time with Sam. She was an avid quilter, making over 100 quilts for those she loved. She enjoyed baking her famous sourdough bread and was always welcome when she delivered it with eggs and homemade jelly.

Wanda loved the Lord and was baptized in the Medina River at the age of 8.  She was an active member of First Baptist Church of Cherokee and could always be found in the nursery, singing in the choir, or helping in any way she could.

Wanda is survived by her husband of 51 years, Sam Center; son, Brian Center and wife Karen of Garwood, Texas; daughter, Leslie Marik and husband Tommy of Bellville, Texas; granddaughters McKinley Brooke and Gracyn Center and Kirby and Samantha Marik; brothers, Tommy Smith and wife Debra of Pearsall and Steve Smith of Llano; sister, Leanne Waligura and husband Joe of Leakey, Texas; and a host of nieces, nephews, and other relatives and loved ones. 

Wanda was preceded in death by parents, Loraine and T.J. Smith; Sam’s parents, Laura and M.J. Huffman; and granddaughter Riley Elizabeth Center.

A funeral service is 11 a.m. Friday, March 5, at First Baptist Church of Cherokee. A graveside service is 1 p.m. Monday, March 8, at Pilgrims Rest Cemetery in Bellville. Pallbearers are Norman Clark, Larry Crum, Van Estill, Joey Gordon, Gary Kasprzyk, Roddy Maddox, John Thomas, and Ken Thomson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Texas Game Warden Association, the Llano County Library, the Wintermann Library of Eagle Lake, or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements under the direction of Waldrope-Hatfield-Hawthorne Funeral Homes Inc. of Llano. Email condolences to whhfuneral1@verizon.net.