Wanda Phariss Funeral Service | October 3, 2020

Wanda Phariss Funeral Service | October 3, 2020

To the Glory of God and in Memory of Wanda Phariss

Rev. Gregory Mech | October 3, 2020 | Immanuel Lutheran Church – Joplin, Missouri | 2:00 pm

OBITUARY — Beloved child of God, daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend to many, Wanda Lou Phariss passed from this life on September 9, 2020 near Seneca, Missouri. She was surrounded by family.

Wanda was born on a farm north of Aoache Oklahoma on April 21, 1930, the third Child of Lucille Katherine (Wagner) McCay and Oney Jachin McCay. She was baptized as a baby and confirmed In the Lutheran faith at St Peter Lutheran Church of Apache. Wanda loved the Lord and studied the Bible her entire life. She loved Jesus and she loved people, befriending everyone from all walks of life.

She told stories that usually started with "there were seven of us kids at home ... " and "we were poor, but we never knew it" Wanda was a hard worker her entire life, beginning at home on the farm where she did chores of aII kinds: washing dishes, cooking, cleaning house, milking cows, chopping and picking cotton, just to name a few. She often reminisced about her happy childhood with her three brothers and three sisters, Larry, Deveryl, Carl, Gerald, Delores, and Carolyn Sue. She attended school at Stecker until the fifth grade when the family moved to Broxton. Wanda was a good student and loved school. She was also excellent at sports, especially softball and basketball. In 1948 she graduated from Broxton High School near the top of her class, but there was no money for college, so she went to work in Oklahoma City as a waitress. 

One weekend in September 1948, she came home to visit family in Apache. She went on a date with her boyfriend Harley and they ended up in Henrietta, Texas getting married that night by a Justice of the Peace. Their witnesses were Wanda's sister Deveryl, and Harley's little brother Jim. So began the many adventures shared by Wanda and Harley, and on September 19 this year, they would have celebrated their 72nd anniversary.

Her life's work was to be a wonderful wife and loving mother to her children. There were four Children born In Oklahoma: Joe Bob, Gary Dean, Tim Lane, and Susan Delores. She also helped on the Phariss farm during cotton season and wheat harvest or wherever she was needed. After the family moved to California, Wanda and Harley's family was completed by the birth of Mary Ludine. She was the best mom and everyone loved to visit because she was so welcoming to aII the kids' friends.

From California, Harley, Wanda, and the girls moved to Alaska. What an adventure! Wanda continued to live by her motto of "Bloom where you are planted" and she became a member of the community by being active in her church, Star of the North Lutheran In Kenai and Peninsula Petroleum Wives Club. She made many more lifelong friends whom she and Harley loved to visit in later years aII over the United States.

After a brief return California and back to Alaska one more time, they moved to Stark City, Missouri to live on a small farm. By this time, Mary was the only child at home. Once again, Wanda joined the local church, First Lutheran, In Neosho. In 1976, her prayers were answered when both Harley and her first grandson John were baptized by Pastor James Schnackenberg.She continued to be a faithful member of Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML) as she had been previously at several congregations in Oklahoma, California, and Alaska. Lutheran Women in Mission, as it is now known, was especially dear to her heart as her grandmother Carrie Wagner was a charter member of the Oklahoma District of the organization when it was in formed in 1928. In April 2018, Wanda was honored as a current LWML member and as one of Carrie's descendants at the Oklahoma District Convention.

The next adventure was when Wanda and Harley moved to Grove, Oklahoma, on the shores of Grand Lake. She enjoyed fishing and gardening, and it was while living there they joined St. Paul's Lutheran in Fairland, where they made even more life long friends! Wanda worked part­ time at Grove Walmart for five years. She also began volunteering at the hospital in Grove with her bestie lmogene with the Cherry Red auxiliary, which she continued faithfully for 21 years, retiring at the age of 87. 

After residing in Grove for about 10 years, Wanda and Harley moved to their home south of Fairland, where she lived until she went to assisted living in March of this year. She became a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Joplin, where she especially loved to sing, visit friends, and pet the comfort dogs, Jackson and Louie. No matter where she went, Wanda lived life to the fullest. She faithfully read her Bible and Portals of Prayers daily, and she cared for people in many ways. She lovingly raised her kids, bragged on her grandkids and great-grands, cooked and baked the most mouthwatering food, laughed a lot, and told fun stories. She skillfully played cards, especially pitch, pinochle, and cribbage, and she loved traveling to visit family and friends, including many trips to Germany Md Alaska. Wanda could easily organize big and small family reunions for both sides of the family, and she could knit the best slippers! She was always up for an adventure and ready to go. 

Wand had the gift of making each person feel special and that she loved them no matter what. She always had a kind word to say, and looked for the good in each person she met. Even though she suffered many health issues, including heart attacks, rheumatoid arthritis, colon cancer and finally, dementia, she did not complain or ever ask "Why me?" She was very brave and strong to the very end. 

Wanda is preceded in death by infant son Gary Deon, infant granddaughter Sasha Johnson, son-in-law Hank Marsh, sisters and brother-in-law Deveryl (Orville) Tallant and Dee McCay Scott, brothers and sisters-in-law Larry and Nita McCay, Gerald and Cheryl McCay, Dee McCay Scott, Marge McCay, Mitchell Roberts, Ruby and Angus Weber, and Neva and Elmer Jackson.

She is survived by her husband, Harley, sons Joe and Tim (Kim), all of Fairland, Oklahoma, daughters Susan Phariss Marsh of Seneca Missouri, and Mary Phariss-Tressler and husband Wayne Tressler of Granby, Missouri. She leaves behind grandchildren John (Michelle), Sydel, Noah, Micah, Tom (Nancy), Jada (Kevin), and Merritt (Luke), great-grandchildren Silas, Wyatt, Coraline, and Harrison, step grandchildren. Kim (Tim) and Austin (Mandy), step great­ grandchildren Josh, Rylee, Regan (Levi), Reese, Rowan, Rhett, Layla and TJ, and step great-great-grandson Jedediah. She is also survived by one sister, Carolyn (Jim) Love, of Apache, Oklahoma, and one brother Carl McCay of Salem, Missouri, three brothers-in--law, Kent Scott, of Midlothian, Virginia, Robert (Margie) Phariss of Arlington, Texas, Jim (Carolyn) Phariss of El Reno, Oklahoma and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends all over the world . 

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, October 3, at 2:00 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 2616 Connecticut Avenue, Joplin, Missouri. Wanda's cremains will be Interred In Fairview Cemetery, Apache, Oklahoma at a private family gathering.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to LWML - Lutheran Women In Mission in care of the Campbell-Biddlecome Funeral Home, PO Box 380 Seneca, MO 64865.

Many thanks from the family to the caring staff at Spring Hill, the Arbors, Oak Pointe, Freeman Hospital, and Compassus Hospice.


To the Glory of God and In Memory of WANDA LOU PHARISS

Wanda Phariss Funeral Service:

P In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19

C Amen.

P In Holy Baptism, Wanda Lou Phariss was clothed with the robes of Christ’s righteousness that covered all her sin.  St. Paul says, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

C “For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His.” Rom. 6:3-5


P The Lord be with you.

C And also with you.

P Let us pray. O God of grace and mercy, we give thanks for Your loving-kindness shown to Wanda and to all Your servants who, having finished their course in faith, now rest from their labors.  Grant that we also may be faithful unto death and receive the crown of eternal life, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C Amen.

1 Corinthians 15:20-26

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first-fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

P This is the Word of the Lord.

C Thanks be to God.

HYMN 461 “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” vs. 1,5,6,7  

I know that my Redeemer lives; 

What comfort this sweet sentence gives!

He lives, He lives who once was dead; 

He lives, my ever-living head.

He lives to silence all my fears; 

He lives to wipe away my tears;

He lives to calm my troubled heart; 

He lives all blessings to impart.

He lives, my kind, wise, heavenly friend;

He lives and loves me to the end;

He lives, and while He lives, I’ll sing;

He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.

He lives and grants me daily breath;

He lives and I shall conquer death;

He lives my mansion to prepare;

He lives to bring me safely there.

Psalm 103:1-5, 13-22

P Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,

C who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

P As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

C For he knows how we are formed;
    he remembers that we are dust.

P As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.

C But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting 

on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.

P The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!

C Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!

P Bless the Lord, all his works,
    in all places of his dominion.

C Bless the Lord, O my soul!

HYMN 537 “Beautiful Savior” vs. 1,2

Beautiful Savior, King of Creation, 

Son of God and Son of Man!

Truly I’d love Thee, Truly I’d serve Thee,

Light of my soul, my joy, my crown.

Fair are the meadows, Fair are the woodlands,

Robed in flowers of blooming spring;

Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,

He makes our sorrowing spirit sing.

1 Corinthians 15:51-58

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

P This is the Word of the Lord.

C Thanks be to God.

Mark 16:1-7

When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 

And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”

P This is the Gospel of the Lord.

C Praise be to You, O Christ..





P “I am the resurrection and the life,” says the Lord.  “He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.” John 11:25

C Lord, now You let Your servant go in peace;

     Your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation which You have prepared in the sight of every people: a light to reveal You to the nations 

and the glory of Your people Israel. Luke 2:29-32

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

P “I am the resurrection and the life,” says the Lord.  “He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.” John 11:25

HYMN 739 “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”

Precious Lord, take my hand,

Lead me on, let me stand;

I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.

Through the storm, through the night,

Lead me on to the light.

Take my hand, precious Lord; lead me home.

When my way grows drear, 

Precious Lord, linger near,

When my life is almost gone,

Hear my cry, hear my call,

Hold my hand lest I fall.

Take my hand, precious Lord; lead me home.

When the darkness appears

And the night draws near

And the day is almost gone,

At the river I stand;

Guide my feet, hold my hand,

Take my hand, precious Lord; lead me home.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.

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