Wanda Isum was born Wanda Mae Holzwarth on June 12, 1946 in St. Francis, Kansas. She was the second of five children born to Leonard and Lydia Holzwarth. As a child the family moved to Wessington Springs, South Dakota. She grew up on the farm and graduated from high school in 1964. Wanda attended college in Brookings, SD where she married and had a daughter. As a single parent she moved to Minneapolis to raise her daughter. She worked at Boyer Ford for a number of years. These were years of struggle. In the mid 80’s she returned to Wessington Springs to take care of her ailing father. She returned to Minnesota and settled in the Bethel area where she became active in the church. Wanda entered Bethel College and earned a nursing degree. She worked for the State of Minnesota as a nurse supervisor for several group homes. Wanda then began working in the psych unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul. A job she kept until she retired in 2006.
In July 1992, she married Ernie Isum and a life long journey of love began. They made their home in the Cambridge area. Wanda was an excellent cook and enjoyed hosting family dinners on Sundays. Her family was ever loved by her. Wanda battled health issues for many years resulting from Rheumatoid Arthritis. In spite of this, she managed to work and be active in her church. She loved her Lord and often spoke of the day when she would be with Him and there would be no more pain. Wanda loved gardening and enjoyed canning the fruits of her labors. She was generous and caring, often providing a place of refuge for others who were struggling.
In January 2019 Wanda’s health began to decline rapidly. She would be in the hospital or care center for the remainder of her life. Wanda went to be with the Jesus she loved on January 19, 2020.
Wanda is survived by Ernie; Tomi jo (Brian), Jann (Jeff) and Jeff; siblings, Michele (Rich), Nyla, Tim (Cathy); 8 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and nephews and nieces.