Wanda Stauffacher

Obituary of Wanda Irene Stauffacher

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Wanda on July 17, 2020, after a dignified and graceful battle with Parkinson’s Disease.  Born and raised in Texas, Wanda moved to Tucson with her oldest children in 1963, where she began a long career as an educator in the Tucson Unified School District, earning graduate degrees in Exceptional Education and Counseling, before retiring as counselor at C.E. Rose Elementary School.  Fiercely independent, Wanda was a trailblazer for single moms in the 1960s as she made Tucson her new home. In her 57 years here, she contributed immeasurably to the community and forged countless friendships.

 A devoted foster parent, and later a host for pregnant teens, her home provided peace and stability for kids over the years, including those who stayed in touch through adulthood.  Wanda went on to train and mentor foster parents, facilitate community-based parenting classes for grandparents, and conduct grief counseling groups and stroke support groups with her husband, Robert. As a board member of Tucson Clean and Beautiful, she took an active part in the Trees for Tucson program and initiated city-wide Stephen Ministries training in Tucson in the 1980s. She also volunteered as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate for children).


After retirement, Wanda continued to serve the community as a private counselor and became a host of her own Bed and Breakfast, making life-long friends with many of her guests. She was a talented seamstress and expert crafter, who never ran into a project she couldn’t successfully accomplish with style. Known for her sense of humor, Wanda made friends wherever she lived, worked, or worshipped.  Her faith was an especially important part of her life and she was actively involved as a member of Catalina United Methodist Church, and later at Christ Church United Methodist  in Tucson.


Wanda’s last twenty years were spent with her best friend and husband, Robert Stauffacher, whose love and devotion made the last chapter of her life her best and happiest. They shared a passion for serving others and above all enjoyed spending time with family, friends, and each other. Wanda’s days were filled with laughter, gratitude, and purpose. Those who knew her found her to be warm and genuine, and loved her wholeheartedly. Truly, she was an extraordinary human.


She is survived by her husband of 20 years, Robert; daughters, Pamela Francis (Tom) and Melinda Hershey (Jerry), and son, Trey Black (Susan); her grandchildren, Kvar Black, Maximilian Francis, Maia Teegarden (Sam), Zane Hershey and Sam Hershey; nephews Robert Woody (Julie), Sterling Woody (Leigh), Jay Stauffacher (Dawn) and nieces Christy White (Jim), Lisa Cookingham (Jerry) and Lori Kay Stauffacher.


She will be missed greatly. Due to current health concerns a memorial service will be held in Tucson at Christ Church United Methodist at a future date. To view memories and photos of Wanda, and share your own, visit https://www.memories.net/page/7454/wanda-stauffacher#!/. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in her honor be made to Christ Church United Methodist  in Tucson, https://www.ccumtucson.org/ or the Parkinson’s Movement Disorder Alliance https://www.pmdalliance.org/give/ .

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