Wanda Ruth (Giblin) Evans, from Cuchillo, passed away at the age of 87 on June 7, 2012, in Albuquerque, due to heart complications.
She was born July 19, 1924, to Charles and Lola Giblin, in Peoria, Ariz. Wanda graduated from Glendale High School in Glendale, Ariz., in 1942. After graduating high school, Wanda worked as a receptionist/nurse’s assistant for a local doctor. On April 9, 1943, she married Arthur H. Evans at the family ranch north of Phoenix. They lived on the family ranch (the T ranch) until Art joined the Navy and they moved to San Diego where she worked in the Coca Cola factory during World War II. After leaving San Diego, they returned to the Phoenix area and the family ranch where she continued on as a hard-working rancher’s wife and mother. On July 2, 1953, Art and Wanda moved their family to the Ladder Ranch near Hillsboro. For the next 28 years through three owners Wanda helped Art run the Ladder Ranch, manning communications, running parts service, maintaining the owner’s house, driving the school bus for all the kids at headquarters, and cooking countless meals for the crew of cowboys, her family, and everyone who showed up on her doorstep. In 1981, they moved to Roswell to continue working for Diamond A Cattle Company at South Springs farm/feedlot and ranch, where Art continued on as a general manager overseeing ranches in New Mexico and Texas. In 1992, Art and Wanda retired from working for the Andersons and moved to Cuchillo where Art was hired as a consultant for Ted Turner, who had purchased the Ladder Ranch.
During her life, Wanda was a talented seamstress, sewing many of the family’s western clothing items, often creating her own patterns. Wanda was an excellent cook and prepared many a meal for her family and others. While in Roswell, she took classes and learned ceramics, painting, piano, and silversmithing. Art and Wanda loved to dance, and danced every chance they got.
Wanda started hosting Sunday school classes in the living room at the Ladder Headquarters in 1955. The small group headed down Animas Creek where she met with other local families at the Heath residence, later the group moved to the Caballo school house to meet. During that time, Wanda helped raised money to help build the Caballo Church. Wanda was a founding member of the Chamiza Cowbelles, active in Farm Bureau at the local and state level, Cattle Growers and Wool Growers Associations of New Mexico. Wanda served as a chairman of the Cotton Extravaganza, a Farm Bureau-hosted sewing contest and as a participant in the same contest where she took home awards for her seamstress skills. Wanda also helped to host the “Lamb Booth” at the New Mexico State Fair hosted by New Mexico Wool Growers for several years. She helped to host Brangus sales that were hosted by Diamond A Cattle Company while in Roswell.
Wanda is survived by her husband of 69 years, Arthur Hayden Evans; children, April (Ray) Romero of Cuchillo; Mikel (Cathy) Evans of Albuquerque, and Fran Evans, daughter-in-law, of Las Cruces; grandchildren, Anita Evans of Las Cruces, Daniel (Ami) Evans of Deming; Kristy (Cody) Cummings of Cuchillo; Cheyenne (Tony) Squieri of Mesa, Ariz.; Cassidy Evans and Shaun Baker of Mesa, Ariz.; Mikel Cody Evans of Santa Fe; Rachel Evans of Guthrie, Okla.; great-grandchildren, Riley Walker of Las Cruces; Jacob and Erik Evans of Deming; Shayly Cummings of Cuchillo; Jaxon Baker of Mesa, Ariz.; siblings, Donald Ray (Billie) Giblin of Sedona, Ariz.; Posey Giblin (sister-in-law) of Glendale, Ariz.; Richard (Helen) Evans of Gilbert, Ariz.; Raymond (Marlene) Evans of Yuma, Ariz.; Ruth Cordes of Greer, Ariz.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her father, Charles Giblin; mother, Lola Giblin; child, Hayden Evans; siblings, brother James Giblin, sister Inez Bennett, brother Van L. Giblin, and sister Eunice Ekiss.
The family will be having a memorial honoring this special lady’s life on June 23, 2012, at 2 p.m. at Caballo Church in Caballo.