Wanda Lea Crandall, known in most recent years as Grandma Great, passed from the land of the dying to the land of the living on Sept. 11, 2020. She was 81 years old and ready for Heaven. She had lived in the Powell Valley Care Center for the last six years.
Wanda was born on Aug. 16, 1939, in Buffalo, Wyoming, to George and Cauleen Bloxom. Her father was a cowboy/rancher, owning his own ranch for a short time on Prairie Elk near Circle, Montana. They later settled in Miles City, Montana, where she graduated from high school and married John Edward Crandall. They were happily married nearly 44 years before John’s passing. They raised three children: Eddie, Tonya (always known by her family as Toni), and Lori.
John was a preacher for the Church of Christ during their early years of marriage, preaching in Miles City, as well as Gillette, Rock Springs, and Green River, Wyoming.
Wanda was a stay-at-home mom until her kids were in high school and Toni got a job at the Hallmark store. Wanda spent so much time and money in the store that the manager offered her a job. She worked there until she and John moved to Gillette around 1985, to be near her aging parents.
She loved her family with all her heart. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren were truly gifts from Heaven, and she doted on them until her dying day.
She is survived by her son, Eddie Crandall of Rapid City, South Dakota;, daughters, Tonya (Mike) Elzey of Powell and Lori (Jim) Rockhold of Green River; sisters Betty (Nick) Clauson, Linda King; grandchildren, Zeke (Anna) Elzey, Tabitha (Ben) Witt, Tara Elzey, Tamara Elzey, Jasmine Marcum and Eve Crandall; great-grandchildren, Ayden Crandall, Daniel, Abby, Titus, Gabriel Witt, Morgan Elzey, River and Autumn Marcum.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John Crandall; sister-in law Betty Petterson; two grandchildren, Johnny Crandall and Jesse Elzey; and one great-granddaughter, Olive.
Wanda had two other daughters that she would claim as her own — daughter No. 3, as they often joked, Holly Baker and Shannon Tyra, the daughter who cared and loved her the last six years in the nursing home and the only family with skin on so to speak in the last six months.
Mom loved to celebrate everything, so we’re celebrating her life on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 6 p.m., at the Powell Church of Christ, 749 Highway 14A.
Mom was a giver. She gave her time to listen, a giver of cards and gifts, so in honor of her memory, we ask that you give to someone in need. There are so many hurting among us. Reach out and give a hug, a card, or your time — whatever seems right for you.