Wanda Lee Covey Arford, 96, went home to heaven on September 21, 2020.
Wanda Lee, Nampa, formerly of Burley, Buhl, Mountain Home, Filer, and Twin Falls was born to Clarence Covey and Sara Bernadeen McKinster Covey on July 25, 1924 in Montezuma, Kansas. The Family later moved to Keensburg, Colorado, and then bought a farm in Fort Morgan, CO where they dry-land farmed.
After high school graduation in 1941, Wanda and a friend passed a test and got hired to go to Hill Airforce Base near Ogden, Utah where they graded pencils in an airplane hangar. A year later after she went back to Fort Morgan, she went on a trip with her boyfriend’s brother, Wendell, and his wife Florence, to see Marlin Arford, her high school sweetheart. Marlin was in cadet training in Santa Ana California where he was training to become a bomber pilot. She didn’t return home as Wanda and Marlin were married on August 28, 1943 in a crossed-sword, military ceremony. They lived on several different bases where she always found work. Soon after their marriage, Marlin was shipped out to fly in the Pacific Arena. Wanda was pregnant and moved back to Colorado to be near both parents. Their first daughter, Gail, was born in Fort Morgan. Marlin didn’t see her until she was 6 months old.
When Marlin returned to the states, the couple made their home at McChord Airforce Base in Fort Lewis, Washington where Marlin was an instructor and pilot for the Tacoma Air Reserve Detachment where two other daughters Joan and Marla were born.
The family then moved to La Porte, Colorado where Marlin finished his senior year of college at Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University). When Marlin graduated, the family moved to Fort Morgan, Colorado to farm. There was no indoor plumbing in the house where they lived. The family later migrated to Burley, Idaho where a son, Gary, was born.
Later, the family bought a farm in Buhl where they farmed and did custom farming near Deep Creek for decades. Money was tight and Wanda was Marlin’s right hand, driving trucks as well as keeping up the home. She was a great cook. Her apple pies and cinnamon rolls were the best around.
Never attending church before, while in Ogden, Wanda accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior and became a life-long Nazarene. She was very active in her church, from teaching children and adult Sunday School, being Sunday School Superintendent, helping out with preaching once in a while, and playing the piano. She did lots of teaching at home, drilling us in our various subjects. In a time when not everyone attended college, she and dad expected all of their children to attend college. All gradated and three became teachers.
Mom taught us a love for music, good food, moral and spiritual values, as well as a hard work ethic. We spent lots of fun times singing around the piano. It was here we learned many Christian children’s choruses and songs from the Golden Song Book. TV had not yet been invented, but we had one of the first hi-fi record players, where we played and learned the songs of the Lennon Sisters, Sons of the Pioneers, Elvis, and many other recording artists of the time. She made holidays special, especially Christmas. We never had much, but we celebrated the season for the right reason and had a great food celebration as well as lots of singing of carols, Bible reading, etc. Her greatest desire in life was that all her family and friends would accept Jesus as their Savior and meet her in heaven someday. Her motto was, “Only one life ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” She was very compassionate, fixed many meals for those in need, and was always willing to lend a hand.
Wanda Lee and Marlin were honored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter for the Longest Married couple in the state of Idaho, of those nominated, for 73 years of marriage, as of January 10, 2017.
Mom was a true patriot. She absolutely loved the USA, believing that its inception was ordained by God, and prayed constantly for the preservation of its liberty. One of her favorite pictures was of General George Washington kneeling in prayer beside his horse at Valley Forge with the inscription, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. Psalm 33:12”.
Wanda Lee loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She made special baby quilts for most of them. She was a wonderful mom, grandma, and great-grandma. Her job is done. She helped create a wonderful family that are all well and happy.
Wanda Lee was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Marlin of 74 years, one sister Virginia, and four brothers, Verl, Richard, Mason, and Ernest Covey.
Wanda Lee is survived by daughters, Gail (Don) Loughmiller, Nampa ID; Joan (Tom) Parnell, Buhl, ID; Marla (Erick) Scofield, Las Vegas, NV; and son, Gary (Olga) Arford, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Ten grandchildren, Tamara (Dean) Loughmiller Thompson, Boise, ID; Sandra (Jose) Loughmiller Urbina, Nampa, ID; Mistilyn (Brion) Parnell Gebow, Seattle, WA and Bend, OR; Robbi (April) Parnell, Morgan Hill, CA; Troy (Sharon) Scofield, Windsor, CO; Erick (Linda) Scofield, San Mateo, CA; Shilo (Brian) Arford Locket, Bothell, WA; Morgan (Debbie) Arford, Edmonds, WA; and 23 great-grandchildren.