Former APHA director and longtime Paint Horse enthusiast Wanda Lea West of Abilene, Kansas, died June 2; she was 85.
Born October 12, 1933, in Winfield, Kansas, Wanda was the daughter of Harold and Mabel (Wilson) Riggs and grew up in the Oxford area, where she graduated from Oxford High School. She married Bill West on October 11, 1953, in Oxford; together, they had six children.
A lifelong equestrienne, Wanda was active in 4-H, saddle club and national horse associations, including APHA, and she owned B&W Quarterhorse and Paint. Elected to serve as president and vice president of the Kansas Paint Horse Association, Wanda also served as an APHA national director or alternate for 25 years. She was also active as an APHA committee member, and worked on various APHA advisory committees from 1988–2012, including Show & Contest, Rules, Breed Improvement (serving as vice-chairman) and Registration. Wanda and Bill also owned and operated grocery stores in Abilene since 1967.
“Horses were Wanda’s passion; particularly the American Paint Horse,” Casey West said. “She devoted countless hours to the APHA, the Kansas Paint Horse Association and many fellow horse lovers without expecting anything in return.”
Although Wanda had many responsibilities outside the home, first and foremost, she was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, the obituary noted; she enjoyed spending time with her family, traveling, playing cards and reading.
Wanda is survived by her husband, Bill; children Paula Hopkins (Rod), Suzanne Hoekman (Vic), Steve West (Janet), J.D. West (Haley) and Craig West (Jill); 17 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and sisters Sandra Patterson (Wallace) and Janice Stengel (Joe). She was preceded in death by her daughter, Michelle.
Contributions in Wanda’s memory can be made to the Wanda West Memorial Scholarship Endowment through the American Paint Horse Foundation, P.O. Box 961023, Fort Worth, TX 76161-0023.