On December 23 2021, Wanda left this world to be with the Lord at age 87 years. She lived in Suisun City, California for the past 12 years, prior to that she lived in San Pablo, California for 43 years. She made wonderful friendships that lasted a lifetime there.
She was preceded in death by her husband Melburn Williams, first husband Arthur Hill, parents Arlin and Wilda Starkey, brothers Bill Starkey, Jerl Starkey, James Starkey and sisters Stella M Starkey and Mary Bolin. Wanda is survived by her brothers Rex Starkey, Johnny Starkey, sisters Iva Mulford, Elizabeth Zeliff, Linda Chaffin and Debra Wiskerchen. Her sons David and Bryian Hill, her daughter, Sheila Hulse, son-in-law John Hulse, her grandchildren Laura Foote, David Hulse, Anthony Hill and Haley Hill. She is also survived by two great grand children Lokilani Allerton and Roan Foote.
Wanda was born in Bass Arkansas and spent her childhood in Newton County where she formed fond memories of family and friends there. Mom shared some of those memories with me of growing up in Arkansas. I remember a time she told me about how her mother was on a white horse in the middle of a terrible storm trying to get her and her siblings across a raging river. I often thought that this may have been the reason why she was so uncomfortable and afraid of water. There were other snippets of memories on the farm where she described how her mother Wilda had a wash and ironing day. She described using a big black kettle to wash and boil clothes in then hung them to dry. Once dry, they continued with the ironing (an iron actually made of solid iron0. Mom said this was a weekly occurrence. One bleak winter Mom had spent a night with a friend from school that lived nearby and realized that they had very little so she ask her mother what they could do for her friend’s family. Her mother gave the family some quilts for winter and what food and clothes they could.
Wanda attended Valley Springs High School and graduated class of 1952. She earned a scholarship for Business school but was unable to fulfill her desire to continue her education at that time. Later in life, she attended Contra Costa College and Martinez Adult School where she completed her studies and began working for the Internal Revenue Service in San Francisco, until she retired. After her retirement, she began working again, helping her two sons as Office Manager to build their growing business.
Early in life, she also worked for Levi Straus Company in Harrison, Arkansas and the Bell Phone Company in Wichita Kansas before meeting and marrying her children’s father Arthur Hill. After her separation from him in the early 70’s, she found employment with ROHR Electronics. She worked in assembly and then quality control as part of the construction of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system. During that time, she was a single mom who used her wit, tenacity and resilience to provide for her family. Mom eventually met Melburn Williams, her second husband in the early eighties and was with him until his passing in 2011.
Mom enjoyed spending time with her family and her grandchildren most of all. She spent many hours reading and playing with them. Her grandson David shared this about her: “I remember Grandmother’s company well. I spent many nights sleeping with her when I was younger. The visits were pleasant and moments sweet. I will always remember her well.”
Mom you will be missed!
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