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Wanda Estes

RAPID CITY | Wanda Lee (Elwood) Estes died on Sept. 12, 2018, in Rapid City, at the age of 68.

Wanda was born on Sept. 6, 1950, in Rapid City to Clyde and Vera (Simon) Elwood. She graduated from Central High School in 1968, and earned a degree in Nursing from St. John’s. She married Lee Estes on May 29, 1971. Wanda was an RN at Rapid City Regional Hospital, Pediatrics ICU for 25 years before moving to Black Hills Pediatrics, where she cared for even more children for another 23 years. She cherished the 48 years that she cared for the children of the Black Hills and was respected throughout the region for her skill and tender care. She would coordinate the visits of traveling physicians, who came to the area with their expertise and also led the Cardiac Outreach Program.

Wanda was a perpetual student, as well as educator, often with her nose in multiple books at the same time. She loved camping, traveling and gardening. She often amazed her friends and family with her ability to identify plants in the wild and classify unique rocks by memory. She was a generous and witty woman who loved to cook, enjoyed deep conversation, and created jewelry and pottery. She enjoyed practicing balance control at the Canyon Lake Senior Center and catching up for lunch with old friends around town after her retirement.

Wanda is survived by her husband, Lee Estes of Rapid City; children, Jeffery of Rapid City and Tamara; two granddaughters; siblings, Terry Elwood of Sturgis, Clyde (Ardyce) Elwood of Rapid City, Ed Elwood of Nisland, Rose (Steve) Abernathy of Black Hawk, and Jean Mardian of Rapid City; and many adoring nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her father, Clyde Elwood; her mother, Vera Elwood; sister, Jackie (Elwood) Gerry; and in-laws, Tommy and Marina Estes.

A Celebration of Life will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16, at Osheim and Schmidt Funeral Home. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Wanda’s life.

The family would like to thank hospital staff at Rapid City Regional Hospital for their thoughtful care.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Lee Estes for a Memorial fund for Wanda. 

Wanda’s online guestbook is available to sign at

the life of: Estes, Wanda L.
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