Wanda Carlock

Obituary of Wanda D. Carlock

Wanda D. Carlock, whose passion for learning, keen sense of humor and commitment to service will be remembered by all who knew her, died peacefully in her sleep on Jan. 20, 2022 at age 97. A memorial service will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Feb. 11 in the chapel of Beatitudes Campus, 1610 W. Glendale Ave. Light refreshments will follow. Wanda was born in 1924 in Newalla, OK and moved to Arizona with her family in 1937. She graduated from Phoenix Union High School in 1941 and later attended Phoenix College and Grand Canyon University. A stint as an operator for Western Union led to a support role at the San Francisco Conference of the United Nations, where representatives of 50 nations hammered out a framework for cooperation in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Though her work for Western Union during the war sometimes required her to deliver bad news she also had a knack for enjoying herself, and her lively spirits and good looks brought her occasional work as a model. In 1949 she met and fell in love with young lawyer George Read Carlock. They remained extremely devoted for nearly 50 years, until his death from cancer in 1999. They courted while she attended night school at Phoenix College, where Read would sit in on classes to be with her and “even took the tests,” she recalled later. The couple had 4 children, three of whom survive. They lost their beloved son James Read Carlock in 1996. Wanda served on many boards and committees, including stints as chairwoman of the Goodwill Auxiliary and the Historical League, but her chief contribution was always hands-on work for virtually every charitable thrift-store organization in town. She became an expert on antiques and especially knowledgeable about books, which had captivated her since childhood. Read and Wanda raised their children on an expansive North Central Avenue lot, and Central Phoenix remained Wanda’s touchstone throughout her life. In the mid-1960s, Wanda jumped into roughing it for two summers at the PS Ranch in the White Mountains, where she cared for her children without benefit of electricity or indoor plumbing. Later, she and Read built their own refuge in the pines just above Tonto Creek, where Read worked in his blacksmith’s shop and Wanda sewed and quilted, remembering their days as “heaven.” After Read’s death, Wanda moved onto the Beatitudes Campus at 16th Avenue and Glendale. She had many friends on campus and continued her volunteering, working at the Backstreet Boutique, the campus thrift store. She enjoyed sitting on her front porch in all kinds of weather, conversing with passing staff, residents and visitors, often discovering connections to other longtime Phoenix residents just moving onto campus. In 2021 Wanda finally had to move out of her independent-living apartment and spent the rest of her life at her son Robert’s home in Mesa and finally at Heritage Village Assisted Living nearby. She remained alert until the last week of her life. Wanda is survived by her son, Robert Carlock, of Mesa; daughter-in-law Pamela Carlock, also of Mesa; son John Carlock of Edmunds, WA, daughter Judy Carlock of Mesa, granddaughter Natalie Carlock of Tempe and grandson Nicolas Carlock of San Tan Valley. She also is survived by a sister, Mary Alice Bertoni of Phoenix, and several nieces and nephews. Remember Wanda with a donation to your favorite charity, or an act of kindness or service to anyone at all.
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