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Wanda "Tesch" Lightfield

It is with heavy hearts that we share the sorrow of Wanda Lightfield's passing. She was from Waubay, SD and joined her Lord on her 85th birthday, Friday, August 26, 2022.     

Her funeral will be in the May or June.  


Wanda Mae (Tesch) Lightfield was born on August 26, 1937, to Arthur H. and Anna Mae (Cook) Tesch in Watertown, SD. Wanda graduated from Watertown High School in 1955. Wanda married the love of her life, William R. “Bill” Lightfield on September 7, 1957, at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church in Watertown. They shared a loving marriage of over 64 years and were blessed with 6 children. They were faithful members of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Waubay, SD

Early on, Bill and Wanda lived in Deadwood, Brookings, and Howard before moving to Waubay to raise their family. In 1960, Wanda earned her Bachelor of Science in Home Economics from South Dakota State University. She taught Home Economic and college prep science at Waubay High School while taking great pride in the success of Lightfield’s Standard Oil Station on Highway 12. She continued her training and was awarded a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling in 1972. She achieved this while raising their family of 6 children with Bill. Over the years she nurtured many students with her insightful teaching methods at Enemy Swim Day School, and schools in Waubay, SD; Florence, SD; Tilden, NE; Waterloo, IA; and Waverly, IA. Wanda took joy in contributing to her community by founding and leading the Wonder Worker’s 4-H club. One of the highest honors of Wanda’s life was in 1997 when she was commissioned as an Associate in Ministry (AIM) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. This was while she was principal of St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Waverly, IA starting 1989. Wanda retired from St. Paul’s School and in 2010 she and Bill returned to the home they built in Waubay. As a Christian, educator, counselor, principal and leader, Wanda positively influenced thousands of students, children and their families. With Bill at her side, they strove to be good stewards of their faith and to share their many God given talents.

Wanda had a deep love for and devotion to her family. She loved baking and cooking family recipes to the delight of all at the table. Bill said, “she could make saw dust taste good.”  Her beloved grandkids and great grandkids looked forward to receiving their homemade gifts for birthdays and Christmas. She inspired them to work hard and play hard. Being raised on a farm as the oldest daughter of a family with 5 girls, she was taught that she could do anything a man could do. She loved a challenge and found joy in a job well done, especially on a tight budget. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t do. Each school break, she would challenge herself to learn a new skill or craft. Then at Christmas time, her newfound talent would be shared as gifts for each of the family. Faith was a cornerstone of Bill and Wanda’s marriage.  They taught their children by example and were active participants in all their church communities. She also loved sewing, gardening, canning, building willow furniture with Bill, and teaching family traditions to the next generation of kids. Bill and Wanda’s children like to say, “They’re a tough act to follow!”  Most of all, she loved her husband Bill and always felt blessed to be his wife and mother of their children.

It is with heavy hearts that we share the sorrow of Wanda’s passing. She joined her Lord on her 85th birthday, Friday, August 26, 2022. Though she will be missed, her family is grateful that she passed peacefully, surrounded by her family, and loved ones.

Her legacy will continue, and she will be forever cherished by her daughter-in-law Denise K. (Tim) Lightfield of Waubay, SD, children Yvonne N. (Mike) Morris of Des Moines, IA, Sybil A. Lightfield of Carson, ND, Adam J. (Teresa) Lightfield of Conifer, CO, Wannita M. Lightfield of Waubay, SD, and Edward A. Lightfield of Minneapolis, MN, sisters Lou Ann (Howard) Paulson, Lois (Ronald) Greenfield, Jane (Jim) Green, Marie (Cecil) Munson; ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, William R. “Bill” Lightfield on February 15, 2022, son Tim R. Lightfield, and daughter-in-law Teresa L. (Hasche) Lightfield.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wanda Lightfield, please visit our flower store.


I so enjoyed working with Wanda when she was our principal at St. Paul’s School in Waverly! She had my name one year as her secret pal and I got several gifts that I still have today. One of them was a basket she had made and I use it for holiday decor. Praying for God’s peace and comfort for all of you.

Carol Rasmussen Oct 5 2022 1:50 PM

Wanda became my best friend when she came to Mellette School when we were 10. 75 years of memories. My sympathy to you all.

Patricia Tanaka Sep 12 2022 5:41 PM

Our deepest sympathy goes out to all Wanda’s friends and family ! She will be deeply missed I remember that she was very kind and always had a smile on her face ! May God comfort all of you during this difficult time !! 🙏🏻🙏🏻

David & Rita Buck Sep 12 2022 7:35 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Wanda Lightfield

Thomas Lewno Sep 11 2022 9:25 PM

Mrs. Lightfield was a wonderful teacher. She was stuck teaching kids like me subjects that didn't come easy for her because Florence was such a small school. Yet her enthusiasm, joy of education and love of kids showed through. I have nothing but admiration for her.

Ken Putnam Sep 1 2022 12:51 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Wanda Lightfield

Cindy Sinner Yanta Aug 29 2022 9:39 PM

I am so Sorry for your Loss! Mrs. Lightfield was one of my favorite teachers at Florence High School! One night a bunch of us kids drove up to Waubay to visit her and see her house. We all loved and respected her! My deepest Sympathy and Prayers! 🙏

Patty Halse Lutz Aug 27 2022 2:23 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Wanda Lightfield

Joyce and Chuck haley Aug 27 2022 10:25 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Wanda Lightfield

Larry and Judy Picht Aug 26 2022 9:18 PM

Wanda was a wonderful woman. We have fond memories of her, Bill, their children, in-laws, and grandchildren. . May she Rest In peace.

Karen Walker Aug 26 2022 6:31 PM

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