Wanda (Sweeney) Baker Brownell passed away Monday, May 1, 2023 at The Orchard House Memory Care Unit, of Sugar Grove Senior Living, in Plainfield. She was born January 25, 1948 in Jellico, Tennessee. She was raised in Somerset, Kentucky. She was a 1966 graduate of Pulaski County High School. She was the daughter of Lee & Pearl (Massey) Sweeney. Wanda married Larry Baker in 1969, and married Robert Brownell in 1980.
Wanda started her career in Property Management when she was hired by The Gene B. Glick Company to run and manage the brand new Carriage House Apartment Community, in Kendallville. Through her different experiences in the world of Property Management, Wanda worked her way up, eventually landing with Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, as their Director of Property Management. It was in this capacity where she oversaw the management and marketing of over eight different apartment communities, stretching throughout six states, all managed through her home-office, in Kendallville.
Other work for Wanda over the years, included time at Corporate Staffing Resources, and also Deardorf Property Management. Wanda worked in sales as well, at WAWK Radio in Kendallville. She also briefly had her own manicure business, called “The Perfect Touch”.
Wanda also was very much about community. She was on the I.M.C. board in 1987, and at one point was tapped to help organize the Noble County Community Fair Entertainment committee and the Annual Kendallville Christmas Parade. She was very active as well, within the East Noble Band Boosters Organization, and even had a strong campaign run for Mayor of Kendallville, in 1991.
Wanda always had a positive outlook on everything and was able to spread that joyous energy to all around her. She enjoyed dancing, watching Kentucky basketball, listening to all types of music, and thoroughbred horse racing. In mom’s later years, she so much enjoyed spending time with the absolute light of her life – her miniature long haired Dachshund – Tricia.
She is survived by a son, Brandan Baker of Danville, IN.
She is also survived by sister Linda (Steve) D’Alessio, of Sandstone, MN; sister Delores (Mason) Campbell of Lexington, KY; brother Gary (Ethel) Blankenship of Quincy, OH; sister Carolyn (Bob) Holliker of Madison, NC; and sister Rosalie Teague of Jellico, TN.
In addition to some very close and exceptional friends, Wanda is also survived by numerous special nieces and nephews, who could always get a smile and laugh from “Aunt Wanda”; and a very special group who loved and adored her, simply as their “Nana”
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother Charles “Chuck” Sweeney; brother Lloyd Sweeney; brother Ken Blankenship; brother Ron Blankenship; and brother Luther “Junior” Blankenship.
A Celebration of Life is planned for Wanda, on May 15, 2023, at Hite Funeral Home in Kendallville. Gathering 3:00 - 6:00pm, with a service at 6pm.
Memorial donations can be made to The East Noble Band Boosters, or The Noble County Humane Society.