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Wanda “Helen” Wilbanks

September 28, 1928 - July 11, 2022

Wanda “Helen” Wilbanks of Sachse, Texas went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on July 11, 2022.

Helen was born Sept. 28, 1928, in Cass, Texas to Elbert and Ola Solley.

She was a lifelong member of Cass Baptist Church. Helen loved to cook and serve others with her famous chicken and dumplings. Helen married Rayford Wilbanks, on March 1, 1947. They had three daughters, Virginia “Ginger,” JoAnn, and Julie.

Helen worked for Bloomburg ISD in the cafeteria for 24 years. Known as Miss Helen, she truly served the children there. One of those children recently told the family that she had shown him true compassion when he came through the line. After she got to know him, she would take him to church. He credits his salvation largely to her. Helen’s Kingdom work extended to her own family. A devout Christian, she made sure her girls had a Christian upbringing, and all of them are Christians. Helen also led her son in law, Charlie Calogero, to the Lord. In her final months, she prayed and sang with the caregivers at her assisted-living facility.

Preceding her in death were her husband of 26 years, Rayford Wilbanks; parents, Elbert and Ola Solley; five brothers, Elton “Dick” Solley, William “Booster” Solley, Benny Solley, James “Jim” Solley, and Leonard “Cap” Solley; two sisters, Laverne Endsley and an infant; three half-sisters, Evelyn Parchman, Nell Bishop, and Hazel Ballard; one great-granddaughter, Hope Spann; three nieces, Emily Pugh, Darlene Lummus, and Karen Forester; and one nephew, Bubba Solley.

Helen is survived by her brother Tommy Solley and wife, Carla; daughters Ginger Wood and husband Mike of Katy, Texas; JoAnn Calogero and husband Charlie of Keller, Texas; and Julie Lockwood and husband Doug of Rockwall, Texas; six grandchildren, Amanda Spann and husband Bert of Hohenwald, Tennessee; Melissa DeSantiago and husband Alex of Jacksonville, Arkansas; Courtney Davis and husband Justin of Okinawa, Japan; Kirsten Nguyen and husband Dong of Argyle, Texas; and Peyton and Lucca Lockwood; six great grandchildren: Cole Spann; Cadence, Kennedy, and Kinsey Davis; and Charlotte “Charley” and Bryson Nguyen.

Helen was a bonus Mamaw to Daphney DeSantiago and Olivia Bolen.

Visitation was held at Hanner Funeral Service in Atlanta, Texas from 6-8 p.m. Friday, July 15. Funeral services were at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 16 at Cass Baptist Church, with Rev. Bert Spann officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cass Baptist Church general or cemetery funds c/o George Waller, 1278 FM 251 N, Atlanta, Texas 75551.

The family extends a special thanks to Merit Hospice of Dallas for its wonderful care and to the many caregivers who cared for her in her last years. Guest registry is available at www.hannerfuneralservice.com.

Cass County Now

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