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Wanda Meyer-Richards

Wanda (Halliwill) Meyer-Richards, 74, of Wadena, passed away peacefully at her home on Wednesday, April 15, 2009.

She was born Sept. 23, 1934, at Wesley Hospital in Wadena, the fourth child of nine born to Oral and Marion (Mills) Halliwill. She attended country school and graduated from Wadena High School in 1952. After graduation she moved to Minneapolis and then onto Anchorage, Alaska. In 1955, she moved to Seattle, where she met and then married Donald Meyer on April 7, 1956. In 1967, inspired by her mother's example, she opened a pizza shop, Pizza Dena, in Federal Way, Wash. Pizza Dena was named after her mother's restaurant that was in Wadena. She went on to become a successful restaurateur, owning four restaurants in all. She returned to Wadena in June 1990, due to her father's death, and stayed to help care for her mother. Much to her own surprise, she spent the rest of her life, back home, in Minnesota. In her younger years, she enjoyed taking her family on camping trips. She loved cooking for family and friends, gardening, playing pinochle, and bowling. She especially enjoyed cheering for the kids in the youth bowling program. One of her greatest joys was her grandchildren.

A celebration of her life was held Monday, April 20, at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Wadena.

Survivors include her children, Gary (Paula) Meyer of Rainier, Wash., Steven (Kathy) Meyer of Medford, Ore., Voni Meyer of Wadena, and Judy (Russell) Johnston of Wadena; nine grandchildren; one great-grandchild; siblings, Joanne Walz of Sebeka, Joyce Ramberg of Coon Rapids, Minn., Dean (Linda) Halliwill of Long Lake, Minn., Dwight "Ike" (Sharon) Halliwill of Gull Lake, Minn., and Lyn (Dave) Schonebaum of Medina, Minn.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Oral and Marion; brothers, Jerome, Jon and Dan Halliwill; and her husband, Don.