We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Holt Family Funeral Home
Virginia Leah Wands of Cañon City, Colorado, died peacefully in her sleep at home on May 19, 2022. Virginia was born on January 5, 1937, in Houston, Missouri, to Mary Helen (Coats) and E.C. Hancock. The family moved to Penrose, Colorado, when she was a young girl. Virginia considered herself fortunate to graduate from small Penrose High School, where she formed many life-long friendships.
She met the love of her life, Robert “Buck” Wands, while in high school. They were married on June 15, 1955, at the Kirkwood Memorial Church in Penrose, right after her graduation. He soon joined the Army, and they were stationed in Chicago before returning to Colorado to raise a family, first in Stone City, Colorado, and then back home in Penrose.
Virginia loved life in her rural community. She was extremely active in her children’s lives, joining the PTA at Penrose School and building many school floats for Apple Day. She baked hundreds of apple pies for the fall festival and worked on the Apple Day Committee for years, including serving as overall chairman of the event.
She also worked for a time as an office manager for the Penrose Water District before becoming house mother for St. Scholastica Academy in Cañon City. She truly enjoyed working with girls from around the world and learning about their different cultures. Virginia happily served as a substitute mother for many of the girls there who missed their own families.
Virginia enjoyed the heritage arts and spent years canning foods, creating counted cross-stitch masterpieces, and embroidering beautiful tea towels and pillowcases. After moving to Cañon City in her later years, she continued the embroidery she loved and even won Reserve Champion in the 2021 Fremont County Open Fair. She still loved creating beautiful items and sharing them with her family and friends.
Virginia lived for her family and was incredibly proud of all her children and grandchildren.
Virginia is survived by her children, Colleen (Rich) Kozacek of Cañon City, Arthur (Sheri) Wands of Cañon City, Debbie (Charlie) Bell of Cañon City, and Kevin (Julie) Wands of Pueblo West; 11 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter; brothers, Larry (Frances) Hancock of Pueblo and David (Betty) Hancock of Grand Junction; sister, Lana Hancock of Pueblo; sisters-in-law, Dorothy Hancock of Cañon City and Norma Fuller of Torrington, Wyoming; brother-in-law, Lee Sheridan of Pueblo West; special friend, Judy Anderson of Cañon City; as well as nieces, nephews, and other relatives too numerous to name.
Virginia was preceded in death by her husband, Robert “Buck” Wands; one infant son; her parents, Mary Helen and E.C. Hancock; sister, Thelma Rathke Sheridan; brothers, Robert Hancock and William Hancock; sisters-in-law, Mary Jo Hancock and Lee Oldham; and brothers-in-law, Alan Rathke, Tommy Wands, Glen Fuller, and Chuck Oldham.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, 2022, in the Abbey Monastery Chapel, 2951 E. Highway 50, Cañon City, Pastor Loren Kolman officiating. All are invited to a luncheon reception immediately following the service, at the Abbey Monastery Library. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for memorial donations to Habitat for Humanity of Fremont County, 727 S. Eighth St., Cañon City, CO 81212. Arrangements were made through Holt Family Funeral Home with online condolences at www.holtfamilyfuneralhomes.com.