Wanda Lee Johnson Lead-better, 80, of Lexington, died Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019.

Wanda was born Jan. 20, 1939, in Lexington to the late James Henry and Virginia Agnor Johnson. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Raymond Coleman “Skip” Leadbetter Sr., and her sister, Ann Carolyn Johnson.

Surviving are her brother, Buddy Johnson (Genie Robinson), and her children, Sarah Leadbetter of Lexington, Bo Leadbetter of Lexington, Jenny Leadbetter-Bolte (John) of Craig County, and Jeremy Leadbetter of Lexington.  

She is also survived by seven grandchildren, Cole Banfield, Henry Bolte, Nora Bolte, Charlie Bolte, Brinsley Leadbetter, Annie Bolte and Miah Leadbetter. Additionally, she is survived by many cousins; her niece, Joann Ware; and a special cousin, Judy Cash (Roy).  

Wanda graduated from Lexington High School in 1957 and attended Madison College. She began teaching at Mountain View Elementary School while in college and talked fondly of her first teaching experience and the children whose lives touched her so. She met the love of her life in 1963 and soon married, settling in Harrisonburg, where they started their family.

But Wanda’s roots in Lexington called her home, and they bought their first and only home in Lexington in 1966.While her children were young, Wanda stayed home, and she returned to teaching at Lexington High School when her youngest started school. Wanda retired from Rock-bridge County High School in 1999 where she served as an English teacher. She loved literature and writing and was a tough and fair teacher who made a difference in the lives of many young people. She was also a life-long member of Trinity United Methodist Church.  

After her retirement, Wanda enjoyed being at home and caring for her grandchildren. She was happiest when her family was gathered around the big dining room table she and Skip purchased when they were first married because they knew they wanted a big family. She especially loved preparing meals for her family and collected cookbooks, one of her favorites being her Southern Living collection.

She was a quilter, baker, and avid genealogist who collected family history in multiple volumes so her children and grandchildren would know their roots. Wanda also loved animals and adopted many devoted dogs and cats over the years.

After Skip’s passing, Wanda continued with the family traditions. She especially loved Halloween. When her own health was in decline, she was cared for in her home by Sarah and Jeremy where she was happiest.

A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Trinity United Methodist Church with the Rev. Joseph Cailles officiating. A celebration of her life will follow in the church fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, Wanda requested that memorials be made to the Rockbridge SPCA, Rockbridge Regional Library, or Trinity United Methodist Church.

Arrangements are being handled by Harrison Funeral Home and Crematory. N-G

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