News & Press: PIHRA News

PIHRA Remembers the Late Wanda Lee

Friday, January 5, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Team PIHRA
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It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of former PIHRA president, Wanda A. Lee on December 22nd, 2017. Wanda proudly served as the fortieth (and fifth female) president of our organization in 1986. She is remembered fondly for her strength, determination and caring personality. 

Her obituary describes an accomplished and admired life:

Wanda had an iron strong will, which she was usually successful in asserting. When she gave you "that look" you knew it was time to straighten up. Wanda graduated from her high school as valedictorian and, after raising two daughters (Dawn Ross of Santa Rosa and Penny Geiger of Wisconsin), she returned to school to earn both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Wanda had a successful career in human resources, retiring as Vice President of HR from Pacificare. After retiring, Wanda moved to Santa Rosa with her beloved husband of 44 years, Bill. Wanda had a strong faith, a sharp intellect and a loving heart. She always looked great, wearing lipstick to the end. Wanda will be missed by her husband Bill, their combined seven children, thirteen grandchildren and ten great grandchildren, her brother Harry Carlson (Oregon), and many friends.

Robert L. Wenzel, a former PIHRA president as well who served along side Wanda on the PIHRA Board, remembers her for her trail blazing and warm sense of humor: 

Wanda served, as you most likely know, as President of PIHRA in 1986.  Most of us remember her as one of the early “pioneers” of female leadership not only of PIHRA but SHRM as well.  Wanda, in her early years of PIHRA membership, rose through the offices quickly blazing a trail towards the Presidency – she had a mission!  At the same time her professional career took off.  Wanda attended every meeting, in the early days being chauffeured by her husband, Bill, prior to receiving her driver’s license.  Considering that Wanda was the fortieth President of PIHRA and only four females served as President of PIHRA before Wanda - Mary Lou Pyle in 1975, Bernice Hird in 1977, Sylvia Landa in 1979, and Ardith Gillis in 1982 - she was determined to guide PIHRA to new heights – and she accomplished her goal.  Then it was on to SHRM, Wanda exhibiting the same leadership and enthusiasm seeking recognition for the important contribution of Human Resources in the world community. 


On a personal note, Wanda was fun and interesting to be around.  Many a gathering was made more enjoyable with Wanda’s humor and sense of caring.  She helped many, including me, to achieve our professional goals and we will miss her.


Services will be held in Santa Rosa on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Crossing the Jordan-

Contact Us

Professionals In Human Resources Association (PIHRA)
1515 W 190th St, Ste 530
Gardena, CA 90248
+1(310) 416-1210
Fax +1(310) 416-9055