Wilda Hope Farrell Stanfield, 71, of Bellefonte, Pa., died at 8:24 a.m. Sunday, April 22, 2018, in her home, after a 20-year battle with cancer.
She was the oldest daughter of the late James Thomas Farrell, and of Gila Ferguson Farrell who survives in Dayton. She was born Jan. 4, 1947, in Middletown. The family moved to New Carlisle when Wilda was young. She graduated from Tecumseh High School in 1965 and from Wright State University in 1975 with a degree in elementary education, after transferring from the University of Dayton.
She married Douglas Wayne Stanfield of Rushsylvania on June 20, 1970, in New Carlisle. He survives in Bellefonte.
She was a long-distance telephone operator with Ohio Bell, and worked in accounts payable for B.G. Danis, a large construction company in Dayton. While in Dayton, she also was a board member of Eagles Inc., an adult educational resources company serving churches. She later worked as accounts payable supervisor for West Coast Truck lines in Eugene, Ore., while Doug was in grad school.
When the family moved to State College, Pa., in 1987, Wilda worked at the Outdoor Writers Assoc., before working in public relations and communications for Centre Community Hospital (now Mount Nittany Medical Center) and then for the State College Area School District. She retired from the latter in 2013.
She was active for more than 20 years in the Bellefonte Garden Club, serving more than one term as president and in most other officer positions. There, she was one of the driving forces for numerous community beautification projects, including “Bellefonte In Bloom,” which planted more than 111,000 daffodils over five years; the 9/11 Memorial Garden at the Armory on Bishop Street; annual plantings of flowers throughout Talleyrand Park, on the Diamond and around the Courthouse, and urns and hanging baskets throughout the downtown commercial district. She also was active in various economic development initiatives, including the grant application of Bellefonte into the Main Street Program.
She and Doug owned and operated the Annie Natt House Bed and Breakfast in Bellefonte from 1995-2005.
She served leadership roles in several community organizations, including the Centre County Chapter of the American Cancer Society which she served as president; as a board member on the Bellefonte Area Chamber of Commerce. She was a founding member of the Bellefonte Tourism Commission. She is remembered for her optimism, for an understated effectiveness, and as someone who gave others most of the credit. She was loved for her intelligence and for her kindness and generosity of spirit.
Wilda and Doug have lived in Dayton, Eugene, State College and Bellefonte. During their life together they traveled the nation, visiting almost every state except Alaska and Hawaii.
In addition to Doug, Wilda also is survived by sons, Benjamin Farrell Stanfield, 38, of Albuquerque, N.M., and John Thomas Stanfield, 36, of Missoula, Mont.; three sisters, Martha (Robert) Milbee and Margaret (Pierre) Winningham, both of Dayton, and Elizabeth Rebillas (Joe) of New Carlisle; and several nieces and nephews, cousins and brothers- and sisters-in-law.
A younger brother, Patrick Farrell of New Carlisle, preceded her in death in 2013.
Visitation is from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, at Wetzler Funeral Service Inc., 206 N. Spring Street, Bellefonte, Pa. A memorial service follows from 6 to 7 p.m. with CLP Elder Candace Dannaker officiating. There is no public viewing.
A second celebration of life service is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 27, at the Tobias Funeral Home, 3970 Dayton Xenia Road, Beavercreek. Private internment is in Rushsylvania.
Memorial donations may be made in her name to the Centre County Cancer Society, 1375 Martin St. No.206, State College, PA 16803.
Express condolences at www.wetzlerfuneralhome.com.