A private funeral service was held January 13, 2021 for Wanda Oneida Welford Hurlbert, 76, at Handsboro United Methodist Church in Gulfport. Interment followed at Floral Hills Memorial Gardens in Biloxi.
She was a native of Lucedale and was born to Melvin Eugene and Nesa Tiwanda Spears Welford. A graduate from Rocky Creek High School, she attended USM and received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in education. After 25 years in the school system she retired from teaching. She enjoyed life in so many different ways. She was active in her community. She was a previous member of Young Matrons Mardi Gras Club for years where she reigned as queen in 1988. She volunteered with Biloxi Regional Hospital for many years and was an active participant in the VFW Auxiliary. She enjoyed the MS Jazz Society with her late husband. Anyone close to Wanda was certain to know her love for family and church. She was an extremely active member of HUMC. Her roles at the church were PPR chair and member of the board, president of the UMW, and director of the youth group. She also served as a Lay delegate to the annual conference, Sunday school teacher, VBS director, church historian, and led many fundraisers to benefit the church.
She was an inspiration and joy. She loved writing music and penned several songs. Music was her passion. She loved the outdoors; fishing, camping with friends, cooking, baking, and family gatherings. Holidays were always special to her. She was an avid N.O. Saints fan and did not like missing a game.
She died January 8, 2021.
She is survived by her daughter, Stacie Fayard; grandchildren, Karly Fayard, Matthias (Miriam) Hurlbert, and David F. Hurlbert, II; great grandson, Levi Hurlbert; siblings, Sheryl (Fred) Roberts, Patricia Welford, Sandra (Hardy) Vise, Bruce (Sharrion) Welford and Tony (Leslie) Welford ; and special friend Garland Moran.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald D. Hurlbert; her parents; her son, David Hurlbert; siblings, Loretta Mitchell, Inola Jenkins, Michael Welford, Robert "Gabby" Welford, and Douglas Welford.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Handsboro United Methodist Church, 2333 Demaret Drive, Gulfport, MS 39507.
Riemann Family Funeral Home in Gulfport was in charge of arrangements.