In memory of

Wanda Lambert, age 88, of Helena

July 17, 1929 – August 20, 2017

Wanda, beloved wife, our mother, grandmother and great grandmother, passed away peacefully the morning of August 20, 2017, of natural causes.

Mom was born in Davenport, Oklahoma to William David and Nora Cleo Calaway on July 17, 1929.  She was the youngest of seven children.  On July 20, 1947, she married George Frank Lambert, Jr.   Mom and dad had four kids:  Vicki, Julie and twins Michael and Shelly.

Mom and dad lived in Oklahoma, North Dakota and New Mexico while dad worked for Amerada Hess.  While in North Dakota and after the twins were born, mom earned her degree as a Licensed Practical Nurse and worked for Tioga Community Hospital in Tioga, North Dakota and at Lea Regional Hospital in Hobbs, New Mexico.    Mom received her realtor license while in Hobbs and had a successful career selling real estate.  When dad retired, they moved to Missoula where they owned a trailer court and then they moved to Helena.

Mom was always active in church.  She played piano beautifully.  Mom was part of a quartet with our dad and their two best friends; they called themselves The Stamps Quartet.  They sang gospel on the radio and recorded several albums, the vintage vinyl 78 rpms!  I can still hear her voice on the albums saying “… and I’m Wanda.”    She loved to travel, especially cruising.  She had a passion for reading and had her own lending library, including a check out system so you wouldn’t forget to return them (or else)!   Mom’s poor health and immobility prevented her from continuing with many of the things that she loved to do.  While a resident at Apple Cooney Nursing Home, she was the big sister and mother to many of the residents and staff.  She always had an open door, a cold Coke, a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen to anyone at any time.

Mom was preceded in death by her parents, brothers and sisters, our dad and our sister Vicki (Doug) Krebs.  Mom is survived by daughter, Julie Mattson of Hastings, Minnesota; son, Michael Lambert of Helena; and daughter, Shelly (Brian) Cornell of Lakewood, Colorado.   She was the grandmother of: Will (Dawn) Krebs, Robin (Jeff) Tubolino, Jeremy (Bridget) Mattson, Kimberly Williams (Tim) Graber, Troy, Shawn, and Clay Callihan, and Alison Cornell, as well as many great grandchildren.

A viewing will be 10:00 a.m., with a funeral service starting at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, August 24th at Retz Funeral Home, 315 E. 6th Avenue. A light reception will follow the service at the Funeral Home. Burial will follow the reception at the Montana State Veteran’s Cemetery, Fort Harrison. Memorials may be sent in Wanda’s name to that of donor’s choice.  Please visit below to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Wanda.




Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.

  1. Terri and Chuck Paske says:

    We were so sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. She and your Dad were very special folks, as was your sister Vicki. We were blessed to have known them. Praying that Christ will comfort you and your memories carry you through these difficult days.

  2. David G. Calaway says:

    I have few memories of my GREAT AUNT Wanda but all of them came with great blessing and comfort. When my grandfather D.G.Calaway passed Wanda and Jr. were there for me spiritually and emotionally in ways I hope to pay forward in my day to come. All my prayers and love to her family.
    D. G. Calaway II

  3. Marlys Tong Granberg says:

    Julie and family
    Your Mom was the best. I remember working with her and she was like our second Mom. She listened to our problems, gave advice and had just plain fun with us. She will be greatly missed.

  4. Kevin Williams says:

    Your mom was the coolest mom–driving us to the new cave at Carlsbad Caverns, letting us stay up all night, and paying for all those times to see Grease! Some of my favorite childhood memories were at the beautiful home she made for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Shelly and Michael, and the rest of your family.

  5. Phil McGovern says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Reading about your Mom; tells the story of why you are so great to work with.
    Phil and the Helena Youth Soccer Association Family

  6. Nancy Crump says:

    Aunt Wanda was a jewel. I made my first trip to Oklahoma with out my parents when I was about ten. I rode there with Uncle Jr., Aunt Wanda, Vicki and Julie. They lived on the Amerada lease in Seminole. From there I went all over the state visiting relatives on both sides of my parents family. Aunt Wanda and Uncle Jr. spent about seven weeks with us in 1995 when my dad was so ill. They were wonderful and helped me out so much. I am sure our heavenly family is enjoying a wonderful reunion and that Wanda is a peace.

  7. Becky Minnick Carcich says:

    I remember Wanda when we lived in the Amerada camp in Tioga,ND. Julie and I were best friends so I was over at their house a lot, Wanda always let us each eat half a cantaloupe,wow!! I remember your Mom with her pink and maybe purple hair. When I was wearing braces and didn’t want to open my mouth, George made me not feel embarrassed, we sang the Billy Goat song and just laughed. I remember when Michael and Shelly were born, we all thought they were our babies, ha! I am so sorry for your loss, let your memories make you smile, Julie, I would love to see you, let me know if you come to Colorado, I live in Lone Tree.

  8. Evaleen Starkel says:

    Sure will miss this lovely lady. She had such a sweet gentle spirit and a good sense of humor too! We had many good times visiting with her and George. I really enjoyed the book reviews she wrote for the church newsletter. Oh how she loved to read and I know she missed that a lot. Loved her much. So sorry that you have to say goodbye for now, but we will see her again. We will be praying for you three as you go through this journey.

  9. Karen (Nichols) Mansky says:

    Sending prayers to the family. I have many wonderful memories of Wanda and George when we lived in Tioga. I spent many nights staying with my great friend Vicki. I knew the family since I was in 6th grade and Vicki and remained friends from then on. I’ll see them all and rejoice again when the Lord calls me home. I’m so glad I got to visit Wana and George when I went to see Vicki. May God hold the family in his comforting hand and give you peace. Love, Karen

  10. Mary Runkel says:

    I will miss your Mother’s smile and lovely way of caring for all of the residents.
    You were a bright part of her day-every day!
    May your memories give you comfort at this time.
    She was a dear lady!

  11. Sally (Weber) Iverson says:

    I remember Wanda as always so beautifully dressed, with perfect hair, makeup and her beautiful hands. I loved working with George at Amerada Hess in the 70’s. Julie remember our fun times there? Your parents were wonderful people.
    I will be thinking of you and sending prayers.


  12. Victoria Calaway Pilkington says:

    Such a sweet and genuine lady. Never heard anything but beautiful things about her and Uncle Jr. They were such a treasure to all of us when granddad Dee was so sick. My mom, Treva and dad David spent many wonderful days with them and they were such a huge comforting presence. They made many sweet memories. Love and comfort to all of you, Julie, Michael and Shelly and your families in the days to come.

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