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Wanda Hartman

November 13, 2021


Dr. Wanda L. Hartman, age 86, of Tulsa, passed on to her heavenly reward on Saturday, November 13, 2021, at home after a brief battle with COVID-19.

On June 7, 1935, Wanda was born in Binger, Oklahoma, the oldest of four children to the late Wesley and Juanita Estes. Wanda would grow up on a cotton & alfalfa farm in Hagerman, New Mexico. In many ways, her storied career in education began there as an adolescent, where she found herself teaching the children of migrant workers to read and write. Wanda would go on to pursue her own education alongside husband, Roger, who she married in 1955. After they moved to Tulsa in 1962, Wanda eventually completed an MA degree in 1964, followed by an EdD degree in 1967 at The University of Tulsa.

Wanda would give birth to their beloved only child, daughter Michelle “Chelli” Renee, in 1971, making Tulsa their family home. Although Wanda taught in public schools in Missouri & Arkansas prior, the bulk of her career in education took place in Tulsa. Wanda served as Educational Director at Hissom Memorial, on the faculties at Oral Roberts University, The University of Tulsa, Oklahoma State University, and Oklahoma Baptist University, as Director of the Diagnostic Instruction Center at Metro Christian Academy (MCA), as Headmaster of MCA, then finally, as Executive Director for Development at MCA until her retirement in 2004.

Wanda’s teaching background was one of multiple accolades and awards, too numerous to mention, but she was always grounded in a desire to invest in the futures of everyone she touched over her long career. Roger and Wanda were active in the Rotary Club of Tulsa, where they became one of the first Rotarian couples in the Club. Wanda served on many Club committees over the years, always with an eye toward projects targeting educational opportunities for under-served communities. Even after her official retirement, Wanda volunteered to tutor elementary children after school in a predominately Hispanic school in north Tulsa. The program she developed was so successful, she ended up teaching English to many of the mothers of her young students, as well.

Wanda was also an active member of Tulsa’s First United Methodist Church for many years, as well as many other civic organizations. You could often find Wanda and Roger attending sporting events at the various schools where they attended or worked over the years. If they were unable to attend in person, you could find them in front of the television cheering on their favorite Oklahoma universities. It was the same intensely competitive spirit that manifested every time she sat down to play a game of Spades with her husband, daughter, and son-in-law.

Wanda was preceded in death by the love of her life, Roger, who passed away just six days prior, as well as siblings Robert “Bob” Estes and Linda Green. Left to cherish her memory are her daughter and son-in-law, Chelli & Jeffrey Ward of Powell, Ohio; brother James (Terri) Estes of Scottsdale, Arizona; sister-in-law Nadine Estes of Roswell, New Mexico and brother-in-law Duane Green of Roswell, New Mexico; brothers-in-law Gary (Beverly) Hartman of Sacramento, California and Mark Hartman of Boerne, Texas; as well as numerous nieces and nephews who were dear to her.

Due to the continuing pandemic and related precautions, there will be no funeral services at this time. The family hopes to have a “celebration of life” gathering in Tulsa sometime in the spring of 2022 for both Roger & Wanda. In the meantime, Wanda’s daughter and son-in-law sincerely hope everyone who knew and loved Wanda will take this opportunity to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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