Wanda A. Fiscus, 92

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Together Again

Wanda A. Fiscus went into the arms of the Lord Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. She died peacefully with family members at her side, at Centreville Village, Carrollton, OH. 

Born Wanda A. Manley, Jan. 11, 1929, in Weirton, WV, she was the eldest of four children (Hugh, Keith and William). As a young girl, she lost both parents in the tuberculosis epidemic of the 1930s. Wanda and her brothers lived with various relatives until she went to live with her Uncle Walter Manley and his wife for her high school years. After graduation from Weirton High School, in 1947, she entered nursing school. Shortly thereafter, she met Herman J. (Joe) Fiscus, recently discharged from the Navy, having served as an aircraft avionics technician and instructor during and after World War II. Their marriage in 1949 produced four sons and spanned 61 years until Joe’s death in 2010. 

Wanda labored at many jobs during her working life as a nurse’s aide, waitress, dairy farmer, oil and gas lease agent, Avon lady and most notably as a steel worker at Timken Steel in Canton.  Tall, athletic and blessed with exceptional manual dexterity, she was a natural fit when Timken opened a position that had previously been a male only job. After acing the training program, Wanda became the first woman in the United States certified as an electric steel crane operator; a job requiring immense concentration and skill to protect the workers below. She held the position for over 10 years, with a perfect safety record. Upon her retirement from Timken, she and Joe purchased and operated two restaurants until selling both to enjoy motorcycle travel and their grandchildren.

A vivacious, beautiful and gregarious person possessed of a loving spirit, she never failed to make every person feel important and valuable. Wanda’s upbringing in the multi-ethnic, multi-racial section of Weirton, instilled in her a lifelong commitment to inclusiveness and acceptance of others, regardless of their cultural, economic, religious or political differences. Intellectually engaged her entire life, she was equally comfortable discussing politics or embroidery.  A voracious reader of history and the classics, she also did not neglect her fondness for romance, thriller and horror novels.   

Wanda was a gifted singer, song writer and poet whose lyrics and poetry were a regular feature at the services of the many churches she attended.  Local residents of her generation in and around Mechanicstown, where she lived with Joe for 50 years, still recall her performances of “Sweet Georgia Brown” for several years at the annual talent show held at Willis School, in the late 1960s. At age 85, her collected songs and poems were published in a book entitled “Take My Hand”.  Using the manual dexterity that made her such an outstanding crane operator and a certain flair for bright colors, she was a prodigious producer of hand crocheted and knitted blankets, afghans, dresses, tablecloths and napkins, which she delighted in giving away.

A woman of strong faith, her connection to God led many people to seek her prayers for themselves and others in need of healing. She never refused. Her prayers often lasting well into the night to account for all who needed spiritual comfort. The many people who benefitted from her intercessions will miss her, but will no doubt agree she has gone to be with the one who guided her life. Many never knew they were her beneficiaries, and that pleased her just as much as those who did.

In short, Wanda was an extraordinary person who lived a long life inspired by kindness, generosity and grace, with an unshakeable belief in her God, her children and love for her country, for which she said special prayers.

Wanda was preceded in death by her brothers, Keith and Hugh; son, Richard; and husband, Joe.  

She is survived by her brother, William Manley of Weirton, WV; sons, Tom Fiscus (Carolyn), of Eastsound,  WA, Walter Fiscus (Bonnie), of Mechanicstown, and Bill Fiscus, of Murrells Inlet, SC; grandchildren, Megan Fiscus of Columbus, Lindy Bryant (Nathan) of Canton, Lauren Hennick (Andy) of Columbus, Jonathan Fiscus of Carrollton, Heidi Roush of Canton, JoDean Morrow (Emily) of Washington, D.C. and Jessie Morrow-Blevins (Justin) of Eastsound, WA; and great grandchildren, Johnny Bryant of Canton, Lili Hennick of Columbus, Zoe Blevins and Madeline Blevins, of Eastsound, WA, and Jane Morrow and Charlie Morrow, of Washington D.C..

A memorial event will be held in the spring of 2022.  Written expressions of condolence or remembrance of Wanda may be sent to Walter Fiscus at 6052 Canton Rd., Carrollton, OH 44615.  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Wanda’s name to your favorite charity.

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