Wanda June Hanks Lamprecht, 85, of Gonzales, joined the soprano section of Heaven’s Choir on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Wanda was born Oct. 23, 1935, in Gonzales to James Virgil Hanks, Sr., and Minnie Gertrude Hopkins Hanks. Wanda married John William Lamprecht on April 8, 1955 in Gonzales. She was a member of the Gonzales First Baptist Church.
Wanda’s formative (elementary) years were spent living back and forth between Gonzales and Cuero as her parents worked in the cotton mills in both towns. A passionate basketball player in her secondary school years, Wanda graduated from Gonzales High School in 1954. Growing up in the country in the Gonzales area, her family enjoyed having two Lamprecht families as neighbors. She and her brothers were privileged to grow up with four Lamprecht (Eddie) girls and one Lamprecht (Fritz) boy, John Lamprecht, who became Wanda’s only boyfriend and, later her husband, as they began dating when she was in the eighth grade. They were married in 1955 at the parsonage of Eastside Baptist Church.
The newlyweds began their marital journey with John working at the hydroelectric dam on Lake H-5 on the Guadalupe River and then as a postal worker with the USPS, and Wanda as a secretary/receptionist at the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce, next for the local pizza company, and then for Dr. T. D. Crews. Over the next twenty years, the couple regularly attended Eastside Baptist Church where John was a deacon and they both sang in the choir and taught Sunday school classes while they raised their family of three children: Gwen, John, Jr., and James “Jimbo.” Always singing hymns while she worked around the home, Wanda, who had a beautiful coloratura (high) soprano voice, held a great love for music as she sang many solos for church, weddings, and funerals over the years. Hoping to instill her joy and love for music, she also encouraged her own children to enjoy, study, and perform in musical situations.
In the early 1970’s John and Wanda put in chicken houses, so Wanda was able to retire from her secretary/receptionist job to run the egg farm and be at home with the children along with her father-in-law, Fritz Lamprecht, who also lived in the home (from 1964 till his death in 1990). Grandpa Fritz, a beloved family member, was an avid gardener, who also helped in the chicken houses as well as with other parts of the farm. It was during this time that Wanda began to hone and practice her special gift of cooking and baking. Grandpa Fritz stated many times over the years that if Wanda ever left, he was going with her, the great cook, and that was because, as he said, there was just no one else like Wanda.
As a member of the First Baptist Church in Gonzales beginning in the mid-seventies, Wanda sang in the choir and became the member/chairperson of the church hospitality committee on which she oversaw, planned, and cooked for many church gatherings. It was at this point that Wanda, who baked everything only “from scratch” began to bake on a grander scale, sometimes baking 50 to 75 loaves of bread or more for one gathering (i.e., Wednesday evening meals, funeral dinners, weddings, church luncheons, etc.). The delicious aroma of her bread would permeate the hallways of the entire building tantalizing the noses and appetites of all those present. Often, people would step into the kitchen to ask for a sample of bread with butter on it, which she was always pleased to share. In addition, she baked cinnamon rolls, kolaches, delicious cakes (German chocolate, Italian cream, and red velvet were favorites), cookies, pies, and banana pudding.
It was also during this time, as well, she began phone and check on the wellbeing of various people in the community and surrounding areas who were shut-in or widowed or friends and very often pack up and took some of her baked goods and/or fully cooked meals to them whenever needed or just because she wanted to do it. Many people from all around the community, as well as countless visitors, looked forward to being able to consume her mouthwateringly delectable baked goods. In fact, various fundraisers, for example, the hospital foundation and the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce, invited her to contribute her cakes, which were greatly anticipated and when auctioned, sold for high dollar amounts for charitable causes. One minister, a dear friend, has even stated that “Heaven has gotten a little bit sweeter with the addition of a such a wonderful cook to help in the preparation for coming the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.”
Never seeming to meet a stranger, with her bright smile and positive outlook, Wanda possessed a very loving, nurturing spirit throughout her life as she had been, at various times, a devoted caregiver for her eleven beloved grandchildren all of whom she doted upon and spoiled as their “Nana”, as well as for several family members, who she kept in her home during their illness, including her husband, her mother-in-law, her father-in-law, and her father. In 2001, Wanda’s husband, John, passed away. As she continued to enjoy her baking and choir activities, she added teaching, which she greatly loved, to her undertakings when she started working as a substitute teacher for Gonzales ISD. In 2006, Wanda married Ewell Sanders, who also passed away in 2017.
Wanda June Lamprecht is survived by her loving family; daughter and son-in-law, Dr. Gwendolyn Jeanette Lamprecht Craig and Sam Craig of Gonzales; sons and daughters-in-law, John William Lamprecht, Jr. and Kathy Glass Lamprecht of Gonzales, James Winston Lamprecht and Jennifer Dierlam Lamprecht of Gonzales; grandchildren, Dustin Lester (Erika), Jaret Hodges (Soumya), Kody Lester (Kathy), Jenna Mills, Morgan, III, Jade Skidmore (Kelby), Jasmin Hodges, Will Lamprecht (Tiffany), Jesslyn Horton (Baylen), Seth Gibson, Sloane Gibson, and Johanna Lamprecht; great-grandchildren, Madelyn, Krista, Isabella, James, Konnor, Adaline, Hannah and the newest arrival to her family due in June 2021 baby boy Jackson Lamprecht.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John W. Lamprecht, Sr., her second husband, Ewell Sanders, her parents, her brothers, J.V. Hanks, Jr., Kent Hanks, Gene Hanks, E. E. “Shorty” Hanks, and Charles Hanks, daughter-in-law, Maureen Lamprecht, and son-in-law, M.G. Hodges, III.
The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22 in the Gonzales First Baptist Church. Funeral services will follow at 2 p.m. with Dr. Randel Everett officiating and assisted by Rev. Hollas Hoffman. Interment will follow in Hermann Sons Cemetery. Pallbearers: Jaret Hodges, Will Lamprecht, Kelby Skidmore, Dustin Lester, Kody Lester, Morgan Mills, III, and Baylen Horton. Honorary pallbearers: Jade Skidmore, Jasmin Hodges, Jenna Mills, Jesslyn Horton, Tiffany Lamprecht, Kathy Lester, Erika Lester, Chet Hanks, Clay Hanks, Coy Hanks, Sam Craig, and Zilpha Dolezal. Memorials may be made to the Sam Craig Ministries or the Gonzales First Baptist Church Parsonage/Building Fund.
Due to current CDC, State and local mandates, protective measures regarding social distancing, limited attendance capacity and the use of personal protective masks will be required for the visitation, church service and graveside burial rite. Services are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home, 906 St. Paul St., Gonzales, Texas 78629.