Vanda Elaine Buchanan, age 73, of Elkins Road, Bakersville, NC went home to be with the Lord on January 21, 2023 surrounded by her loving family. Vanda was the daughter of the late Youles and Ruby Willis of Penland, NC.
Vanda attended Bowman High School. When she was a senior, she moved to Hickory, NC and graduated from Hickory High School. The move to Hickory would lead to her meeting the love of her life, Bobby Lee Buchanan. They were married on June 11, 1967.
Vanda was a licensed beautician, worked for Hampshire Hosiery, and retired with twenty-five years of service from Hickory Springs. Church was a huge part of Vanda’s life. She was a member of Bear Creek Baptist Church where she was a member of Women’s Missionary Union, church pianist, led the choir, taught Vacation Bible School, led the youth Choir, and worked with the youth. One of the highlights of the years was when Vanda directed the Christmas plays her mother had written years ago. She also enjoyed the yearly church wide picnic. She loved to dress up and perform in the Hootenanny after the picnic. For a short time, she went to Beaver Creek Baptist Church and played the piano when they were without a pianist. She also played the piano and sang alto for the gospel group “The Headed Home Quartet.”
Vanda became “mom” when she had Cass in 1975. She taught him to work hard, be honest, and to show the love of Christ to others. Her son knew where he needed to be on Sunday and Wednesday nights, and she would be looking for him to be there. She spent many hours in the gym watching her son play basketball, and she enjoyed every minute of it. All of his friends knew they were welcome at Vanda’s house before games, and she would feed them. She was known by the ball team for her famous Bar-B-Que. Later, she would enjoy watching her son become a pastor.
Vanda’s most favorite title was “Maw Maw.” She was Maw Maw to three precious boys... her boys. She enjoyed these boys so much! These boys inherited her well known sense of humor. She told them all kinds of stories, and they believed every word. After she retired, she picked the boys up from school. They would come home and play in the yard, watch movies, fry taters, and do whatever else Maw put them up to, sharing her sense of humor with them. The boys fell for every trick Maw told them. She watched one become a preacher, one a builder, and one Mr. Fix-it.
Vanda was a wonderful mother-in-law. She gave the best advice and her
daughter-in-law cherished her words of wisdom. Left to join her at a later date is her husband Bobby Buchanan, her son Cass Buchanan, daughter-in-law Shana, her grandsons Keyven, Keaton, and Daylen and special granddaughters Carissa Blevins and Morgan McMahan. Her brother Greg Willis and wife Connie, along with nephews Eric Willis, Luke Willis and his wife Heather and daughter Charlotte Willis, and niece Wendy Belcher and husband Michael and daughter Sophie Belcher. She also leaves behind special family members and best friends Roger and Maxine McKinney. Vanda also leaves behind her fur babies Rudy and Leia.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. at the Bear Creek Baptist Church in Bakersville, NC with the Reverends Cass Buchanan and Keyven Buchanan officiating. The family will be recieving friends from 2:00 - 3:00 P.M. prior to the service at the church. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.
The family would like to thank Hospice of the Blue Ridge and Karen Peterson, FNP for their care during this time. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Hospice of the Blue Ridge.