Wanda Mae Moore, 98, passed away peacefully on March 6, 2023.
Wanda Farrier was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1925. She attended two semesters at Drake University wavering between a career in nursing or journalism. However, when she attended an airline stewardess recruiting fair on campus, it promised a life filled with adventure, travel, and glamour. She was hooked. She quickly left Drake to enroll in the Midland Aviation School, graduating in August 1943. But at only eighteen, she was too young to fly. She instead was hired by TWA as a Radio/Teletype Operator on September 1, 1943. Upon turning twenty-one, she became one of the few selected to be a TWA Airline Hostess in 1947. She began by flying in DC-3s, usually as the only hostess on the aircraft. Later, she flew on the beautifully designed Lockheed Constellation. She then met her future husband, Jim Moore, who worked in the TWA flight planning and dispatch office in Kansas City. After two years of dating, they became engaged. During their courtship, Wanda confessed that she would often hold back an extra airline meal for Jim when he was on board. As their marriage plans were being finalized, an executive of the national radio program “Bride and Groom” was a passenger on one of Wanda’s flights. After hearing their romantic story, he invited Jim and Wanda to be on his show where they were very publicly married on March 16, 1949.
Although marriage in those days meant a woman could no longer serve as a flight hostess, Wanda decided to remain with TWA in a ground position in reservations/teletype. She resigned from TWA on September 1, 1953, to devote more time to her growing family. Later, she and Jim were active in community affairs and Missouri politics. Ultimately this led to Wanda’s appointment as owner/director of a Missouri State License Bureau by Governor Warren E. Hearnes. When Jim was offered an executive position with TWA in 1967, Wanda encouraged him to accept since it included irresistible overseas adventures for her entire family. They resided in Beirut, Lebanon, and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for the next four years, returning to America in 1971. Her husband Jim passed away in 1989 after retiring from TWA as director-operations control. Wanda eventually found new love and companionship with a wonderful man, John Schonberger. After John’s passing in 2001, Wanda continued to lead an extremely active social and family life. Up to her very last day, she was planning on attending get-togethers at McCrite Plaza senior living community where she exhibited all the residual charm, beauty, and wit of an airline hostess groomed during the golden years of aviation.
Wanda is survived by her son, Jay Moore (Deb Eason), daughter Katherine Grant (former TWA Captain Robert Grant), granddaughters Sarah Untersee (Justin) and Missy Wilt (Aaron), and four great-grandsons: Maxwell and Samuel Untersee, Grant and Emmett Wilt, and nephew Larry Dalton (Jeannette).
A celebration of life service for Wanda’s friends and family will be held at McCrite Plaza, Kansas City, MO at 4:00 P.M. on Thursday, March 16th.