Wanda Mullins Friend, 80, of Gloucester, Virginia, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her loving daughter, Robin, and her husband of 25 years, Ray. Wanda was born in Jenkins, Kentucky, to Curtis and Fannie (Riley) Mullins, the second of their five children. When she was five years old, the family moved to her father’s hometown, Pound, Virginia, where she was blessed with a happy life in the mountains. After graduating high school, she moved to Richmond, Va., to begin her professional career with the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles. Wanda and her first husband, Olen, decided to make their home in the Tidewater area, moving to Mathews, Va., and then Gloucester, where she has been an active member of the community. Upon the birth of her first and only child, Wanda made the decision to leave the workforce to stay home with her daughter but did go back to work as an Executive Assistant at Eastern State Hospital once Robin had started school. Wanda accepted a position with First Virginia Bank as a commercial loan officer, where she retired after 25 years of service.
Wanda was a tireless volunteer who provided her time to countless groups and organizations in the community. She was a member of the Abingdon Junior Woman’s Club; she served on multiple committees at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital; she participated in many Lions Club variety shows, where her singing talents were showcased; she served as President and Vice-President of the Gloucester Chamber of Commerce; she was a member of the Ware River Circle of The King’s Daughters and Sons; she was an active member of the Gloucester Point Rotary Club and was a Paul Harris Fellow recipient, and was a founding co-owner of the new Gloucester music venue, Flat Iron Crossroads. She had a passion and skill for fundraising and she freely provided her time to multiple organizations and causes throughout her life. Wanda was a member of Abingdon Episcopal Church since 1965. She served on the vestry and numerous committees, including the altar guild and was a member of the choir for many years and was honored to be asked to sing solos for special occasions, including many weddings. Wanda loved all the beauty that surrounded her and took great joy in arranging and growing her flowers. She had a flair for fashion and interior design.
The most important thing to her was family. Wanda watched over all her family with strength and unconditional love and took great pride in all their accomplishments. Wanda was preceded in death by her parents, Curtis and Fannie (Riley) Mullins, and her brother, Palmer R. Mullins.
She is survived by her husband, Raymond Friend; her daughter, Robin Lewis; two brothers, Donnie Mullins (Eva) and Gerard Mullins (Kathy); her sister, Carolyn Strouth (Mike), and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends. The family will receive friends from 6-7:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, at Hogg Funeral Home, Gloucester Point; masks are required. A funeral service conducted by the Rev. Sven vanBaars will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Abingdon Episcopal Church, followed by interment in the church cemetery. Masks will be required in the church. Memorial contributions can be made to the Riley Mullins Cemetery (9101 Meridian Road, Pound, Va. 24279), the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society (P.O. Box 385, Gloucester, Va. 23061, or Flat Iron Crossroads (P.O. Box 1, Ware Neck, Va. 23178).