Obituary of Wanda Frank
Wanda was born in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City on June 6, 1942 to Joseph Wasylewski (Sr) and Helen Molnar. Wanda earned undergraduate degrees in nursing from Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing (Diploma), and City University of New York (BSN). She went on to earn both her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in nursing from Columbia University, with focuses on mental health and psychiatric nursing, as well as attained post-doctoral certificates in Advanced Alcohol and Drug Studies from Rutgers University. After completing her graduate work, Wanda taught mental health and psychiatric nursing at Columbia University, City University of New York, and State University of New York where she became a tenured professor.
After moving to the Southwest, Wanda continued to serve in various leadership roles within mental health nursing and addiction medicine at numerous organizations in Arizona and New Mexico. She taught nursing at The University of Arizona and Pima Community College, held an ongoing private therapy practice, and worked as a mental health therapist for Tucson Unified School District and the Southern Arizona VA Hospital System. Throughout her professional and personal spheres, Wanda was particularly committed to helping women in recovery.
While Wanda dedicated her career to nursing and mental health, Wanda was above all, most fulfilled in being a mother and grandmother. Wanda was “Momma Mountain Lion,” who loved her family fiercely. Her unconditional and boundless love of her son and grandchildren is what truly defined Wanda, a love that will echo beyond time. She is preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Joseph (Jr). Wanda is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Kris and Julia Gouge, her two grandchildren, Nadia and Xavier, and her former husband of twenty-six years, Robert Gouge. She is also survived by many close family, friends and colleagues that Wanda loved dearly. Wanda was a voracious reader, art lover, and movie critic. She enjoyed painting, photography, pilates and travel. New York City and the beach were indelibly etched into her soul.
Wanda Frank passed away in the early morning of March 20, 2023 in Tucson, Arizona. A mountain lion was spotted by neighbors outside her home at the time of her transition. It is said that Wanda rode into the afterlife on the back of her spirit animal. While her physical form has been retired after a long battle with breast cancer, Wanda lives on eternally in our hearts, the mountains, air, and oceans. She is in the trees, and in the earth. She is in the stars and sky. She is with you, just pay attention, listen for her. She is here. She is there.
A memorial service will be held at Sanctuary Cove, on April 30th, 2023 from 4:30 pm to 6 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests to plant a tree in memory of Wanda either independently or via the following link: Plant a Tree for WandaTo send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Wanda Frank, please visit Tribute Store