In the early morning hours of October 13, 2020, Wilma Ruth Wheat Thacker, entered the arms of her Savior Jesus Christ.
Born in Peters Landing, Tennessee on November 11,1925 to Grady and Winnie Wheat. She was the oldest of six children. Wilma came to Savannah at the age of 16 to work as a “Rosie the Riveter” in support of the World War II effort. The following year she met the love of her life Elton “Johnny” Thacker while working in a restaurant downtown. The two were married and started a family while Elton’s naval career moved them around the east coast. They soon settled back in Savannah to raise their daughters Sandy and Debbie.
Mrs. Thacker was a proud member of Calvary Baptist Temple. In 1970, Reverend John Tippett approached her with a dream of founding a day care and preschool as part of the new Calvary Day School. She joined the church staff as the director of Calvary Day Care where she would serve tirelessly for the next 43 years. For over four decades she oversaw the care of countless infants, toddlers, and children, and she knew the names of each and every one. Her work ethic was unmatched and she surrounded herself with the finest employees who she loved as family. She was Savannah’s surrogate mom and grandmother always available to offer a word of advice and encouragement to young parents, and was equipped with her file cabinet first aid kit of witch hazel and bandaids to fix all the scraped knees and elbows. The daycare building on the Calvary campus was dedicated in her honor in 2002.
Mrs. Thacker was preceded in death by her beloved husband of almost 65 years, Elton S. Thacker, her parents Winnie and Grady Wheat, and sister Vera Wheat Piland. She is survived by her children Sandra Reed (Jimmy), Debbie Laing (Jody); four grandchildren, Kevin Reed (Amanda), Jason Reed (Carla), Jennifer Laing Copeland, Julie Laing Giardina(Jeremy); nine great-grandchildren, Elizabeth, Mary Hanon, Ashlee, Lee, Luke, Georgia, John, Sarah-Virginia, and Jackson; siblings Reva Wheat Hickerson, Roberta Wheat Evans, Douglas Wheat(Helen), and Johnny Wayne Wheat(Linda); and many nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held at Calvary Baptist Temple on Friday, October 16, 2020 at 1 p.m. officiated by the Rev. Kenny Grant. Family will receive friends at noon in the sanctuary. A private graveside service will follow.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Wilma W. and Elton S. Thacker Memorial Scholarship Fund at Calvary Day School. Contributions may be sent to Calvary Day School, attention Office of Development, at 4625 Waters Avenue, Savannah, Georgia 31404.
Mrs. Thacker was a very special lady whose love of children transcended many generations. I feel so blessed to have known her.
- Tia Adkins, Savannah , Georgia
Mrs. Thacker was the sweetest person I ever met. She helped me raise Jessica! I'm so sorry for your loss
- Patti Riner, SAVANNAH, GA
I am so sorry to hear about Mrs Thacker passing. She was a wonderful lady and loved all the kids. She used her arsenal of file cabinet medicinal supplies many times on T.
- Gwen Parker and Tommy (T) Miller, 510 Andes Lane, Canton, Ga. 30114
I am so saddened to hear of this. Mrs.Thacker was my birthday buddy and a wonderful mentor. Worked at the daycare for 2 years and learned so much. I am so proud to have known her.
- Mandy (Cribbs) Stafford , Guyton, Ga
This hurts my heart so.Mrs Thacker was the reason that I opened my own childcare center.I learned so much from her.She was a wonderful role model to all
- Rebecca Macpherson , Guyton, Ga
Mrs Thacker was one of my first bosses and I was so fortunate to have worked for her. I learned so much from her that I remember to this day. She was such a strong and caring person with a great sense of humor. Unfortunately I cannot be there Friday but Sandy, Debbie and their families will be in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Sandra
- Sandra Ulmer Boswell , Savannah , Georgia
Mrs. Thacker was sweet and dedicated person. We loved her immensely and so sorry for your loss.
- Gloria Lindsey and girls, Savannah, Ga
We were all so blessed that Ms. Thacker cross our paths and share her beautiful smile and warm hugs with us. Latricia and Dina from SJCHS valve clinic
- St. Joseph's Valve Clinic Staff, Savannah, Ga
To Debbie, Jody and family....... What a sweet lady she was! My the Lord comfort each of you thru this loss. Prayers for you all.
- Sandy McGlohon, Savannah, GA
SHE TOOK ME IN LIKE HER ONE OF HER CHILDREN MAY GOD BLESS THE FAMILY SHE WAS GREAT WITH ALL OF US. MAY SHE RIP
- JOHN MELL, savannah, GA
Dear Sandy and Debbie, I offer my sincere condolences on the passing of your wonderful mother. I had the priviledge of meeting her when my oldest child started at "her" daycare in 1978 until my last one left in 1994. She put up with my brood of 5, Clancy, Thomas, Joseph, Morgan and Edward for 16 years! She was a very caring and loving person. May she rest in Paradise.
- Kathy Gaudry, Metter, GA
Wow...I am so sorry for your loss...she was an amazing lady. Love you!
- June E Maddox, Tybee Island, GA
I am so sorry for your loss. All three of my children went to Calvary Day Care and we LOVED Ms Thacker ! She has always had a special place in my heart. She knew the children by name and her love for them was something that made this working mother thankful for the blessing she was to our family.
- Kay Hudson, Guyton, Ga
We were so sorry to hear of Mrs. Thacker's passing. She was an amazing influence in all of our lives. She will be loved and missed!
- Annie Mae, Margaret, Pam, Allison, and Bailey, Bloomingdale, Georgia
We were so sorry to hear about Mrs. Thacker. She was a very special lady that had such an impact on so many children. I know she will be smiling down on all of them. Prayers and love for her family ❤️
- Angela and Phil Cowart, Savannah, Ga
Mrs Thacker was one of the hardest working people I have ever known. She dearly loved all the children through the years . I am sure she was greeted by the Calvary Gang that left before her. You got your wings so Rest In Peace . Paulette Herrington
- Paulette Herrington
What a sweet lady. When I had my first baby she was running the daycare at Calvary and was such a comfort. I know she will be missed by all of her family and friends. Sending prayers - May her Memory Be Eternal. Cathy Berry
- Berry, Savannah, Ga
A Savannah Legend in her own right! She was respected, loved and will be missed. Rest In Peace Mrs. Thacker. You are remembered ❤️
- Melanie Mincey Clifton, Springfield , Ga
Rest In Peace, Mrs. Thacker! Our world was a much better place with you in it! Love and prayers to the family!
- Anna Arnsdorff, Savannah, GA
I’m so sorry for your loss Mrs Reed. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
- Nikki Ferreira Palefsky, Rincon, Ga
Prayers for the family. God Bless.
- Joseph Haevey, Kingsland, GA
I am so sorry for the loss of Mrs. Thacker. She was a wonderful lady who was loved by so many. My prayers and thoughts are with her family. Rest in Peace Mrs. Thacker.
- Cindy Harris Whalen, Savannah , Georgia
Debbie And Sandy, My Heart Truly Goes Out To You And Your Families In This Most Heart-Wrenching Time In The Loss Of Your Dear Mother. She Was Such A Wonderful Inspiration And So Loving To My Precious Daughters And So Many Thousands Of Other Young Lives Entrusted To Her Care For Over Four Decades At Calvary. Having Had Grown Up With You, Debbie, I Knew Her As Your Mother And My Friend And Christian Sister At Calvary Baptist Temple. May God Bless And Comfort You All With Fond Memories Of Your Dear Mother/GrandMother. Lean On The Eternal Promises Of Our Lord And Savior, Jesus, In That, With Faith In Him, You Will See Her Again In Paradise In The Presence Of Holy God. I Loved Her, As I Love You All. May She Rest In Peace.
- Tommy Grooms III, Whitemarsh Island, Savannah, Georgia
Dear Sandy, Debbie, and family, What a beautiful example of the selfless life and unconditional love of Christ your Mother’s life was. I am so thankful she was a part of my life and the lives of my four children. She was instrumental in me coming to know Christ as my Savior. I always knew she would have a kind word and Biblical advise when needed. I look forward to seeing her again when we are all Home with Jesus. Karen Traver
- Karen Traver, Frisco , Texas
- Janice Wheat Welch, Munford, TN
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
- 12:00 PM- 1:00 PM on Fri, October 16, 2020
- Calvary Baptist Temple
4625 Waters Ave (map)
SAVANNAH GA 31404
- Funeral Service
- 1:00 PM on Fri, October 16, 2020
- Calvary Baptist Temple
4625 Waters Ave (map)
SAVANNAH GA 31404