KHQA has lost long-time employee Wanda Mitchell

KHQA has lost a beloved former employee and community leader.

Wanda Mitchell passed away Sunday afternoon.

She was 86.

You'll remember her as the face of KHQA's Hannibal studio. She anchored our Seven Spotlight program and other public affairs programs for decades.

She retired back in 2007.

Wanda's friend and co-worker Melissa Shriver shows you her extraordinary life.

Wanda began her long career with broadcasting back in 1948 working for KHMO radio. In 1953, she switched to television as a secretary for KHQA-TV.

The story of how Wanda first stepped in front of the camera is a story of talent, timing and a little bit of luck. One day Wanda was at work here at the Hannibal studio when there was an ice storm. The anchor of a show called her and said she had to fill in for him on a talk show because he couldn't get out of his driveway. She'd never been on TV before, but she did what the boss told her. She apparently did a good job, because the boss gave her that time slot, and taught her this lesson which she shared with us.

"If you get a chance to do something you don't think you can do, try it," said Mitchell.

Wanda was always out and about, like this dance class at the Admiral Coontz armory in Hannibal and this church renovation.

"It was like getting paid for something I loved doing. I loved getting up every morning. I knew I'd meet new people that day," said Mitchell.

Wanda also was active throughout her beloved community of Hannibal. She served on the Hannibal Salvarion Army Board for many years, and was a Hannibal Chamber ambassador for decades. In 2008, Wanda received the Hannibal Chamber's top award, the Pacesetter award, for her years of volunteering.

Wanda retired from KHQA in December of 2007

For everyone who worked at KHQA over the years, and especially those of us who spent time at the old Hannibal studio, Wanda was more than a devoted co-worker. She was a cherished friend, confidant and member of our extended family. We'll miss you, Wanda.

Grandview Funeral Home is handling funeral arrangements.

Visitation is set for Thursday at 11:30 a.m. The funeral will follow at 1 p.m.

And if you have memories of Wanda from her years of working here at KHQA or volunteering in the community, please share them below. Please join us in leaving your comments and condolences below.