By Jim Boulgarides
Surrounded by her loving family in her home of 54 years, Dr. Wanda Wilson Boulgarides passed away peacefully on Feb. 24. A career educator, Wanda was a lifelong traveller and adventurer whose love of snorkeling the warm waters of the Pacific was surpassed only by her love for her family.
A proud Texan, Wanda was born February 11th, 1931 to Wilbur and Bettye Wilson in Floyd County, Texas. She was raised on her father’s farm in Plainview, Texas, until her high school years when she moved to Clovis, New Mexico, and graduated from Clovis High School.
Wanda attended Texas Tech for one year before transferring to Barnard College in New York. Wanda loved the culture of New York, and spent countless hours soaking up the theater, opera and museums of the great city. While in her final class at Barnard, she met a Columbia University student by the name of Jim Boulgarides and in 1952 they began a marriage of 64 years.
After stops in New York, Maryland, Washington and Utah, the Boulgarides family settled in Culver City in 1966, and quickly became active members of the community.
A lifelong intellect and learner, Wanda earned her Doctorate in Instructional Technology from USC in 1980, then went on to serve as an Assistant Principal with LAUSD until her retirement in 1996. Of course, retirement meant more service, and in 1997, Wanda was elected to the Culver City School Board and served as President.
This was the capstone to a life of political activism which saw Wanda dedicate endless hours to the causes in which she believed.
When she wasn’t working or serving her community, Wanda was traveling the world in search of warm waters and exotic fish.
From Bali, to Tahiti, to The Great Barrier Reef and her favorite blue waters of Hawaii, Wanda’s passion was a day in the water followed by champagne at sunset with her husband Jim.
This is how we will remember her; tanned and smiling, gazing at a beautiful island sunset. Wanda is survived by her children, Ann, Lois, James and Louis as well as her grandchildren, Marina, William, Jacob, Samantha and Daniel. Wanda was an optimistic person who loved life and was endlessly curious and eager to learn. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.