Teilmann, Wava Hale

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teilmann_wava_haleWava Hale Teilmann (91) went home to her two great loves– Gunnar Teilmann, Jr. and her father God–on July 8, 2014. Born on a hillside in tiny Comer’s Rock, Virginia in 1922, Wava became a citizen of the world, serving alongside her husband Gunnar as a Methodist missionary to Malaysia and Singapore for more than 30 years.

Wava attended Hiwassee College, East Tennessee State Teacher’s College, and Scarritt College for Christian Workers. She placed great value on education, and throughout her life she supported her family and friends in their academic endeavors.

Wava and Gunnar created a family of four children which grew to include 12 treasured grandchildren and 12 cherished great-grandchildren. Though she never considered her own voice to be beautiful, she gave birth to a choir, which gathered together to sing for her eightieth birthday celebration in 2002. She accumulated countless friends, most of whom called her “Granny” during the last forty years of her life.

Because she wanted her children and grandchildren to appreciate the magnificence and diversity of the world, she led tours to places far and wide well into her senior years. When she could no longer travel herself, she could be counted on to support her family’s wanderlust in any way possible. Recently, one of her five grandsons finished a two-year teaching engagement in Palestine and currently one of her seven granddaughters is involved in a six-week mission project in Africa.

Gunnar and Wava retired to Blacksburg, Virginia in 1980 where she continued her missionary service as a beloved member of Blacksburg United Methodist Church (BUMC) and the Holston Conference. Gunnar Teilmann passed away in 1987 and has since been waiting for his “Wava-honey” to join him as soon as she wrapped up her Earthly chores. Wava regularly listened to the broadcast of BUMC’s 11:00 church service when attending the services became too difficult..

Wava delighted in the company of family and friends. She made friends into family and family into friends. She kept herself apprised of world events, read voraciously, shared boundless stories of her experiences and travels, and listened in rapt and wide-eyed attention to stories of other people’s lives. She loved to play Scrabble but insisted on using dictionaries because she believed it encouraged learning new vocabulary.

Wava loved butterflies and wore a butterfly pin on her left shoulder whenever she left the house. She loved the freedom and promise of resurrection symbolized by butterflies.

She is preceded in death by Gunnar, both of her parents, Arlie and Lucious Hale, and her sister Rita Hale Neal, who died in 2006. She is survived by her children: ElisaBeth Teilmann Atkins of Blacksburg (her husband Ken and children Tony, Kendra, and Sam), Johanna Teilmann Perry of Gordonsville (her husband Jim and children Joy, Jelita, Janna, and Jordan), Evalin Teilmann Trice of Blacksburg (her husband Joe and children Kyla, Lauren, and Isaac), and Gunnar Johan Teilmann, III (Tiga) of Sugar Land, Texas (wife Therese and children Hans and Erika).. She is also survived by her brother Raynard Taylor Hale of Blacksburg, Virginia.

A visitation and hymn singing will be held on Saturday, July 12 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Whisner Building at Blacksburg United Methodist Church. A memorial service is planned for Monday July 14 at 3:00 pm at Blacksburg United Methodist Church (reception to follow in the Whisner Building). Wava loved flowers, and she married a florist’s son, but she would have also loved knowing that you donated time or money to a charity or mission of your choice.

The family would like to thank Dr. Hendricks, Dr. McCoy and his staff at Blue Ridge Cancer Care, the staff of Intrepid USA Hospice, the ministers at BUMC, and Wava’s special caregiver, Thelma Albert.

“‘Bye for now,” sweet Granny, and “Blessings on you, child.”