Obituary: LaNita Joyce Wacker 1941 - 2022

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

LaNita Wacker 1941-2022
On January 14, 2022, LaNita Joyce Wacker (née Jordan), wife of the late Judge Robert Wacker, passed away from this life and her spirit was lifted into Heavenly Grace. Born September 27, 1941 in Muskogee, Oklahoma, to Marvin Jordan, Sr., a Methodist minister and Army Chaplain, and May Jordan (née Williams), a school teacher, she grew up and lived during a generation of change.

A lifelong learner, she traveled the world attending schools in Kentucky, Colorado, Germany, and Washington. A 1959 graduate of Dayton High School, in Dayton, Washington she went on to study and earn her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Puget Sound (UPS), Tacoma, Washington in 1963. An accomplished vocalist, she travelled with the UPS Adelphian Choir and was a member of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity.

In 1962, at the time of the Seattle World’s Fair, she met her husband and soulmate, Robert Wacker, while working on the Dominion Monarch Cruise Ship and later working with her husband at the Edgewater (Inn) Hotel. Married on December 30, 1962, the couple welcomed four children into life while living in Seattle and establishing roots in Shoreline, Washington.

Throughout her life she saw opportunities for advocacy and service. She personally faced and challenged gender discrimination in her first employment with the local phone company, later leaving that position to become a real estate broker and sole proprietor of Dream House Realty, where she had a knack for meeting people at their level and the gift of gab, understanding their hopes and dreams, and finding them their dream homes from which they could create and establish a strong foundation for their young families.

She successfully managed her husband’s campaign for election to Judge of the Shoreline District Court in 1974. A lifelong champion of the underprivileged and those who faced discrimination, she fought for civil rights and disability rights, and became active and influential in local politics. She had no qualms about being a thorn in the side of government when she felt it was not representing and serving the People. She ensured that local leaders acknowledged those on the fringes of society and made sure their interests were represented. 

She was progressive in thought, an active member of the Democratic Party and Rainbow Coalition, and supporter of the LGBTQ+ Community. She regularly attended local school board and city council meetings, as well as lobbying the Legislature, even running for election to get her points across. She was a master of the 3-minute opportunity to speak in public hearings (which is far less than she would have liked) and used her voice to advocate for others.

She enjoyed researching genealogy and connecting with extended family tracing her roots of the Hammond Family back to the American Revolution and as a descendant of the explorer Captain Cook and understood the lessons history could teach us to make a better world for our future. She was an active Soccer Mom with Shorelake and Emerald City soccer clubs, a strong supporter of the Arts in Shoreline, and active member of the PTA in the Shoreline School District. Her family and friends remember her loving and caring nature, her fierce independence, and her creativity with a flair for the dramatic.

She is preceded in death by her father, mother, brother, Marvin Jordan, Jr. of Spokane, and sister, Brunhilde Gebhardt of Ober-Ramstadt, Germany. She is survived by her sisters, Elfriede Arribas and Karola Modenesi of Florida, her four children, Paul (wife Pamella), Ted, Douglas (wife Dalliana), and Tracie, her 10 grandchildren, Jhemini (husband Michael), Kelly, John, Kenny, Danny, Jaimee, Jasmyn, Kaiya, Brennan, and Gabriella, and great-grandson, John-Michael. She was also a mother to many more kids who grew up in the Shoreline Community.

The family is planning an in-person Celebration of Life to be held at the Lake Forest Park Civic Club, July 15, 2022 at 4pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ShoreLake Arts Council and Shorelake Soccer Club or any other organization to which you believe her memory will be honored.


Unknown February 22, 2022 at 7:17 AM  

LaNita was one of a kind and a force to reckon with! Shoreline would be a different place without her influence. We all owe her a debt of gratitude. Rest in peace.

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