Vanessa Benay Wilder, 59, of Battle Creek, Michigan, gained her angel wings on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. She was born on March 19, 1959, the daughter of Johnnie and Emogene (Summerville) Wilder.
After graduating from Battle Central High School in 1977, Vanessa began her career at the VA Medical Center in the early 1980s, where she worked until retirement. While working and raising her daughter, she decided to continue her education. Vanessa earned an Associates degree from Kellogg Community College in 1992. She accepted Christ and was baptized at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church at an early age. She had recently rededicated her life to Christ and had began attending Cornerstone Community Church, where she enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere
Throughout her life Vanessa enjoyed being a productive and active member in her community. She volunteered her time with many organizations in Battle Creek, spending time helping to mentor youth and helping to create positive change for residents in local neighborhoods. With her independent, fearless, and adventurous nature, Vanessa became an avid traveler. She not only enjoyed visiting different places but also desired to immerse herself in the cultures of the communities she visited. Vanessa took residence in Germany, Honolulu, Hawaii, Seattle, Washington, and Newport News, Virginia just to name a few. Vanessa accomplished her longtime goal of becoming a global citizen. Along with the knowledge acquired during global citizenship, came her love of debate. She loved to discuss politics and community affairs and offer differing perspectives on life. One of her favorite pastimes was reading. Vanessa was persistent and adamant about giving suggestions on reading material to enlighten the minds of friends and family.
Preceded in death by her mother Emogene Wilder, Vanessa leaves behind to cherish her memory her father Johnnie Wilder, Sister Sandra Wilder, Brothers Gerard (LaVena), Kevin (Lynn), her daughter Tiffini (Andre) Hollins and 4 grandsons Aj, Aaron, Corey and Cameron. Engrained with a love of family Vanessa also had a host of Aunts, Uncles, cousins and friends with whom she remained close.