Mary Beth Sallee
Hart Co. News-Herald
A former Hart County Superintendent has died.
Wandel Strange, age 82 of Munfordville, passed away on July 20 as the result of cardiac arrest following injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
According to reports, 19-year-old Jeffrey Williams was traveling north on the parkway and crossed the double yellow line, hitting another car head-on. That car was occupied by Wandel and his son, Kendrick Strange of Bowling Green, who were vacationing in Tennesee when the accident occurred. Wandel died while en-route to LeConte Medical Center following the accident.
The son of Elvin and Thelma (Logsdon) Strange, Wandel was born in 1941 in the rural Lincoln community of Edmonson County. He attended the former Lincoln Elementary School and later the former Cub Run High School in Hart County. He was a graduate of Western Kentucky University, receiving his Bachelors Degree in 1963, his Master of Arts Degree in 1965, and his Rank I in 1967.
Wandel’s career in education included teaching for two years at Lincoln Elementary School, serving also as principal for two years. He later also served four years as principal at Cub Run High School. At the age of 27, Wandel was hired as the youngest superintendent in the state of Kentucky at that time. He served as superintendent for the Hart County School District, as well as two additional school districts within the Commonwealth.
A very dedicated civic leader for Cave City, Wandel helped others through the local chamber and tourism commission. For approximately 20 years, Wandel was involved with the Cave City Chamber of Commerce and served as Director on the Cave City Chamber Board. He was an active member of the Cave City Tourist & Convention Commission and the Downtown Merchant’s Association. In 2019, Wandel was named the Cave City Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year and was once recognized as Citizen of the Year. He was also previously honored as Kentucky’s Most Outstanding Superintendent.
Wandel was also the owner of Four Seasons Antiques & Collectibles located on Broadway Street in Cave City.
Paul Sullivan of Canmer opened an antique shop 16 years ago in Cave City next door to Wandel and his wife, Rita. For the past eight years, their shops have been combined together in the same two buildings. During this time, they became close friends who worked together wonderfully.
“I could not have had a better neighbor than Wandel Strange,” Paul said. “Wandel was truly a great man who loved his friends and family very much. He also loved Cave City and was a great ambassador for the city. He will be missed tremendously by everyone.”