The student news site of Des Moines East High School

East Scroll

East Scroll

East Scroll


What is your favorite winter activity to do in Des Moines?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Marcia Wanamaker

A leader, actor, philanthropist, intelligent and dependable. This East High school student from class of 1968 will now take her place on the East High School’s Alumni Hall of Fame. This outstanding woman is Marcia Wanamaker. She is highly valued for her endless dedication towards East and her community.

Marcia has been involved and has participated in numerous community services throughout her life. As chair and Co-chair of countless events and fundraisers often serving underrepresented groups in Des Moines. Although she does not seek credit for her involvement for her decades of dedicated service. Marcia personifies the East High Motto: For the Service of Humanity. “During my time at East High School, the school motto ‘For the service of humanity’ nor the concept of giving back to the community never quite resonated with me. It wasn’t until I reached a certain level of maturity that I began to understand its significance. In the hustle and bustle of high school life, the idea of altruism was not even a word I was familiar with growing up. To academic pursuits and social engagements. However, as I navigated through life beyond those teenage years, I increasingly recognized the profound connection between the sensation of receiving support myself and the satisfaction derived from assisting others when I had the opportunity. It became evident that contributing to the well-being of others not only enriches their lives but also brings a profound sense of purpose and satisfaction to my own,” said Marcia Wanamaker.
Maria was also in three plays at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. The last show she performed in was “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” which was such a big hit, it was performed at the playhouse three consecutive years, as she was one of the bridesmaids. “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” was the highlight of her short acting career as the play was interactive. The audience members were the guests at “Tony and Tina’s Wedding”, which included a dinner reception and dance.
After she graduated from East, Maria worked several sales jobs, before soon becoming a Realtor at Iowa Realty in 1988. Marcia is a remarkable Realtor, as well as her husband Rick Wanamaker. Together, in a matter of 36 years they have sold $1.3 billion in real estate. Marcia was the Realtor of the year in 2002 for the Des Moines Association of Realtors. Marcia, along with Rick Wanamaker, were voted as the Top Realtor Team in 2022 in the state of Iowa by, a national real estate website. Marcia was also voted runner up as Best residential Realtor in Des Moines in 2022 by the readers of the Des Moines Business Records. Marcia and her husband have been keeping busy, striving for success.
Marcia attended East High School and graduated in 1968, along with her sister Pat Leader Schneider in 1969 and Bob Leader, EHS 1970. Marcia’s mother, Marcella, also graduated East High school with the class of 1940. “Reflecting on my time at East High School, I now realize how oblivious I was to the significance of a good education. It wasn’t until I matured a bit and gained more life experiences that the profound connection between success in life and doing well in school became clear to me. High school for me, with its whirlwind of social dynamics seemed to overshadow the importance of being a stellar student.
However, as I matured and gained perspective, I began to recognize the impact of all the great teachers I had at East High School and how they influenced my life. Looking back, I would say a huge thank you to every one of them. And as I ventured beyond those teen years, I began to understand the significance that a great education can have on our own sense of purpose and belonging in the world,” said Marcia Wanamaker
As for family, her husband, Rick Wanamaker. Their son and daughter in law, Kip and Maria Thompson who are residents of St. Louis, Missouri. With Marcia’s grandson Nico Thompson, 16 and Luca Thompson, 13.
Marcia is known for going out of her way to help others. She is currently mentoring an immigrant family from Uganda. With five children under the age of 12 years old, plus two girls (aunts) in seventh and eleventh grade. As well as their grandparents. Marcia reached out to them, after hearing that the parents both died tragically after moving to Des Moines. The mother died during childbirth and her daughter survived. Six months later, the father tragically died in a car accident on New Years Eve while driving to work. The children are now being raised by their grandparents. They were originally living in two separate apartments, so Marcia found them a new home to rent in Waukee. So, they can now live together under one roof.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All East Scroll Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *