Cover photo for Wanda Hite Lista's Obituary
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1956 Wanda 2024

Wanda Hite Lista

September 4, 1956 — February 13, 2024


Ms. Wanda Marie Hite Lista

Aiken, SC—Ms. Wanda Marie Hite Lista, age 67, passed away on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at MUSC in Charleston, SC, following a short illness.

Ms. Lista was born in Aiken on September 4, 1956, she was the daughter of the late Earl Hite Sr. and Roma Brunson Hite Jay.  She was the mother of Sam Lista.

She was a writer, an artist, and a musician.   Wanda was an Aiken High School band member, as well as the school mascot hornet. Wanda was a graduate of USC. In college she earned a BA in English Literature and Education, worked on the Gamecock newspaper, assisted in the Theater Department, and she later taught playwriting for two years at USC- Aiken. She also taught playwriting at Kansas State University.  After college, Wanda traveled across the country living in Kansas, Texas, California, and then lived in New York for several years before moving back home to Aiken. She transcribed unedited interviews for television news for 12 years in New York. In New York she wrote several episodes for the CBS daytime soap operas, The Guiding Light and As the World Turns.  Wanda was involved and acted in plays and shows.  She co-created and wrote 22 episodes of a soap opera for the stage called “Lunch of Our Lives” when she lived in Columbia. All 22 performances were sold out. She was the winner of the Acclaim Scriptwriting Competition for TV Pilot, “Everybody’s Life, and later was a finalist in TV Pilot Competition for “Everybody’s Life.”  After moving back to Aiken Wanda turned to painting and most recently making resin art.   Wanda also played several instruments. Wanda was very funny and kept all her family and friends entertained. She was known for her colorful and crazy shaped eyeglasses. She loved her family and friends dearly, and if she knew you, she would become your biggest cheerleader.

Survivors include: her son, Sam Lista, Aiken; her mother, Roma Hite Jay, Aiken; two sisters, Sidney Hite and Adelene Hite Hughes, Aiken; one brother, Earl “Bubba” (Michelle) Hite Jr., Aiken; nieces and nephews; and many special and close friends, Todd Lista, Susie Willing Johnson, Roseanne Napier Riddick, and Beth Meadows. 

She was predeceased by her friend Greg Warren, her step father Jimmy Jay, Earl Hite, Sr., Wanda Johnson Hite, David Buckley, Ty Youngblood, and Mary Hughes.

COLE FUNERAL HOME, 1544 UNIVERSITY PARKWAY (118 BYPASS) AIKEN, SC 29801 803-648-7175.  Please sign the online registry at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wanda Hite Lista, please visit our flower store.


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