The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

Vivian Jane Weddle

 

December 23, 1927 - April 7, 2018

Goldendale, Washington

On a lovely spring evening with birds outside her window and flowers blooming our beloved mother Vivian Jane Weddle died Saturday, April 7, 2018, at 6 p.m. at Goldendale, Washington. Her husband of 68 years, August Edward Weddle, was at her side, along with her children Kathleen, Jerry, and Demaris. She also had grandchildren and great grandchildren there and her niece Diana Walcom and received a call from her cousin Rosanne London.

Vivian made her appearance on December 23, 1927, at Oakland, California, daughter of Theodore Daniel and Edith nee Clarke Washburn. She joined big sister Elizabeth "Betty" Marie.

She attended Fruitvale Elementary in Oakland, Bret Harte Middle School and graduated from Fremont High School Jan. 3 with the half-year class of 1946. She wore a dog tag at school during the war. The schools did half-year graduations during World War II so the boys could be drafted into the service sooner.

Vivian was impressed when her parents took her to see Amelia Earhart off on her trip from the Oakland airport on May 21, 1937. The crowd was small but with many reporters. She was proud Amelia was flying for women. When they heard the news she and Fred Noonan went missing, it really sunk in. She told her daughters about Amelia and her exploits.

Vivian was a very good artist, as was sister Betty. She was an excellent seamstress, making daughters' wedding dresses and granddaughter Colleen's wedding dress. Vivian loved to garden and came from a long line of gardeners here and in Lancashire County, England, where her mother's family lived. She also loved doing photo albums and scrapbooks for family members and of her travels in America and abroad. Another joy was the annual huckleberry trip to Sawtooth at Mt. Adams, which she chronicled each year on who went, the weather, and how many berries were picked. She loved chocolate and Fritos.

Her best skill was in accounting. She wanted to be one but, with times as they were after World War II, she left Merritt Business College and went to work as a payroll clerk for Pacific Tire, not completing her accounting but earning a secretarial degree. She did her own tax returns through 2016 by hand!

Vivian's passion, though, was with children. She volunteered with Head Start for over 10 years, five days a week and the next 20 years at Goldendale Primary School in Goldendale with the HOST program, retiring last year in May at 89 years of age. She was Volunteer of the Year presented by former late Gov. Dixie Lee Ray of Washington. In 2016 she received a President's Volunteer Service Award. She was honored with Klickitat County Volunteer of the Year. She was treasurer of Boy Scout Troop 551 in Goldendale for over 30 years and received the District Award of Merit by the Mid Columbia Council. Vivian was also a volunteer during elections serving many years in that capacity. As a young woman, she was treasurer of Bay District Lancashire Society (English and Scottish immigrants).

Vivian met Ed at the YMCA in San Francisco, a junior USO supervised event for dancing with Army/Navy men after World War II. She thought Ed conceited but ended up with him on the last dance. He and a friend escorted her to the bus after the event and said they were going to Oakland, too (a lie). He showed up at her uncle's house the next day. She called a girlfriend to decide what to do. Her friend said, "What does he look like?" Vivian said "that he was good looking." Her friend said, "Hang on to him, we'll find something to do with him." Two weeks of dating and three months apart, they married at Union Gap, Washington, Nov. 24, 1949, and headed to Bainbridge Island where Ed was stationed in the Navy. They celebrated 68 years of marriage last November.

Ed was in the Navy for 22 years, so he and Vivian were stationed at Tucson, Arizona; Alameda, California; and Honolulu, Hawaii, and in August 1968 moved to Goldendale. Later she traveled the world with Ed, children, and grandchildren seeing exotic places like India, Tibet and China, Egypt, Russia, New Zealand, Iceland, Chili and Patagonia, Terra Del Fuego, and the Straits of Magellan and Spain, and climbed up the Rock of Gibraltar. She visited friends in Slovakia, The Netherlands, and Korea. She traveled in Scandinavia and almost all countries in Europe.

Vivian experienced a few other unusual events: July 8, 1962, she and children got up in the night to watch the 1.45 megaton blast of the H-bomb on Johnson Atoll when the sky over Honolulu turned light, then emerald green, pale pink, and then blood red. She witnessed two eclipses of the sun in February 1979 and August 2017. The first one was at Goldendale where Ed and Vivian were involved with the Goldendale Observatory which had, at that time, the largest public telescope in the world. They helped with fun runs every year to fund the cost of running the Observatory. The scientist and Observatory director managed to obtain moon rocks on loan for the eclipse. Ed was a Goldendale policeman assigned to guard the rocks and brought them home for lunch. The rocks were in a case on the living room coffee table, and Vivian though that was great.

Vivian is survived by husband Ed; children Kathleen (S. Dean) Sizer of Granger, Washington; son Jerry (Charlene) Weddle of Oregon City; and daughter Demaris Garceau of Corvallis, both of Oregon. She is survived by grandchildren Gregory (Meranda) Sizer and son Noah; Colleen (Matt) Christenson and children Claire and John; Anthony Sizer and daughter Isabella; Stephanie (Corey) Harbott and children Audrey, Thor and Madeline; grandsons Joel Krause and Nicholas (Katie) Krause and children Matthew and Hannah; and Melody (Benjamin) Marlow and children Brenna and August; and Devona Ensmenger and son Forrest Smith and Devona's finance Eddie Vader.

She is also survived by her very special niece Diana Walcom of Gardnerville, Nevada and her family; cousins in California Clarke (Wilhelmina) Herring, Nelson (Sharon) Clarke, special cousin (like a sister) Rosanne Clarke (Patrick) London and their families and cousins Gene, Richard, Thomas and Martha Carrington and their families; and two special nieces of Ed's: Marilyn Briscoe of Selah, and Yvonne Selden of Lincoln, California, and many nieces and nephews in Ed's family; also surviving are her ex-son-in-laws Dana Garceau and Lothar Owart, and Dean's brother Bruce and son Simon Sizer.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister Betty and husband Bill; nephew Bill; mother-in-law Dorothy Whippey Weddle Jones; cousins Allen Pettersen; Norman Ramos and brother baby George; special Uncle Frank Clarke; Aunt Elsie Pettersen and other aunts and uncles; and by her mother's sister Avice, who lived to be 111 and eight months, and Vivian loved to tell others of that fact.

She led a full life, was the best mother any one could ask for, and was beloved by family, friends, co-workers, and her town. She had an open heart for all. Her death has shocked us all as she was so vibrant and full of life up until March when she became ill and found out she had colon cancer. She is at peace.

A memorial service will be held at noon May 12, 2018, with meal to follow at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, 815 North Columbus Avenue, Goldendale. Donations can be made to Goldendale Primary School PTO, 320 S. Schuster, Goldendale, WA 98620 with memo "Vivian Weddle memorial." Please call the family at (509) 854-2053 if you have questions or need directions.

 

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