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Vivian Jeanette Hughes


Vivian Jeanette Hughes

Vivian Jeanette Hughes, 95, left this earthly home Saturday, February 13, 2016, after a long bout with age-related illnesses.

Jeanette, the eldest of two children, was born July 22, 1920, to Hugh William and Julia (Vedevig) Middaugh on the Middaugh homestead in Mount Rose Township near Lansford, N.D., where her first bed was a dresser drawer.

She attended Mount Rose Consolidated School, a 3-room schoolhouse with 3 teachers, for 11 years. In winter she rode a horse-drawn covered wagon school bus heated with a coal stove. She transferred to Lansford High School for 12th grade where she graduated in 1937. She attended Minot State Teachers College, as her mother had, and taught less than two years in Donnybrook, N.D., and Circle, Mt., before determining she didn't like teaching.

It was then she went west to Portland, Ore.,where her best friend lived. While there she attended nine weeks of telephone training to take orders by phone as a substitute telegrapher on the Spokane, Portland, & Seattle Railroad. During World War II, women were used to fill these positions on a temporary basis, not learning the traditional Morse Code. Her first assignment in 1943 took her from rainy Portland to Roosevelt, WA, on the dry end of the Columbia Gorge. There she met the man she would marry, a railroad telegrapher.

She and William "Bill" T. Hughes married February 9, 1944, in a home ceremony at Roosevelt. They had three children. She was widowed July 6, 1968.

In spite of her earlier experiences, she served as substitute teacher at Roosevelt in another 3-room school house. In that era of door-to-door sales and house parties, she also sold Stanley products, MDC Hosiery, Fashion Flocks, and Avon. Plus, she became substitute postmaster in 1956, a position she held for 14 years.

She loved visiting with people and was a member of the Roosevelt Women's Club, using it to get acquainted with the locals.

"That's where I finally opened my mouth," she once quipped, "and I haven't shut it since."

She was in 4-H as a child and a delegate to the State Institute in Fargo, ND, so it seemed natural for her to become a 4-H Leader at Roosevelt. She taught sewing and various food projects.

Throughout her adult life she enjoyed collecting recipes, sewing and trying new craft projects, yet flower gardening was her passion.

She moved to Filer, ID, near Twin Falls, August 18, 1970. While there she sold Eureka Foods and Rexall homeopathic nutritional supplements. She again became an Avon Representative, a title she held 24 years across her years at Roosevelt and Filer.

She was instrumental in starting an American Sunday School Union Sunday School in Roosevelt and later became a member of the Church of the Nazarene first at Arlington, OR, then Filer. She taught Sunday School much of her adult life.

She also was a member of the Sons of Norway in Filer.

She moved to Cedar Draw Living Center outside Filer May 1, 2010, then to Indianhead Estates, Weiser, ID, August 6, 2013, to be close to her daughter Virginia. After an acute illness in the fall of 2015, she was moved to Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation, Weiser, where she remained hospitalized prior to death.

She is survived by daughters Virginia "Ginny" (Richard) Barnes, Weiser, ID, and Rayora (Lee) Hartman, Kamiah, ID, son Crest (Judy) Hughes, Filer, ID; grandchildren Ron (Christina) Davidson, Post Falls, ID, Terri (Joe) Fischer, Cromwell, CT, Keith (Becky) Barnes, Horsham, PA, Jackie (Byron) Nice, Idaho Falls, ID, Kristina Hughes, Buhl, ID, and Chisum (Chanelle) Hughes, Middleton, ID; great-grandchildren Tony Davidson, George Fischer, Casey Fischer, Christian Fischer, Miriah Nice, Alyssia Nice, Josiah Nice, Austyn Hance, Ayva Hance, Baylor Hughes; nieces Charlene (Bob) Evanenko, Bismarck, ND, and Latricia (Brad) Atwood, Antler, ND, and nephews Joel (Ann) Middaugh, Wilton, ND, and Harold Middaugh, Lansford, ND, and numerous great-nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brother and sister-in-law Jerald & Deloris Middaugh, and niece Jerilyn Zahn.

The memorial service is postponed until spring. Burial at Sunset Memorial Cemetery, Twin Falls, ID, is under the direction of White's Mortuary.


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