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Emmelene Alta (Briggs) Valdez May 6, 1936 – April 30, 2020


Emmelene Alta (Briggs) Valdez, passed away peacefully at her home in Glenwood, Washington, on April 30, 2020. She was born to Alton and Emma (Sherwood) Briggs in Toppenish, Washington, on May 6, 1936. As a young girl she lived and grew up in Medicine Valley and White Swan communities, where she loved to ride horses and raise livestock. She graduated from White Swan High School and forever cherished the lifelong friendships of her classmates.

Throughout the years, Alta worked many different jobs including the Yakama Indian Health Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs Forestry, Glenwood Ranger Station. However the most fulfilling and pleasuring job she had was being a Homemaker to her husband, her children, her grandchildren, her great grandchildren, and numerous foster children. She also opened her home and kitchen to anybody who would come visit her.

In addition to raising her family, Alta had many hobbies and passions that she loved, as she never liked to let her hands be idle. She loved to cook and sew and was very passionate about reading books and accumulated an extensive library over the years. Her grandchildren can attest her love of reading because they all have received a book from her. You would also never find Alta without a deck of cards playing her favorite personal game of solitaire or doing a puzzle. One of her strongest traits of life was her devout and unwavering Christian faith. She lived her life with those values and raised her family with these beliefs.

On April 3, 1971, Alta married her forever love and partner, Bill Valdez, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. They lived and raised their children in Glenwood. She was a very active member of the Pioneer Church and enjoyed playing pinochle with the Glenwood Ladies. Alta was also the number one fan of watching her children and grandchildren participate in rodeo, basketball, volleyball, football, baseball, and track. Whether win or lose, a hug from her made the contest outcome much better.

Alta is survived by her husband William (Bill) Valdez; children Emma Jane (John) LaVallie of Glenwood, Douglas (Chris) Olney Jr. of Wapato, Maryanne (Troy) Frazier of Touchet, Rose (Mike) Dove of Centerville, Olivia (Craig) Bill of Zillah, Katie Valdez of Glenwood, Billie Jo (Shane) Patterson of Glenwood, Marc Valdez of White Swan, Dora (Brant) Watlamet of White Swan, Josie (Nash) Wong of Zillah, and Harvey Starr of Sunnyside. She is preceded in death by parents, her daughter Victoria Lee Valdez, and her sister Eva Bickford.

The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to first responders, family, friends and Glenwood community members who have provided their love and support to the family during this difficult time. May God Bless, to a life well lived.


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