The angels came for our Valentine on the last day of 2020.
Born in SE Portland to John and Margaret Blanton our incredible lady was hospitalized her last three weeks. During her final week, our son, Randy, stayed next to her, on a roll away so she would not pass alone.Born poor during the depression, but rich in life adventures.
Shortly after moving to Willamette her preschool was interrupted as her father was placed in a veteran’s hospital in Roseburg and, as minors were not allowed to visit, she did not see her father again until on her honeymoon trip.
In Willamette, a second family was acquired, the Bietscheks, resulting in a lifelong girlfriend, Nori.
The love of outdoors kept her near or in the Willamette river learning to be an excellent swimmer. Swimming the entire width and back out to meet tugboats and swim under log rafts.
Velma attended West Linn High School where she met Vern, and they eventually married June 1, 1949. Both mothers served as witnesses. Her love of travel was set crossing the states, where, with children in tow, twice accompanied Vern to Ft. Benning Georgia. In early years vacations were mostly used for camping in the county, state, and national parks with trips to Canada, Mexico and Disneyland. This was accomplished in 10 passenger station wagons. In later years, motor home travel took us to Washington DC, Niagara Falls, Key West, Branson, Graceland, Dollywood and countless other places. Anniversaries were celebrated in travel. Alaska cruise, Canada, Hawaii on our 50th a month-long trip to Europe with brother-in-law Lloyd and Ruth. Velma was a devoted mother to a daughter, Jodi; 5 sons Ron, a special needs child, Randy, Dennis, Steven and Tracy. She also helped raise several neighborhood kids.
Our Wonder Woman kept an immaculate house and was active in PTA and neighborhood associations. She was the cosponsor of the Clackamas County Association for Retarded Citizens in the 1950’s resulting in school programs ahead of the state mandate for special education.
Velma enjoyed fishing, flower gardening, Blazers, casinos, travel and clan picnics. Those that pre-deceased her were her son Ron; mother and father; sisters Wilma, Lucille, Marie; brothers Virgil, James and John. Those she left behind are her husband Vern of 71 years and 7 months; daughter Jodi, sons Randy, Dennis, Steven and Tracy; son-in-law Rick; grandson Travis; sister Danyale; sister-in-law Peggy; and brother-in-law Jerry. Her neighbor friends and church family of Oregon City United Methodist.
We wish to extend our appreciation to the Providence Portland Hospital for the kindness and compassion they showed our incredible lady. The clergy and James were top notch. We were blessed with a long happy marriage.
A memorial service will be organized later when gatherings can be safely held. Willamette National Cemetery will be her final resting place.
To the world she was just one, to us she was the world.