Vauniece June Lidell passed Oct. 26, 2012, at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, Wash., at age 85.
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Vauniece was born June 1927 in Plains, Kan., to Vernevis and Earl. Vauniece had a younger brother Leo, who preceded her in passing. The family endured Dust Bowl conditions which caused Vauniece to contract dust pneumonia. This resulted in a loss of most of her hair. When it grew back it was no longer curly but straight. At about the age of 7 the family moved to Witchita, Kan., in search of better living conditions.
Her senior year, the family moved to Tulelake, Calif. She graduated from Tulelake High School, where she was on the swim team, tap danced and played golf. After graduating from high school in 1945, she attended the business college in Klamath Falls, Ore., for one year.
In Tulelake she met John A. Lidell. Their marriage was on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 1946, at the Tulelake Presbyterian Church. In 1950 they bought a farm in Culver, Ore., where they lived for 27 years. They had planned to retire but in 1978 John purchased land in the Lower Bridge area west of Terrebonne, Ore. Vauniece designed a beautiful custom home that they had built on the property. In 2001, after John retired for the second time, they moved back to Redmond, Ore.
They lived in Central Oregon for 50 years. John had a double bypass in 2006 and suffered a stroke while still in the hospital. In 2007, due to John's medical problems, their daughter, Karen Ann Cowen moved them to Walla Walla, Wash. so they could be close to her. Later Vauniece bought a new home in College Place, Wash., in 2008 to remain close to Karen Ann. In 2010 Cheryl and Ron bought a house two blocks from Mom's house also to be near Mom. In 2012 Vauniece bought a beautiful winter home in Palm Desert, Calif. She was excitedly preparing for a six-month stay at the Palm Desert home with her daughter Cheryl McKinney and husband Ron when she suffered a heart attack and passed away.
Vauniece is survived by three children: Karen Ann Lidell Mahaffey Cowen and husband John, Denise Lidell, and Cheryl Lidell McKinney and husband Ron; three grandchildren: Scott Mahaffey and wife Kathryn, Shawna McKinney Jewell, and Casey McKinney and wife Maira; four great-grandchildren: Natalia Wight and husband Adam, Kelly Westrom, Meagan Mahaffey, and Ali McKinney; and two great-great-grandchildren: Cooper and Jaxson Wight.
Vauniece loved gardening and was a member of the Culver, Ore. Garden Club. Her home and gardens were always beautiful and a picture of them could easily have appeared in Better Homes and Gardens. She played golf with her husband, John. She also did oil painting and made ceramic dishes and table setting accessories. Her home was decorated with her beautiful arts and craft projects.
For two and a half years she selflessly took care of her husband John, while he was bedridden from the stroke before he passed away May 2, 2009. She devoted her life to her children and her husband and was a wonderful mother and wife. She only wanted the best for her family and always put her family first. She will be very greatly missed by her family.
Graveside service will be 4 p.m. Saturday, at Odd Fellows Cemetery, Merrill, Ore. A memorial will also be at the Merrill Civic Center at 1 p.m. the same day.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362.
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Published in Herald And News on Apr. 28, 2013