Velma Mae Winters (1925 - 2018)

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Velma entered the world in 1925 as the daughter of Shelta and Foster Beal, between two brothers. Her Canadian-born parents were then living on the west side of Port Angeles. She had a typical childhood, getting into occasional mischief. She once confided that, as a little girl, when she got tired playing she would sometimes take a nap lying against a sack of potatoes. She went to Lincoln School and graduated from Roosevelt in 1943.

It was during one of her summertime jobs as a "soda jerk" that she met her future husband, Harold Winters. "Big-city girl" meets farm boy. They got married in 1943, two days after she turned eighteen. They began married life in a small trailer and then a "skid-house" on the farm. She worked at the Port Angeles Evening News for awhile and also for the local Ford dealer.

After a few years, their first daughter was born and died at birth. It was a great blow to the young family. Another girl came along, this time healthy, followed by another girl and three boys. Sadly, the younger girl, Darlene, died at age five from surgery complications.

Velma helped design their family home, built by Harold with some help. They moved into it in January 1951. The house went through many transformations over the years. Velma lived there for over 64 years.

She learned the trials and tribulations of being a farm wife. There was always work to be done, but she took to it well, even taking in numerous foster children over the years. With all the children and farm activity, it was rarely quiet. She saw her family through the mumps, measles, chicken pox, diabetes, several farm injuries, and lost a grandson, Trevor, to bone cancer in 2007.

She spent a few years as a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts as her boys grew. In the summer, she took over the job of cooking hearty lunches for the hay crew when her mother-in-law retired. Those teen-age boys could really put it away! Velma liked to sew and did a lot of crocheting. She made quilts and did embroidery. Her baking was great, especially during the holidays. The aroma from her freshly-baked chocolate-chip cookies or snickerdoodles could bring the whole family on a dead run. She was also a jigsaw-puzzle aficionado. She looked forward to the meetings of the Fairview Homemakers Club, the Fairview Ladies Club, and Fairview School PTA. Family and friends could always count on her support.

Harold finally went into semi-retirement and they had more time to enjoy themselves. They went to Fairview Bible church on Sundays. She did a little painting, tap-dancing, and spent time with Harold socializing and being grandparents, including some frequent baby-sitting. They loved going to the P.A. Senior Center for the Tuesday night dances.

She liked visiting with her brothers and parents, who had moved away from Port Angeles. Many friendly games of Canasta and Down the River were played over the years. She had a brief "career" riding motorcycles. After a quick (and incomplete) talk-through by her son Ken, she took off for a fifty-foot excursion - ending at a rock wall. She decided to stick to four wheels.

After Harold passed in 2003 (just short of their 60th anniversary), she went back to the dances to see friends, and eventually met Bob Springfield. They were happily married for a few years until he passed as well.

Velma is survived by her brothers Earl and Alan (Lenora), daughter Marcia Homer (Bob), and sons John, Jim (Petey) and Ken (Susie). She also leaves behind twelve grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and numerous foster children.

A graveside service was held.

Anyone wishing to make a donation in her memory please give to Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County, 540 East 8th, Port Angeles, Wa. 98362. Web address vhocc.org. Their assistance was excellent and much appreciated by the family.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Aug. 12, 2018
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