Veda Hill Knowles, age 95, passed away peacefully on August 26th with her family by her side. She had been a resident in Woodhaven Hall at Williamsburg Landing.
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Veda was the third of four children born in the family farmhouse to Albert and Clara Hill, first generation Norwegians, in Ellsworth, Iowa. This same house and accompanying farmland were lost during the Great Depression but eventually reacquired years later, lessons in want and perseverance which left a deep impression.
Veda graduated from Iowa State University in 1940 with a degree in Home Economics. It is there she met her future husband, the late Col. Kenyon Knowles, USAF. Changes to their original wedding plans were necessitated by the attack on Pearl Harbor and so they were married on December 31st, 1941 in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The couple truly enjoyed the adventures of military life while managing its many challenges. In 1948, Veda boarded the "Thistle" with her two young sons, Boyd and Bruce, and headed for Tokyo, Japan where her husband was serving on Gen. MacArthur's Staff. Shortly after daughter Mary Joyce was born (in Japan), the family returned stateside and lived in a number of locations including Arlington, Virginia while Kenyon was stationed at the Pentagon, and in Chestnut Hills, Massachusetts during the time Kenyon was pursuing his MBA at Harvard University. In time another son, Brent, arrived and not too long after, the family found themselves in Wiesbaden, Germany. A final assignment at Langley AFB brought the family back to Virginia. After Kenyon's retirement, he and Veda built their lovely home on Chisman Creek in Grafton, and later moved to the Archer's Mead subdivision in Kingsmill.
Though her career was often interrupted, Veda entered the teaching profession once she was out of college. She later received a Master of Education in Counseling from the College of William & Mary. For twenty years she was the Director of Guidance at Bethel High School in Hampton, Virginia.
Veda was an active member of a local woman's bible study. A Lutheran for much of her life, she in her later years became a member of the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church.
Veda was raised in rural Iowa, but her experiences during her husband's tenure in the military instilled in her a keen sense of adventure and a love of travel. She had been all over the globe, but her heart always remained on the farm. It was important to her to instill in her children a feeling of attachment and appreciation for the farm, a portion of which she had inherited. As a result of her interest and guidance, the family is involved in a turkey growing and processing operation.
Predeceased by her husband, her parents and siblings, Veda leaves her four children, their spouses, ten grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at the Alvin Anderson Auditorium at the Williamsburg Landing on Friday, September 6th at 2:00pm. Internment will be in Ellsworth, Iowa, next to Kenyon in the family plot-one mile from the house in which she was born, and near to her farmland.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent for the benefit of Williamsburg Landing's Employees. Checks should be made payable to the Williamsburg Landing Residents' Association and sent to the attention of Sally Wolfe, 5700 Williamsburg Landing Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23185.
Also the family wishes to thank wholeheartedly the staff at Williamsburg Landing, especially those in the Woodhaven Skilled Care Unit. Their great love and attention towards Veda brought her a quality of comfort and care that is immeasurable and their love and concern for the family was, and remains, boundless.
Published in Virginia Gazette from Aug. 30 to Sept. 29, 2013