WILSON, Vondell Darr was born on April 18, 1919 in Los Angeles, California and passed away on September 10, 2012. Vondell studied at Holmby School for Girls, Beverly Hills High School and graduated from UCLA in 1941. From the age of five, Vondell was an accomplished child actress, featured in both silent and talking pictures, starring in such films as "On Trial", "The Dummy", "the Pony Express" "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and "Scouts to the Rescue", working with Paramount, MGM and Warner Brother Studios. She continued her acting career through her teens, appearing in the "Andy Hardy" series.
Vondell's greatest passion in life was her husband and family. She met her adored husband, Fred, in high school at the age of 15, and they married in Catalina on July 8, 1941. Throughout their 65-year marriage, Vondell was the supportive Naval wife during World War II and the Korean War, and the complementary partner and impeccable hostess for Fred, while he established and grew his career, entertaining politicians, business leaders and entertainment icons. She dedicated all her love, passion, energy and life to providing the perfect home for her husband and large family. She was devoted to her three daughters, six grandchildren, and her eight great-grandchildren. Vondell was a gourmet cook, and always made every family gathering inviting, warm and loving, creating family traditions that we will treasure always. Vondell adored all beautiful things in nature, cherished time in her gardens in Encino, Rancho Mirage and Lake Arrowhead and walking her dogs. She enjoyed painting and playing bridge with her many friends at the Lake. All those that knew Vonnie will always remember her tremendous beauty, inner spirituality, peacefulness, endless grace, courage, love and compassion. Her husband, Fred C. Wilson, Daughter Sharon Merz, son-in-law Ron Merz and grandson Billy Peschelt precede Vondell in death. She is survived by daughters Marlene (Joel) Friedman and Rhonda (Skip) Kozacik; grandchildren Stacy (Rob) Risbrough, Stephanie (David) Close and Brett (Erin) Merz, Trey and Kurt Kozacik; and great-grandchildren Katie, Emily and Madelyn Risbrough, Annie, Grace and Caroline Close, and Hayden and Molly Merz. Her Memorial Service will be held at 1:00pm Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at First United Methodist Church of North Hollywood. Cabot & Sons, Pasadena Directors.
Published in Los Angeles Times on Sep. 14, 2012.