A memorial Service for Genevieve (Jennie) Vann will held Aug. 18 at 2 p.m. at Anderson Tribute Center. Jennie passed away July 24, 2018, with her family by her side at Avamere in Sandy, Ore. Genevieve was born April 14, 1929, in Whiting, Ore., to Florence and Harvey Robertson. She and her sister were raised by their father in the small farming community of Grand Island, Ore.
She met her husband, Wesley Vann, in 1945 at the Blue Moon Cafe in Dayton, Ore., while drinking sodas with her sister, Idella. They became sweethearts and soon traveled to Oklahoma to meet his family. They were married in November 1945. At the time of Wesley’s death, they had been married 64 years.
When Wesley and Jennie returned to Oregon to visit a Hood River friend, they decided this was where they wanted to raise a family. They found a place to live in Dee. They eventually bought their Orchard Road property and Jennie’s father helped Wesley build the home they lived in for 53 years. They raised their three children, Terry, John and Debi, in this house. They also held many family gatherings every Sunday for years. Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve were also held at the “Vann” house. This is a tradition her son John still continues to this day.
She helped her children with many entrepreneurial ventures, but one of the most successful was the “Taco Booth” at the Hood River County Fair from 1960 to 1972. Best tacos around for those 12 years! Our friends still rave today about those tacos.
Jennie had many talents. She was an active PTA member, 4-H leader, seamstress, gardener and floral designer. She was a wonderful cook and lined the shelves of her fruit room with everything imaginable. If it could be canned, she canned it.
Jennie also worked packing pears and apples in the fall. Additionally, she worked at Jantzen and taught sewing classes in her home and at 12th Street Fabrics to everyone who wanted to learn, young kids to adults. She could have opened her own fabric store with the amount of fabric she collected.
As her children were growing up, she became more involved with the Odell Garden Club. She was a member for 28 years and served as president for four years. She encouraged the club to expand their state and district projects. As past membership chairman for District 8, Jennie played an important role in helping the Hood River Evening Club get started and attended their meetings to sponsor their growth as a new garden club. Her organizational skills and love of flower arranging were Jennie’s greatest additions to the club. She chaired the Hood River Country Fair Flower Show and their first Autumn Flower Show “Fall Fantasy” in 2001. She played a major part in yearly plant sales and held the record for the “most plants” divided and potted for the Blossom Plant fundraising event.
She was fiercely devoted to her family and supported them with determination and love. She was a busy Grandma with John and Terri’s children, Jason, Jonquil and Jared, and she served as Wesley’s bookkeeper for his log trucking business.
Jennie had a severe stroke 15 years ago, resulting in a significant loss of use of her right side. Her children were informed that she would live only four more years, but she definitely beat the odds. Additionally, she went on to learn to write and paint with her left hand, play bingo and cards, and focused on her determination to live a long life.
Jennie is survived by her daughter, Debi Vann, and son, John Vann, his wife, Terri, grandchildren, Jason (and April), Jonquil and Jared, and five great-grandchildren. She additionally was fortunate to be a “mother” to Priscilla (and Cal) Webber, and grandmother to their children, Deborah Konell, Shannon Webber, and Andy (and Dione) Webber, and nine additional great-grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, and sister-in-law, Sue Lavoie. She was preceded in death by her husband, Wesley, her son, Terry, her parents, and her sister, Idella.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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