Iva Mae Walmer
January 13, 1929 – July 7, 2018
Iva Mae Walmer January 13, 1929 - July 7, 2018 Iva Walmer, nee Wright, age 89, died after courageously living with vascular dementia for five years. Born and raised in sunny southern California, as a toddler Iva contracted polio and was paralyzed, unable to walk for more than a year. Through Sister Kenny’s method, Iva learned to again walk and, in time, joyfully took up swimming and climbing. Iva loved trees and assessed their worth on how climbable they appeared to be. Long after it may have seemed proper, she could be found tucked in among the leaves, perched on a sturdy tree branch, her back against the trunk, reading a book by one of her favorite authors. As a teen, Iva spent many Saturdays soaking up the rays and playing in the surf on the beach in Malibu. Following graduation from San Bernardino High in 1946, Iva worked as a secretary at Patton State Hospital before marrying George B. Walmer, Jr. in 1950 at which time she became mom to his 8-year-old son, Larry. Another son, John Patrick (JP) joined them in 1951 followed by Christopher in 1958 and Elaine on Father’s Day,1960. George and Iva lived in and around Los Angeles, settling for a few years in Canoga Park before returning to San Bernardino in 1959. Iva was a fun mom who took delight in homemaking and raising her children. Involved with schools and activities as PTA President, homeroom mom and Den Mother, she gave her children the gift of a loving, happy home filled with silly songs, warm hugs and lots of books. Gardening was a life-long passion of Iva’s and she showed a special zeal for pruning as she kiddingly claimed it helped sate her violent tendencies. George’s transfer with HUD in 1970 brought the family to the northwest and Iva’s favorite home overlooking the Columbia River. Another HUD job transfer took the family to Boise in 1975 and, three years later, a final transfer brought them back to Portland. Iva attended MHCC to update her clerical skills and worked at PSU until her retirement in 1989 as the Secretary to the Director of Job Placement Services. There she found a family of friends in her co-workers and derived great pleasure in meeting and working with students.
A voracious reader, Iva especially loved mysteries, reading 7-10 books every week during her retirement years (though no longer perched in a tree). True-crime TV dramas were favorites and she would often remark that had she gone to college she would have studied to become a forensic scientist. Widowed at 56, Iva shared her home with a series of rescue kitties who she loved and who adored her. She enjoyed deep water aerobics, visiting with friends pool-side, and spending time with family, most notably, her beloved grandchildren. Iva is survived by her children, JP, Chris and wife Geri, Elaine and husband Bob Williamson, seven grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Iva also leaves behind sister-in-law Janis Snider, and dear friends Margaret Hooten, Diane Smith Inslee and Diane Rosen. Iva was predeceased by her husband George and son, Larry. Special thanks to Dr, Brian Gould, a trusted friend and physician at Kaiser. Thanks also to Tanya, Yana and Olga at Adult Comfort Care for their loving and attentive care of Iva in her last months. A gathering to celebrate Iva’s life will be held at a later date. Suggested donations in remembrance of Iva may be made to your local library or animal shelter.