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Keith & Keith Funeral Home

902 West Yakima Ave, Yakima, WA

OBITUARY

Virginia Mary Van Doren

February 14, 1937May 13, 2017
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Virginia Van Doren passed away on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at Cottage in the Meadow. Virginia was born February 14, 1937 to Kimball and Virginia Schmella and was raised on the family farm in Toppenish, Washington. She attended school in Toppenish and graduated valedictorian of her class in 1955. She attended Yakima Valley College and Central Washington University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education.

Virginia taught in the Yakima School District for over 30 years, dedicating her time and talents to students at Whitney Elementary School and Wilson Middle School. She was dearly loved by her students and their parents.

Virginia is survived by her sister, Ellen Shalton, her daughters Angela Pratt and Julie Layman; sister Mary Deviny, her husband Jim, their children Christopher Deviny, Greg Deviny, and Susan Hinds; brother John Schmella, his wife Sandy, their children Stewart Schmella and Tiffany Friday; great nephews Andrew and Alex Richardson, Michael and Jacob Layman, Patrick Hinds, Neil Schmella, Sidney Friday, Luke Deviny; and great nieces Anna Richardson, Julia Deviny, Ida Mary Friday, Laney Schmella, and Mary Elizabeth Hinds.

Virginia was preceded in death by her loving husband, Lee, her parents, Kimball and Virginia Schmella, and her nephew, Patrick Deviny. Virginia was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church and one of its strongest supporters.

Visitation will be from 5 pm to 8 pm, Sunday, May 21st at Keith & Keith Funeral Home with a Vigil service starting at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, May 22nd at Holy Family Catholic Church. Burial will follow the reception at Calvary Cemetery at 1 pm.

To share a memory of Virginia please visit www.keithandkeith.com.

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, May 21, 2017
  • Rosary Service Sunday, May 21, 2017
  • Funeral Service Monday, May 22, 2017
  • Graveside Service Monday, May 22, 2017

Memories

Virginia Mary Van Doren

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Kathy Countryman Bounds

May 29, 2017

Well before you were a Van Doren, you were Miss Schmella, my favority teacher of all time. You did more for me to find my self confidence than any other grade school teacher, oh, and by a mile.

I will forever be a queen in your play, Sir Eglamore, at a time when a 4th grade girl really needed to feel like a queen. To dance y9ur May Pole at the spring picnic was the envy of every girl! You're big ol' fat pumpkin that you entered in the fair each year had all Whitney fall students doing their best to guess the weight! Chicken Fat exercises in the spring. Wood working projects. I could go on and on.

Mr. Van Doren, I had Mrs. Spreight in 5th grade so you probably don't remember me at all. But you picked right sir.

Miss Schmella, you were loved by so many. Certainly by Kathy Countryman Bounds

Doug Hausske

May 22, 2017

I met Virginia in the winter of 1970 when I was student teaching in a 6th grade classroom at Whitney Elementary School. She was a 4th grade teacher and she just stood out as a favorite among the students, both in the classroom and after school. She was always doing fun, extra activities with kids on her own time. Later I got to teach with both Lee and Virginia at Wilson Middle School. The were both fantastic teachers, always going the extra mile with kids, and always with smiles on their faces (the kids' and the Van Doren's!). Virginia was an inspiration to teach with during my career. She was a hard worker, didn't complain, and had outstanding ideas. Our community is a better place because of Virginia. She will be greatly missed by family, friends, students, and coworkers. I am saddened that I am out of town and won't be back in time to attend her funeral. I'm sure there will be lots of sharing of the fun times and great things she did for kids in Yakima, but now she and Lee are together again, working and smiling with kids.

Carol Ann Webb

May 20, 2017

Virginia was my fourth grade teacher, but became so much more than that. She looked beyond the brat and saw the insecure little girl who needed her love and encouragement. She gave me a love for drama, with her Drama Club, and watched over my adolescent years like a mother. We became close friends as I reached adulthood and she and Lee were the Godparents to my sons Jeremiah and Jesse. Even though we lived in Alaska, Virginia never missed sending the boys birthday, Valentine's (her birthday), Easter, Halloween and Christmas cards. She took her role very seriously. I last spoke to her in April and she sounded so well. Her passing will leave an empty spot in my heart and I'll miss our long phone talks and her encouraging words. Her faith was strong and I'm sure she's in the presence of her Savior. I only wish I had known of her passing soonevso I could have been there on Monday.

Selma Umbarger

May 17, 2017

An obituary, no matter how well-written, can never truly reflect the influence someone's life had on others. Virginia was my Master Teacher for my student teaching experience as an "older" student in the early 1980's. I could not have had a better mentor than "Miss Schmella'! What an example and what an inspiration. Our children attended Whitney Elementary and we had the priviledge of getting to know both Virginia and Lee. Here were two teachers who gave all they had to give to their profession!

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