Velna Marie Stewart
Velna passed away peacefully in her sleep, at her home at Aspen Ridge, after a brief battle with heart disease. She passed as she had prayed "to go to sleep and wake up in heaven" on her 74th wedding anniversary.
Velna was born to Robert Davis Williams and Eva Etta (Trowbridge) Williams, on Feb. 13, 1924, in Page, Nebraska. After graduating from high school in Page, she moved with her family to Salem, Oregon, and began attending the Free Methodist Church. There she met the family of the Pastor, Jim Stewart. The four Stewart sisters decided that Velna would be the perfect match for their brother, Roland. Roland agreed, and when he returned from WWII in 1945, they were married.
Velna acted as Roland's editor and typist through Seattle Pacific University and Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Velna had a very demanding career, although unpaid, as a pastor's wife, from 1954 to 1988, in the Oregon Conference of the Free Methodist (FM) Church. During that era, FM pastors were transferred every few years, so Velna served in Grants Pass, Willamina, Medford, Madras, Salem, Albany and Portland. Velna's talents as organizer, children's program director, hostess, bookkeeper, typist, editor and family CFO were used extensively.
Retirement was a great time for Velna (although she was not able to retire from her least favorite job -- cooking). Roland and Velna enjoyed traveling and spending time with family and friends. Velna had a special talent, maintaining contact with friends from the many places she lived. These friends and the new ones she made in Bend greatly enriched her life after Roland's passing in 2014.
Velna is survived by her two daughters, Linda Stewart- Jones and Carol (Larry) Goerz; three grandchildren, Staci Crouch (Pouya Larjani), Elise (Matt) Sizer, and James Stewart-Jones; three great-grandchildren, Jack Crouch, Mason Sizer, and Emilia Sizer; and sister-in-law, Shirley Williams.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Roland; brother, Lyle Williams; son-in-law, David Stewart-Jones; and grandson-in-law, Jordan Crouch.
Her life will be celebrated June 22, at 10 a.m., in the Great Room at Aspen Ridge, 1010 NE Purcell Blvd., Bend, OR 97701, in a service officiated by Jason Medina.
In lieu of flowers, Velna asked that contributions be made in her honor to Partners in Care.