Violet Mae (Vi) De Vore, a longtime resident of Pagosa Springs, passed away peacefully the early morning of Jan. 13 at Hospice of the Valley in Arizona. She was 93. Vi was a wonderful caring wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend.
Vi was born Feb. 11, 1923, in Monte Vista, Colo., to Oscar Edward Anderson and Christine (Kolander) Anderson.
All four of Violet’s grandparents migrated to the United States from Sweden. She grew up on her grandfather Swan Anderson’s homestead.
After graduating from Rio Grande County High School in Monte Vista in 1941, Vi enrolled at Adams State Teachers College in Alamosa. After two years and qualified to teach, she moved to Pagosa Springs in 1943, teaching the second grade. Her first class contained 42 students. Violet taught at Pagosa Springs until 1945, then left during the summer to obtain more schooling. She taught in Center during 1945 and at Alamosa the following year, and in 1948 earned a bachelor’s degree from Adams State.
On June 12, 1947, Vi went to a dance in Pagosa where she met Dick De Vore. Vi and Dick dated all that summer and fall and were married on Thanksgiving Nov. 27, 1947.
Making their home in Pagosa Springs, Vi and Dick had four children: Larry, Marla, Christine and Laure. Vi stayed home as mother until Larry started the first grade in 1955, then she started teaching the third grade. She later taught special education and over the course of three summers, earned a master’s degree in special education from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Vi retired from teaching in 1984 following a 34-year career.
Violet loved her Pagosa community and was an active member of Rebekah Lodge for 55 years, including serving often as an officer. She was a member of Beta Sigma Phi for 50 years. She was a member of the Civic Club, of the School Improvement Community and wrote the 1996 history of the local Methodist Church, of which she was an active member for many, many years. After retirement, Vi enjoyed a trip back east and toured the Statue of Liberty, the fall foliage of New York, went to a Broadway play and got to see many wonderful things. She loved life. She enjoyed doing for others. She crocheted over 100 hearts-and-ruffles afghans for family and friends. She enjoyed bingo and loved taking trips with friends to Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio.
In 2010 Vi and Dick De Vore moved to Phoenix, Ariz., with their daughters, Christine and Laure, in order to be close to their daughter, Marla, and son, Larry, and to help Christine with an illness. Vi missed her home in Pagosa and all her friends there, but family was very important to her and so home was where family was. She treasured the back-and-forth phone calls, cards, letters and visits with all her friends. She was flattered that she had trended on Facebook by some of her former students. She loved teaching.
Vi was very proud to have five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren and was happiest when we were all together. She loved playing the piano. She liked playing cards and games with the family any time. She especially liked Christmas, but made all our times together extra special.
Vi, Mom, Grandma, GGMa was loved and will be missed by all who knew her.
Vi was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers, two sisters, her husband, Dick, her son, Larry, and her daughter, Christine.
She is survived by her sister, Mildred Keck; her daughters, Marla Garza and Laure De Vore, of Phoenix, Ariz.; grandchildren Richard Garza (Libby), Michelle Savage (Eric), all of Phoenix, Ariz.; Renee Liday (Mitchell), of Torrance, Calif.; Danielle Noffsinger (Paul) and Tom De Vore (Staci), all of Greeley, Colo.; great-grandchildren EJ Savage, Allie Savage, Abby Garza, Emma Garza, Violet Liday, Weston Liday, Lia Billheimer, Lily Noffsinger, Liam De Vore and Anderson De Vore; several nieces and nephews and many friends.
A private family celebration of Vi’s life will be held Feb. 18, 2017, at her home in Phoenix, Ariz.
Memorial donations may be sent to: Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014.
To donate online: www.hov.org/donate-now.