Jan. 19, 1922 — Nov. 7, 2013
Velma L. Bond, age 91, passed away Nov. 7, 2013, at Dayton General Hospital.
Velma was born Jan. 19, 1922, 10 miles north of LaGrande to Leo and Trilby Rose May Greiner. Her family moved to Columbia County when she was 6 years old.
Velma spent most of her primary school years on Robinette Mountain attending Robinette Mountain School. Her family then moved to the North Touchet, where she completed the eighth grade at Pine Grove School. Velma attended and graduated from Dayton High School with the class of 1942 while living with local town folk, cleaning, cooking and babysitting to earn her keep and finish school.
She married Verl Roy Smith of Dayton on Nov. 21, 1942. The couple lived and worked on area farms before they moved to California for a short while for Verl to get a vocational/technical degree. They then moved to Spokane and lived for several years, returning to Dayton for a short while in 1947. After the birth of their daughter, Donna, in 1949 they returned to work in Spokane where Velma worked at J.C. Penney’s. Again, returning to Dayton in 1955, Velma worked for local businesses, some of which were Dingles of Dayton and the Green Giant Co.
In 1961 Verl and Velma built the V&V Drive In Restaurant, which is currently the Tucannon Meats Building. With Velma being a great cook and having a good business sense and a hard work ethic, the restaurant business became their profession of choice. During the course of their years together they owned and operated four restaurants: the V&V in Dayton, two eating establishments in Spokane and the Odessa Drive Inn in Odessa, Wash.
In 1973, after the birth of their first grandchild, Verl and Velma moved back to Dayton to be closer to family. Velma worked at Freddie’s Food Market and Verl at Green Giant until his death on March 3, 1975.
Velma continued to work at Freddie’s until she met James Bond. They were later to be married in Dayton on Jan. 3, 1976. Jim and Velma moved to her current home at 605 E. Mustard in Dayton. They enjoyed the mountains, fishing, mushrooming and family; as all were welcomed into their home anytime of the year to spend the night or weekends and enjoy Velma’s cooking. Jim passed away on June 26, 1987.
Velma kept busy with her grandchildren, fishing, cooking, knitting, her garden and preserving. She was later to meet and marry Murlin “Pearly” Gates on March 11, 1989. Velma and Pearly enjoyed retirement by doing some traveling, dining out, playing cards and, of course, the grandkids. Murlin passed on May 29, 1990.
Velma continued to live at her residence on Mustard Street. She enjoyed knitting afghans for her family, taking her grandchildren fishing, playing pinochle on Monday evenings with her partner and “the girls” on Wednesday afternoons. She loved to cook and was one of the best around. She made cookies for neighbors, friends and each grandchild had their favorite to look forward to when they came to gramma’s house. Velma was a member of the Dayton Hospital Auxiliary and enjoyed delivering senior meals. Her home was always welcome to family and friends with a smile, good conversation and great food.
Upon poor health, Velma moved to Booker Rest Home in May of 2012. Velma is survived by her daughter, Donna (Smith) Hanger and Bill Blessinger of Dayton; grandchildren, Tara (Bill) Mackleit, Travis (Heather) Hanger and Tracy Hanger; great-grandchildren, Hallie, Hayden and Travis J.; sister and brother-in-law, Patty and John Preston; and numerous nieces and nephews. Velma was also preceded in death by her parents, Leo and Trilby Greiner; and sisters and brothers-in-law, Wanda and Lesta Walter and Maxine and Earl Marll.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, at the Hubbard-Rogg Chapel in Dayton. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Dayton Senior Center, Dayton Hospital Auxiliary, DHS Alumni Association or a charity of choice.