Valerie Sue Violette Goodwin went home to Jesus on Thurs., Feb. 23, 2023, in La Grande, Oregon. Her final days were filled with love, family, friends, reminiscing, and laughter.
She was born in St. Helens, Oregon on June 12, 1943, the middle child of Gerald Albert and Thelma Alice (Johnston) Violette. The family lived in McNulty until they purchased 13 acres and built Violette’s Villa Mobile Home Park in St. Helens. Val attended Saint Frederic Catholic School until her eighth-grade promotion in 1957, after which she graduated from St. Helens High School in June of 1961.
On July 22, 1961, she married Ralph Goodwin, Sr. and they made their home in St. Helens. They welcomed their first daughter, Michelle Marie (Goodwin) DesJardin in May of 1962, followed by another daughter, Marguerite Anne (Goodwin) Powell in September 1963. The birth of two sons, Ralph, Jr. and James Christopher, followed in 1967 and 1971, respectively. In 1977, Ralph and Val sold their businesses in St. Helens and purchased a ranch in Dayville, in Eastern Oregon. They moved the family there in April 1978 and embarked on the adventure of ranching for nearly 20 years. In April 1983, they welcomed another son, Matthew Daniel. Valerie was a very devoted wife and mother. There were benches, not chairs around her table, so Mom would tell us to “schooch” together and make room for anyone who happened to drop by at mealtimes. Val’s family fostered many children over the years, both officially and unofficially. Charley Moore, Keith Lund, and Skip and Cindy Inscore were welcomed into the family in the 1980s.
Val was preceded in death by her parents and grandson, Andrew James.
She is survived by her siblings, Memory Antoinette “Toni” (Violette) England and Gerald “Brent” Violette; Ralph Goodwin, Sr.; children, Michelle (Chellie) and grandchildren: Marc (Brenna), Daniel (Lucinda), Chantal, David and Jonathan Luc; Marguerite (Margee) and grandchildren, Hunter (Sabrina), Walker (Daryl Ann), and Skylar (Corey); Ralph Jr. and grandchildren, Blaine (Telisha), Jordan, and Kirsten; James Sr. (Christy), and grandchildren, Sarah (Derek), Danielle (George), James Jr., and Elizabeth; and Matthew (Kylee) and grandchildren, Gregory, Ethan and Cecilia; Charley Moore and granddaughter Colby; Michelle and Chav; and Keith (Cathy) Lund. As well, Val is survived by her many great-grandchildren, Khloe, Claire, Josiah, Maddox and Amelia; Easton, Greylyn, Parker and Owen; Shylah, Briar, Arden and Macoy; Willow and Olliver; Jorge and Sofia; Aubree and Avery. She also is survived by numerous family, loved-ones and friends.
With an unquenchable curiosity and a gift for teaching, Valerie enrolled at Eastern Oregon University in 1995, where she thrived. She graduated with honors, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in art and education in 2000. Val then taught in Union County until 2013, when she retired.
Valerie would say that the greatest decision she ever made was accepting the free gift of eternal life in the 1970s and becoming a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. She dedicated the remainder of her life to sharing the love of Jesus.
A celebration of Valerie’s life will be held at 2 p.m. on March 18, 2023 at New Song Church in La Grande, Oregon, where she was an active member of the congregation. There will be a reception immediately following at Moy’s Dynasty Restaurant in La Grande, Oregon. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Women’s Aglow Fellowship International or New Song Community Church in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande, OR 97850.
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