|Birth: ||Mar. 8, 1945|
|Death: ||Dec. 18, 2005|
Valerie Evelyn Arnold died peacefully at home on Dec. 18, 2005 of brain cancer. She was 60 years old.
Valerie is a fourth generation Whidbey Island resident. She grew up on the Arnold farm in San de Fuca where her farming instincts, love of the land, and passion for John Deere tractors were first cultivated.
She was born at Harpole's Maternity Home on March 8, 1945 to Charles and Viola Arnold. She graduated from Coupeville High School in 1963, and received her B.S. from Seattle Pacific University in 1967 and her Master's Degree in Education from Seattle University in 1976. She taught physical education and math at Kenmore Junior High in the Northshore School District followed by a return to the island she cherished to teach at Coupeville High School from 1976 to 1979. She was a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Honorary Society.
Her love of farming and the outdoors led her to milk cows and work at the Sherman Dairy before purchasing Coupeville Travel in 1985. Val's passion for the history of her town of Coupeville was expressed in many ways. One of these was her choice to purchase and move the Glenwood building from the site of the museum to its current location at 60 NW Coveland in order to preserve this historic structure.
Valerie was able to resume her love of working outdoors when she was hired to manage the Plum Creek Timber Orchard south of Coupeville in 1994. She planted, grafted and nurtured fir, pine and cedar trees and coaxed from them cones used in replanting forests. She germinated some seeds that are thriving trees in the yard of her San de Fuca home on Penn Cove.
Val was a Jane of many trades, capable of using her hands, heart, and head in many ways. These included carpet cleaning, co-owning ASAP, a business designed to serve elders in the community with home repair needs, and Aboveboard Painting. She was hired by Warner Brothers in 1998 as part of the painting crew for the movie Practical Magic. Her love of farming and tractors only grew over time, culminating in her spring 2005 tractor ride in the Coupeville Memorial Day Parade on her rebuilt 1940 John Deere Model D tractor.
Val gave generously of her time as the President of the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce, President of Island County Historical Society, founding board member of the Coupeville Arts Center, member of the Coupeville Historical Advisory Committee, and board member of Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve. She was appointed to the Island County Cemetery District 2 board position left vacant by her father's retirement and was then elected to that position.
She is survived by her life partner of 20 years, Judy Lynn, father and step-mother, Charles and Connie Arnold of Oak Harbor, brother and sister-in-law Fred and Darlene Arnold of Lynden, and their sons and family B.J. and Sara Arnold of Lynden and Derek Arnold of Bellingham. Included in Val's family are Jeff, Kristen, Madison and Noah of Cleveland, and Kim Baxter, Don, Samantha and Adeline Beavers of Tacoma, and her many friends who compose her extended family.
Valerie's mother was one of four girls raised in San de Fuca to Barbara and Pete Sloth. All four girls married Central Whidbey farmers; Viola to Charles Arnold, Agnes to Bob Hancock, Opal to Freeman Boyer, and Phyllis to Al Sherman. The unconditional love and quiet giving to her family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and her extended family of friends have come full circle.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve (PO Box 774, Coupeville, WA 98239) for a memorial bench on the farmland she loved so deeply.
18 Dec 2005 Whidbey News Times Whidbey WA
Created by: Clint Dunn
Record added: Sep 27, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59283313
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