Valley Hills Funeral Home
Vernal Estella Allen was born in Douglas, Wyoming on December 6, 1929. Her family moved to Washington State when she was in high school. She met Louis Allen, the love of her life and another transplant to Washington from Nebraska and they married in 1946. Louis and Vernal farmed in Sunnyside and their three children, Leon, Janice and Roger were born there.
Louis supported the family as a barber in Ellensburg when Vernal decided at age 30 to go to college. She finished in three years and taught English and was a counselor at Ellensburg High School. A lifelong learner, Vernal earned two masters degrees, in English and counseling, and an endorsement in secondary educational administration. Louis retired from barbering in 1973 and they moved back to Sunnyside where Vernal was a counselor at Sunnyside High School for over a decade. Teaching and counseling perfectly displayed her talents. Vernal was a great reflective listener, efficient, organized, articulate, open minded, and she loved being able to help people of any age plan their futures.
Vernal retired with Louis to Yakima where they helped raise their four grandchildren. Though she was retired Vernal never stopped working. Between constant gardening on the family’s 10-acre property, participating as a member of the Women’s Century Club, organizing family vacations, and working with the organization of retired teachers, Vernal was always busy. She was an amazing cook, could sew just about anything, and wrote books about her childhood which we will treasure. Vernal was never afraid of new experiences and just three months ago started exercising at the Harman Center.
She was a person educated, curious, and engaged in the news of the world. Chosen as a Democratic Party delegate in 2008 she worked to make her country and her community a better place. And though she would not have thought of it as work, she made her immediate community of family a brighter, happier place by hosting Friday night dinners, daily coffee gatherings, and never forgot anyone’s special occasion. She taught her grandchildren and very recently her great grandchildren to cook and bake. Her greatest gift was teaching us all how to be better people in life. Vernal and Louis instilled a love of travel in their family and we will be playing catch up for years trying to see all of the parts of the world that they visited.
Vernal is survived by her three children: Leon (Sharon), Janice (Van Johnson), and Roger (Susan). She is also survived by four grandchildren: Jenny (Tom) Poast, Audrey Duncan, Ben Allen (Emily Kemper), and Sara Allen (Brian Cheeseman) and seven great-grandchildren: Ainsley and Myla Poast, Isabella, Alexander and Beckett Duncan, and Luella and Frances Cheeseman; her sisters: Audrey Munkers, Leo Clark, and Marion Burge; and many nieces, nephews, extended family and dear friends.
A celebration of Vernal’s life will be held on Saturday, March 31st, 11:00 at the Women’s Century Club of Yakima with lunch to follow.
Vernal was a rare, brave and caring person and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Arrangements by Valley Hills Funeral Home.