Vada was born on April 16, 1936 to Roy and Orinda (Weiss) Hedges in Imperial Chase County Nebraska. She was one of nine children.
Vada married Clarence E. Blakesley on December 15, 1951 in Holyoke, Colorado. They had three children, five grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.
Their daughter, Marcy Joan married Ronald Fernandez and they had three children, Daniel Patrick Fernandez, Christina Renee (Albert) Santiago and James Samuel (Diego) Fernandez. Marcy passed away in 2010.
Their daughter Teresa Kaye married Gary W. Hoffman and they had two children, Brandon Scott (Lindsey) and Heather Renee (Charlie) Cordova.
Their son Kem Allen Blakesley was an infant death in 1957.
Vada’s great grandchildren include: Kalob (Valerie) and son, Ean; Nicholas, Zachery, Shelby and Joseph, Albert III (Diego), Christopher (Tatdao), Bonnie, Hugh, Nora, Charlotte and Cora.
Clarence and Vada moved to Denver in 1959. While living in Denver she became known as Aunt Vada to many. They provided care to over 120 foster children through Lutheran Social Services. Most of them were infants waiting to be placed with their permanent families. She also cared for a few adult children with special needs.
In 1976 they moved back to Holyoke where she began Aunt Vada’s daycare and loved dozens of children over the next 30 years.
Vada dearly loved her grandchildren, nieces and nephew and her day care children – Children made her life complete. Even Alzheimer’s couldn’t rob her connection with children her face would light up when she heard or saw little ones.
Vada loved crafts – making dolls, flower arrangements and share her love of crafts with her grandchildren and day care children. She enjoyed cooking. She was known for her kraut burgers and jumbalaya. She would cook for family gatherings and large groups at the First Baptist Church where they were members for many years.
Holidays were enjoyed by Vada. At Halloween she would dress as a witch and would love to go trick or treating with everyone. Being 4’10” they would fill her bag along with the rest of the kids and then she would confess who she was. She made an Easter Bunny costume and would dress up in the costume and go with the kids to the nursing home and pass out goodies.
Having five prankster brothers prepared her for married life to a fun loving family of Blakesley boys. Vada could hold her own and quietly get even. The family history tells stories of yellow frosting filled devil eggs for a party on April Fools Day and flannel stuffed pancakes made especially for her brother-in-law, Bob that he couldn’t cut.
She volunteered for PTA, church youth parties. She would sew a dress or a costume with a day’s notice to be worn for a church or school function.
We want to remember her for what she loved: blue skies with fluffy clouds; windmill blades turning in the wind; the smell of fresh soil and rain soaked fields; holding a child’s hands; watching children play and especially the meal time prayer – “God is good, God is great .”
Vada is preceded in death by her beloved daughter, Marcy and infant son, Kem; her parents, Roy and Orinda Hedges; brothers, Marvin (Lavern, Bebe and Edna), William (Mary Jo) , Elza “Doc” (Alice) and infant Gene; sisters, Genevieve Rowley (Max), Hazel Wagner (Fred) and Doris Yonker (Walt).
She is survived by her husband, Clarence; son-in-law, Ronald Fernandez; daughter, Teresa and son-in-law, Gary Hoffman; brothers, Gail and wife Gaynell Hedges; Dick and wife Waydean Hedges; sister-in-law, Ruby Roll along with her grandchildren and great grandchildren numerous other relatives and friends.
The memorial service was held on Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Holyoke, Colorado with Pastor Jeremiah Krieger officiating. There will be a private family inurnment at the Holyoke Cemetery.
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455 Sherman Street #500, Denver CO 80203
First Baptist Church Holyoke
100 East Johnson, Holyoke CO 80734