Henrietta Vaden, daughter of Bertha Ella Lamacus Roberts and Thomas Elmer Roberts, passed away April 9, 2020 at her home. She was the mother of Thomas Henry Vaden, Sylvia Sue Mock, Cynthia Ann Kriesel and Sheila Beth Vaden. She was also a mother to James Vaden and Ginger Vaden, her beloved stepchildren.
She is also survived by her grandchildren, Angelia Creason, Christine Fraser, Carilynn McCollum, Jennifer Vaden, Patricia Coman, Dennis Kriesel, Wendy Hoch, Forest Sparks, Angalee Vaden, Blair Vaden, Abe Vaden, Crystal Moses, 10 great grandchildren as well as 2 great-great grandchildren.
Our mother was born in a farmhouse in Elm Grove, Oklahoma in 1925, to a family who was proud of their Cherokee ancestry. She was the first in her family to attend college and graduated with her degree at age 20. She moved to Alaska in 1946, driving up the Alcan Highway in a pickup truck with a dog and her prior husband. Mom told the story many times about practically freezing to death. They drove through the bitter cold, a new and not before experienced adventure. Both were wrapped in sleeping bags. The ALCAN was an exceedingly difficult trip in those days,
When arriving in Alaska, they settled in base quarters at Ft. Richardson. They later moved to the Matanuska Susitna Valley establishing a homestead. Unfortunately, the home on the homestead burned down so they moved Anchorage. She lived in Spenard from 1951 until she passed. She also had a home in the Wrangell St. Elias Park and Preserve, which is where she spent a tremendous amount of time throughout her Alaskan life. She was an elementary teacher with the Anchorage School District teaching from 1961 to 1985. Being in the outdoors was her passion. Mom enjoyed many activities in the outdoors, but, her favorite activity was birthday parties, especially hers. She loved the candles, balloons, and of course, presents. She put a smile on many faces during these times.
Our mother was just as comfortable in the woods, as she was in a formal evening gown attending one of her many functions. Her attitude was: I can do anything as long as I put my mind to it. She told all her children to get an education saying, “those you love may leave you but you will always have your education.” She was a true Alaskan. We are all very proud of her.
Mother was independent, deeply religious, loved her family and was extremely accomplished. She was proud of being a private pilot with her commercial and instrument ratings as well as a Registered Big Game Guide. She belonged to Pioneers of Alaska, Alpha Delta Kappa, International 99’s, the Dudes and Dames, and many others.
Our tiny powerhouse is now in the arms of the Lord she loved. She will be missed by those who knew and loved her. She was a special lady and touched the lives of many. At the end of her life, many of her friends had passed but they lived on in her memory. She will live on in our treasured memories as we continue to practice the many traditions she passed on to us.
In lieu of sending flowers please go out and get yourself a beautiful bouquet. A celebration of life will be determined by the family at a later date.