Vella Painter

Vella Loraine Gunyan Painter was born May 28, 1940 in Rock Springs, Wyoming to Vella Ruth Hamblin. She passed away Sept. 9, 2022 in Longview, Washington. She was 82.

Vella grew up in San Diego, California where she lived until her teenage years.

She married Donald Jerry Painter Aug. 15, 1955 in Kansas and lived there for about four years. In Kansas they had three children, Jerry Kim, Timothy Dean and Tammie Loraine. They moved to San Diego, California in 1960. In San Diego, they had two more children, Sean Beth and Shauna Jean.

While there, Vella joined her husband as a member of the San Diego Divers Club after taking scuba diving lessons. The family spent several vacations in Baja, Mexico on diving trips. The family also had several outdoor vacations to national parks and deserts across the West.

In 1969, the family moved to Rainier, Oregon. While living there, they purchased and ran the Mountain View Grocery Store and a feed store downtown until it closed in the early 1980s. Vella served in several callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints including positions in the Relief Society, Primary and Sunday School. She served an early morning seminary teacher during the 1970s. She and Donald served a one-year family history mission for the church in 2008.

She had a part-time position driving school bus. She spent much of her life completing sewing and quilting projects gifting many items to her children and grandchildren. She dived into doll making and repairing later in life and built her passion for dolls into a thriving business.

In 1972, Christopher Donald was born in Longview, Washington. Her husband of 63 years passed away in 2018 in Ocean Park and Vella moved to the Longview, Washington area and was cared for in an assisted memory care center where she passed away.

Vella Painter is preceded in death by her parents; husband; and older brother Robert Gunyan.

She is survived by her brother Benjamin Gunyan; sisters, Elda Lee Brooks and Colleen Thompson; six children, Jerry Painter, Timothy Painter, Tammie Leiker, Sean Bonser, Shauna English and Christopher Painter, 34 grandchildren; and several dozen great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2022 at the Rainier Ward Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 27410 Parkdale Road in Rainier. Interment will be at the Hudson Cemetery.

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