Obituary of Nelda May VanNess
Nelda May VanNess (85) of Weiser, Idaho passed away surrounded by family on Sunday, February 11, 2024.
Nelda was born to Sylvester Francis Lang and Viola Mae (Prader) Lang on May 9, 1938 in Goshen, California.
At 18-months of age the family moved to a 40-acre farm near Visalia, California. Nelda loved spending
time in the garden, eating from the fruit and nut trees, swimming in the ditch, adventuring in
the barn, and playing with or rather, watching her older siblings, Helen, Edwin, Eugene and Reggie work
on the farm with dad and in the kitchen with mom. Nelda delighted in the privileges of being the family’s
youngest girl. Nelda’s favorite day was when mom and dad brought baby brother Patrick home from the
hospital. Patrick was her favorite “baby doll.” Nelda’s passion and love for animals started on the family
farm with horses, cows, cats, dogs, rabbits and wild critters. She attended The George McCann Catholic School in Visalia and later completed Beauty College earning her beautician license.
In 1955, while dragging Main St., Nelda met the love of her life, Martin VanBuren VanNess Jr.; they
married within 3 months. Martin was fresh out of the Navy and determined to build a life for him and
Nelda. They started their family in Visalia, later moving to Farmersville and Exeter California. During these years, they completed their family with four children: Marty, Darla, Tammy, and Brandon. In Farmersville, Martin and Nelda built a new 3-office building where Martin had a barbershop and Nelda ran her Salon of Beauty. In between their shops, there was a room for the kids to play while they worked. Nelda was a loving mother and wife. She was a steadfast homemaker. She had her hands full with four rambunctious young children.
In 1972, the family moved to Weiser, Idaho and settled in her dream craftsman home on Liberty Street.
Nelda and Martin invested in the community by building the 5-office building on State Street
(home to Martin’s Barbershop), and starting the Indianhead Motel and RV park. Nelda then operated her
Salon of Beauty from her home-based beauty shop. She and Martin enjoyed becoming grandparents, spending time at their cabins, and traveling to visit family and friends across the country. Nelda deeply valued family and spent many years studying genealogy and fostering family relationships. She made magical memories for her grandchildren by hosting lavish tea parties, dress-up fashion shows, Nintendo competitions, and adventures at the cabins. She never forgot to make birthdays and holidays extra special. Nelda enjoyed collecting antiques, quilting, sewing, painting, pottery restoration and floral gardening. She owned and operated “A Glimpse of the Past -Antiques and Collectables” in Weiser in the 1990’s. Nelda’s warm, caring, and fun personality was known to many dear friends throughout the years.
Nelda is preceded in death by her parents, older siblings and beloved husband Martin. Nelda is survived by her brother, Patrick Lang; “sister-cousin”, Rita Hogan; four children: Marty (Vickie) VanNess, Darla (Jay) Roundtree, Tammy VanNess, and Brandon (Tammra) VanNess; 10 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank The Cottages – Assisted Living and Memory Care of Weiser and the Weiser Memorial Hospital staff for their love and care of our sweet, dear Nelda.
There will be a viewing on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024 from 9 a.m -10 a.m. at Thomasons Funeral Home in Weiser, Idaho followed by a graveside service at Fairview Cemetery (Hwy 201 and Hwy 95 spur junction, Annex, Oregon) at 10:30 a.m.
The family suggests memorials be sent to St, Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
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