Vicky Welch

Vicky (Victoria) Adcock Welch died peacefully at home on June 10, 2013, surrounded by family and friends. Her family is deeply grateful for the extraordinary outpouring of love and support they have received and continue to receive.

Vicky and her beloved husband, Ed, first came to the Methow Valley in June 1973, the day of the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the North Cascades Highway. For the past 40 years, they have lived alongside the Twisp River at Sunny Pine Farm, which they built together into a successful organic goat dairy.

Vicky was born on Aug. 3, 1946, in Chicago, Ill., and graduated from New Trier High School.  She received a B.A. from Shimer College and an M.A. in India Studies from the University of Wisconsin. This became the foundation for her lifelong passion to learn about diverse cultures, philosophies, and religions of the world. Vicky was a disciple of Hindu spiritual leader and guru Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma).

Vicky dedicated her life to keeping the Methow Valley a beautiful and healthy place to live. She will always be remembered for her central role in protecting the land she loved from inappropriate development. In 1976, Vicky was a cofounder of the Methow Valley Citizens’ Council, which successfully spearheaded efforts to defeat an attempt to build an international destination ski resort on Sandy Butte at Mazama. Among her many accolades, Vicky received the Glorieta School’s “Keeper of the Place” award and the Methow Conservancy’s “Conservation Award.” Vicky was a lifetime member of the Sierra Club. Few people have demonstrated such boundless determination to safeguard our valley, a resolve that continued until her last breath.

Vicky was a strong advocate for environmental conservation and many other causes. She served tirelessly as precinct committee person for the Democratic Party and as State Committee Woman from Okanogan County for many years. Vicky was also an avid supporter of women’s rights, a shining example and mentor to the countless number of women who knew her. Truly a volunteer extraordinaire, Vicky served on numerous boards and committees. She was especially known for her willingness to drive long distances to attend meetings and to give well-researched public testimony.

Sunny Pine Farm was the centerpiece of Vicky and Ed’s life together. There, they raised their two sons, Arthur (who passed away in 1997) and Gary. A showcase of organic farming methods, the farm has been home to a generation of young farmers in the Methow. Through their internship program, Vicky and Ed taught these young people land stewardship. At Sunny Pine, Vicky loved growing, harvesting and storing food. She kept a full pantry of her canned and dried foods and delighted family and friends with her creative and abundant meals. Spending time in her garden gave Vicky great joy.

Vicky was a true adventurer. She loved to plan wilderness goat-packing trips that, while taxing her strength, gave enormous pleasure to both her and her husband. She and Ed traveled extensively, braving jaguars in the Amazon, grizzly bears in the Arctic, and blizzards in Patagonia. They went trekking in Nepal and managed a ranch in Argentina, where Vicky took every opportunity to practice her Spanish.

Vicky also found great adventure through books. She loved to read, especially non-fiction, and was an avid student in Bill Hottell’s history classes. She was extremely knowledgeable about a wide range of topics, including politics and alternative medicine. Vicky believed strongly in uncensored access to literature. Once, as public librarian in Maupin, Ore., she even found a way to make officially censored books available to local students.

Above all, Vicky was the truest of friends, and there was no limit to her capacity for welcoming new people into her life. She was the glue of virtually any group she joined. She was passionate, tireless, straightforward (yes, sometimes even blunt), and at the same time, had a wonderful whimsical side. Her friends looked for her to be wearing the most colorful outfit at any party.

Her joyful spirit was always with her and will remain with us forever.

Vicky is survived by her husband, Edward C. Welch, her son Gary, her sister Muriel W. Adcock, and brother Albert W. Adcock.

A celebration of Vicky’s life will take place on Aug. 3 at the Twisp park, starting at 1 p.m. Please wear bright colors in Vicky’s honor and bring a dish to share.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Methow Valley Citizens’ Council, P.O. Box 774, Twisp, WA 98856.