Beloved mother, sister, grandmother and more, Evelyn “Evie” (Potter) Woodkey, age 93, was welcomed into the arms of Jesus at Yakima’s Cottage in the Meadow on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
Evelyn was born in Granville, North Dakota, on April 28, 1924. The eighth child of Daniel and Anna Potter, she attended schools in Lansford and Bottineau, North Dakota. She graduated from high school in Sidney, Montana, where she also met the love of her life, Virgil Woodkey. The two were married on June 29, 1944, in Fairbanks, Alaska. After Virgil’s Army discharge in 1946, the couple operated a cattle ranch in eastern Montana.
In 1950, Evie and Virg settled on a hay and cattle ranch near Carlton in the beautiful Methow Valley (North Central Washington), and in 1968 the family moved into Twisp where they lived for more than 20 years. Virgil was employed by the U.S. Forest Service; Evie packed apples and later worked at Ulrich’s Drug Store. In the mid-1980s, Evie and Virg remodelled an old guard lookout station into their little bit of paradise, “the ranch house” where they spent many hours sitting on the deck overlooking the Methow River. In 1989, the couple retired and moved closer to family in Yakima. They retained 10 acres of their Methow vacation hideaway until shortly after Virgil passed in 1999 after 55 years of marriage.
Together Evie and Virg had four children: Donna (Ron) Dinsmore, Dan (Brenda) Woodkey, Susan (Dave) Roster and Dale (Jennifer) Woodkey. Evie is also survived by six grandchildren and their spouses: Janell (Kelly) Coons, Julie (Eric) Stanfield, Mary Sue (James) Harrington, Jon (Janelle) Roster, Lindsey (Nicholas) Barkley and Michael (McKenzie) Woodkey. She is also survived by her beloved sister Ethel Sobolik; seven great-granddaughters; one soon-to-be-born great-grandson, and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and special friends including Val and Gaylord Newby and Janet and Rob Boucher of Yakima.
Evie was a devoted wife and homemaker who also enjoyed many outdoor activities, especially snowmobiling. The annual family summer campouts at Steamboat Rock State Park on Banks Lake were particularly fun including Evie and Virg’s Golden 50th anniversary celebration in 1994. Through the years she enjoyed attending grandchildren’s activities, family gatherings and travelling, including Mexico and Hawaii.
Evie was preceded in death by her beloved Virgil, her parents, eight siblings and a son-in-law. She will be remembered as the Woodkey family matriarch who taught many through example the basic skills of a loving, happy life. The family wishes to express their deepest gratitude to Lupita and Flor who cared for mom at home, as well as all who assisted with her highly compassionate care through the Compass Care program and Cottage in the Meadow. Special thanks to Wiley Union Church Pastor Terry Dinsmore, and also to her many friends from New Life Bible Church who showed so much kindness and adopted her as a grandmother.
Evie’s celebration of life was on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Wiley Union Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to New Life Bible Church, 1115 S. Fifth Ave., Yakima, WA 98902 or Cottage in the Meadow c/o The Memorial Foundation, 2701 Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA 98902.