Alma Jean Westfall (1927 - 2020)

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Service Information
Hamilton-Mylan Funeral Home, Inc. - Vancouver
302 W. 11th Street
Vancouver, WA
Friday, Feb. 21, 2020
1:00 PM
Memory Memorial Park
6007 E 18th St.
Vancouver, WA
View Map
Celebration of Life
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020
2:00 PM
Salmon Creek United Methodist Church

January 13, 1927 ˜ February
7, 2020

Alma Jean Westfall died February 7, 2020 in Vancouver, WA. Jean was named Alma after her maternal grandmother, Almarinda, but friends knew her by Jean. Jean was born on a corn farm in Villisca, IA, the 4th of 6 children, to George N. Nicks and Virdie L. (Hall) Nicks.
Following graduation from high school, Jean took a train to Vancouver, WA to work in the Kaiser shipyards during World War II. Jean became a secretary to the manager who ordered parts for the ships. Her future husband’s brother also worked at the shipyards and introduced them.
John Westfall was in the Army, wounded in Germany in February 1945. On leave to visit his family in Vancouver, he met Jean. They married May 3, 1945. Following the end of World War II, John and Jean made Vancouver their home, where Jean worked as a secretary for Clark PUD and John worked as a firefighter. Their first daughter, Sandra, was born in Vancouver. They moved to Pasco, WA where their second daughter, Denise was born. John worked as a firefighter at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and for most of Jean’s career, she was a secretary for State Farm Insurance, retiring in 1989. She also worked as an Avon representative, she measured and sold table pads for dining tables, and worked as a realtor and a home inspector in the Tri-Cities. Jean was also a certified Master Gardener.
John and Jean lived 37 years in Pasco before retiring and returning to Vancouver. Their love story was featured in The Columbian in May 1995 on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary.
John and Jean spent their retirement years camping and fishing in their RV, taking grandchildren on many of the trips. Following John’s death in 2003, Jean traveled frequently with her daughter Denise, including a Caribbean cruise, a snorkeling trip to Hawaii, and to New Orleans.
She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Virdie Nicks; her sisters, Mildred Howell, Hazel Dunbar, and Ruby Lantz; and her brother, Shelby Nicks. She was also preceded in death by her husband, John Westfall in 2003.
She is survived by her brother, Gordon Nicks of Falls Church, VA; her daughters, Sandra Buschert and Denise La Lande, both of Vancouver, WA. She is also survived by 5 grandchildren: Eric Buschert of Beaverton, OR, Ryan Buschert of Lakeville, MN, Rachel James of Damascus, OR, Brandon La Lande of Vancouver, WA, and Philip La Lande of Medford, OR. She had 5 great-grandchildren, of whom she was most proud, one of whom shared her birthday.
Jean’s most current residences were Highgate Assisted Living in Hazel Dell, prior to moving to Bonaventure of Salmon Creek Memory Care. Following her stroke, she was most lovingly cared for by Daniela Rosca of Evergreen Senior Living.
Burial will take place Fri., Feb. 21 at 1:00 PM at Memory Memorial Park, 6007 E 18th St. in Vancouver. A Celebration of Life followed by a reception in the Fellowship Hall will be held Sat., Feb. 22 at 2:00 PM at Salmon Creek United Methodist Church at 12217 NE Hwy 99 in Vancouver. Light refreshments will be served.
Funeral arrangements are by Hamilton Mylan Funeral Home in Vancouver.
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Published in The Columbian on Feb. 16, 2020
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