Vonita Lee Hinkle-Nelson, 86, of Pilot Rock died at her home with family by her side on February 1, 2013. Visitation will be from 12 - 5 p.m. Thursday, February 14, 2013 and 9 to 5 on Friday at Pendleton Pioneer Chapel, Folsom-Bishop. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, at the funeral home. Interment will immediately follow the service at Pilot Rock Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Pilot Rock Community Center.
Vonita was born in George, Arkansas, on April 7, 1926, to Carl and Jessie (Davidson) Ward. Vonita married Elmer Norris in Kingsburg, Colorado on July 3, 1945. They later divorced. On December 6, 1952, she married William Hinkle. Mr. Hinkle passed away on September 28, 1996. April 16, 2005 she married John Nelson at the Historical Church in John Day, Oregon.
Vonita worked several different jobs. In 1951 she worked at St. Anthony Hospital. She also provided day care at her home. In 1959, she went to work at the Pendleton Woolen Mills and in 1967 she was employed by Kerns Furniture Factory. Following that job she worked at Eastern Oregon State Hospital where she retired in 1988. Not being one to sit around she did home care until she was 75 years old. She loved being with her family and friends, camping, fishing, Bingo and watching wrestling. She also loved crocheting and giving it away.
She was a member of the Pilot Rock Assembly of God Church, Pilot Rock Senior Center, Eagles and the Lions.
Survivors include her husband, John Nelson of Pilot Rock; daughter, Katherine Johnson of Pendleton, daughter-in-law, Martha Wensenk of Burns, sons, Bill Hinkle of Pilot Rock, Jay Hinkle of Ukiah, daughters, Bonnie Zick of John Day, Sue Hinkle of Union, son, Jim Hinkle of Pilot Rock, daughter, Rhonda Henshaw of Pendleton; step-children, Teresa Brown of Milton-Freewater, Barbara Ward of Goldendale, WA, Patty Simons of Milton-Freewater, Richard Nelson of Irrigon, Mike Nelson of Pilot Rock; brother, J. C. Ward of Arkansas; 36 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, William Hinkle; infant daughter, Linda Jean; son, Larry Norris; grandson, Dylon Johnson; great-granddaughter, Mabry Zick; two sisters and two brothers.
Condolences may be sent to Pendleton Pioneer Chapel, Folsom-Bishop, 131 SE Byers Ave., Pendleton, Oregon 97801 or online at www.pioneerchapel.com.