Vida Mae Verdier
December 03,1937 - July 09,2019
Obituary for Vida Mae Verdier
Vida Verdier 3 December 1937 – 9 July 2019
Vida Mae Scheck McLeland Verdier was born in Great Bend, Kansas, the first child of Abraham Scheck and Esther Elizabeth Brack. Throughout her youth she dreamed of spreading her wings and living in a wider world. After graduating from high school Vida went to work at the Great Bend Tribune where she
met photographer James R. McLeland. On 30 March 1957 they married, and the young couple moved immediately to Hollywood Florida, where J.R. went to work for the Hollywood Sun-Tattler newspaper.
Shortly before the birth of their first child in 1958 J.R. became a photographer at the Kennedy Space Center and Vida and J.R. bought their first house in Eau Gallie, Florida. In addition to volunteering as a Gray Lady in her daughters’ school Vida became active in the Indian River Community Theatre, which she
enjoyed very much, serving a props mistress, wardrobe mistress and show secretary for a number of musicals. In her spare time Vida began writing and publishing short stories for children, publishing in Highlights, Jet and other children’s magazines. She loved writing and once she started she never really stopped. Wordsmithing became a critical part of her life.
In 1968 Vida and J.R. divorced and she married Robert Verdier an engineer on the Apollo Program and a regular director in the community theater. Their house was filled with teenagers for in addition to her own 2 daughters and Robert’s 2 daughters and 1 son they fostered 3 teenagers for several years. These were years of family laughter, public drama and thrills as they witnessed the launch of Apollo 11, the drama of Apollo 13 and the spectacular evening launch of Apollo 17. In 1973 Boeing sent the family to
Seattle and then overseas to Paris for several exciting travel-filled years. In 1978, Vida divorced Robert and returned to the States where she began working for Boeing as a technical writer and editor. Over
the next 15 years created a stellar career as the manager of Boeing’s first company-wide documentation
digitization project. She managed the team that created the first digitization standards for Boeing’s
aircraft manuals as well as led the industry-wide efforts to create information technology standards that
would meet the needs of the future aircraft industry.
Vida loved working at Boeing but she was equally happy to retire shortly before the birth of her first
grandchild in 1994 and take up residence on acreage she’d purchased near Mt. St. Helens, where she
wrote, played with her granddaughter and hosted the extended family for a number of family revels.
She would happily have stayed on that property till the end of her days but various difficulties eventually
caused her to move back to Tukwila to live near her daughters. She was an active volunteer in her
grandchildren’s schools and became honorary grandma to a host of children across the Tukwila
community. For many years she also served as the office and grounds crew manager of her
condominium complex as well as serving on the association board. Vida survived 2 heart attacks and 2
different cancers but those recoveries took a toll on her health. In her last years as she struggled with
dementia she lived with one of her daughters in Tukwila where she was surrounded with love and
Vida is survived by her two daughters, Dana Joy McLeland and Heather Gaye McLeland-Wieser, her son
in law Richard Wieser, her grandchildren Hilary Joy McLeland-Wieser and Andrew James McLeland-
Wieser, her foster children and her step-children. She is also survived by her brothers Henry Wayne
Scheck, Randolph Joseph Scheck and his wife Susan and Alan Emery Scheck, her sister Vera Ann Dennen
and three nieces and two nephews. And Vida is survived by the many “children of her heart” whose lives
she touched in so many ways.
Vida was an amazing woman – creative, beautiful, strong and resilient with a searching intelligence and
great vision. She had a great pride in all her kids and grandkids and a very deep love for her family. She
could be amazingly stubborn and unbelievably supportive and tender. She is deeply missed. We love you
Mom – more than any words could say.
At Vida’s request no services will be held. Donations in Vida’s name may be made to Treehouse for Kids
at 2100 24th Ave S Ste 200, Seattle, WA 98144, (206) 767-7000, https://www.treehouseforkids.org/
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