Juanita Lomeli Vander Valk passed away on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Funeral Services were held July 1 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, in Winslow.
She was born March 6, 1920, in Rincon de Roma, Augascalientes, Mexico, and later became a U.S. citizen.
She was a longtime resident of Winslow, where she raised her five children. Survivors include two sons, Raymond Touchstone of Oregon and Robert Vander Valk of Arizona; one daughter, Paula (Raymond) Estrada of Texas; six nieces, Frances, Eula, Toni, Carlata, Martha and Carmen; six grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Juanita was born to Simone Fierros and Paulina Lomeli, who preceded her in death along with her sister, Francisca Lomeli Rodriguez; her brother, Simone Lomeli; two sons, James Touchstone and Henry Vander Valk; a daughter, Theresa Vander Valk; two nieces, Trini Martinez and Guadalupe Garcia; and a nephew, Justo Lomeli.
Her defining traits were independence and hard work. Juanita was a woman of many talents. A headstrong, independent female leader in a field dominated by men, she was noted to be the first female manager of the American Self-Serve Gas Station, later to be the first female owner and manager of the Shell Gas Station in Winslow. She also owned and managed the Dew Drop Inn. She was an Emblem member of the Elks Lodge, she tended bar in Egegik, Alaska, and had a multitude of other odd jobs and duties well into her 60s.
One of her many passions was her devotion to God and her church. She enjoyed gardening, collecting rocks, and spending time with family and friends.
As a mother, grandmother, aunt and friend, you will live in our hearts forever and be dearly missed.
Greer’s Mortuary of Winslow was in charge of the arrangements.