Velma Elnora Chaffee 1933 - 2022

Velma Elnora Chaffee passed away March 20, 2022. She was 88 years old.

Velma was born July 26, 1933, at the site of her father’s sawmill in Moores Valley, Carlton, Oregon. She was one of seven children born to Earl Raymond Yates, who was born May 27, 1907, and Iva Freeda Yates, who was born July 14, 1909. Velma grew up in the hills outside Carlton and attended school in town. When she was 13 years of age, she left home and took a live-in housekeeping and nanny position with a family in Carlton, which allowed her to continue her education. She received her high school diploma from Yamhill-Carlton High School.

While living in Carlton, she met her soon-to-be husband after asking him if he could give her a ride to school on his way to work. She married her husband Robert “Bob” Chaffee, in 1951. She and Bob had three children. In 1957, they settled on a farm south of Yamhill on Highway 47, where she remained for 65 years.

Velma started working at the First National Bank in Yamhill right after graduating from high school. She worked at that location for 38 years, through several corporate name changes, and was well-respected in the community. She went on to have her own housekeeping business for another 12 years after retiring from the bank.

Velma had boundless energy and loved being at home on the farm. In her free time, she liked to garden, and every year she spent countless hours preserving the fruits and vegetables she’d grown that season. She enjoyed sewing, baking and caring for her home. She was also fond of caring for her many grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband Bob in 2007; and her brothers, Edward in 1974, and Wesley in 2010. Two of Velma’s older siblings, a baby girl and a baby boy who likely suffered from incurable pneumonia as infants, also preceded her in death. She is survived by her three children, Victoria, Dennis and Kellie; two brothers, Dale and Ralph Yates; seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Velma’s remains will be cremated. At her request, no memorial services will be held. Her interment will be in a private ceremony at Pike Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a donation in her memory can be made to OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon, or Brighton Hospice in Tualatin, Oregon.

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