Vera Lydia Corey died March 4, 2002, at Victorian Cottage in Coupeville. She was born almost 96 years ago on March 20, 1906, to Jesse B. Wonderly and Lillie Johnson Wonderly in a sod farm house near Jennings, Kan.
Vera moved with her parents by means of a covered wagon to live in Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming during her grade school years. They subsequently moved to Tacoma where she graduated from Stadium High School and married her high school sweetheart, Harold M. Corey, on Sept. 27, 1923. They started a family of three sons and a daughter and moved to Ellensburg in 1937. While a busy homemaker in Ellensburg, she found time to serve on the school board and in the PTA. She was active in the First Presbyterian Church and was an officer in the Civil Air Patrol.
After raising their family, Harold and Vera moved to Seattle in 1957. Vera continued her aviation interest, became active in Lake City Presbyterian Church, and started a 14-year career in the alterations department of I. Magnin. In 1974, Vera’s beloved Harold was taken after a prolonged battle with cancer and a few months later, her 49-year-old son, Richard, was taken in an aviation accident.
Vera moved to Whidbey Island in 1978 and lived on Race Lagoon near Coupeville. On March 23, 1991, when she was 85, Vera married Harold’s younger brother Arthur Corey. They made their home in Joyce until Harold’s going home on Jan. 24, 1998. She returned to Whidbey Island where she lived until her death.
Vera was an extraordinary lady whose live was a kaleidoscope of interests and accomplishments. She was one of the first women in the state of Washington to become a licensed pilot. She was an accomplished musician and gifted artist. She was a professional seamstress and milliner. She did a variety of professional handcrafts including design and production of artificial flowers and ceramics, which she marketed through her own company, Vee-ELSI’.
Everything she put her hand to seemed to produce extraordinary results. Perhaps her greatest gift was that of being a confidant, encourager and friend to many.
Vera Corey’s immediate family includes daughter Phyllis King and husband Tracy of Rainier, Ore.; son Stuart Corey and wife Laraine of Coupeville; son Roger Corey and wife Diana of Brush Prairie, and Richard’s wife Ann Corey of Seattle. Other survivors include 13 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and 19 great-great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, March 9, at Calvary Chapel, 1650 SE 9th Ave., Oak Harbor. Memorials in memory of Vera Corey may be made to Island Ministries, 431 S. Race Road, Coupeville, 98239.