Vivian Ilene (Barrett) Weir: March 21, 1925 – April 19, 2019



Vivian Ilene (Barrett) Weir left this life on April 19, 2019 at her home in Coupeville, Wash., with family at her side. She was born on March 21, 1925 the only child of Elwin and Beatrice (Payne) Arnold in Concrete, Wash. by whom she was dearly loved.

She attended grade school grades 1-8 at Grassmere, near Concrete. She walked to and from school by herself or in the company of classmates who lived in her small neighborhood.

The Grassmere grade school was a two-room building with grades 1-4 in one room and 5-8 in the other.

Walking back and forth between school and home, she passed “hobos” who rode the rails. They would jump off near a water tower that used to be near the tracks, and would camp there around a small fire for warmth. During the 1930s, in the depths of the Depression when so many had lost jobs and homes, they were the homeless of that time. She commented that they always were well behaved and not troublemakers. Sometimes she would give them half her lunch sandwich as she walked home. These same men would make the rounds of the neighborhood homes asking to work for food.

After high school graduation from Concrete, she took a job ushering at the local theatre up town which meant a mile or so walk to and from the job. This would mean walking past the local saloon, in the dark, at wintertime. However, as was the case when she was a kid in grammar school, walking past the well-known hobo camp, there was little to fear; for times were different then and a certain moral code was pervasive even in this rough and rural logging and cement manufacturing town.

Later, during the wartime, in the early 1940s, she took a job working with the Great Northern Railway system, which had a depot in Concrete.

This depot was necessary to convey bags of processed cement out of the Lone Star Cement Co. and other natural resources from the area on to other parts of the country and beyond during the war effort. Besides doing the usual clerical work, answering phones, etc. she was being trained on the Morse Code System so she could send and receive messages.

However, when she learned that the railway company had plans to move her into Everett, Wash. to work on a bridge there, using the Morse Code she was learning, she declined the assignment.

After she and Larry Barrett married in January 1944, she took a job working as a mail carrier. Still living in Concrete, her long mail route took her as far east of Concrete as Rockport and as far southwest of Concrete as Clear Lake and Hamilton. In the winter, her route shortened somewhat as the snow season moved in and the road east closed.

Larry served in the Army during the war, and after worked as a logger above Concrete clearing land for roads and other projects.

Later, he worked for the Lone Star Cement Co. in Concrete. A daughter, Janis, was born to them in 1947 and later, after they moved to Coupeville, a son, Collin Craig, was born in 1956.

Larry passed away in 1982 and after many years, in 1990, Vivian married Bernie Weir who had been a classmate in Concrete. Bernie passed away in 2000. Vivian was very blessed to have had the love and companionship of these two fine men.

She is survived by her daughter, Janis (Bill) Skubi, and son, Craig Barrett, and by her grandson, Austin Skubi, and by nieces, nephews and many friends. As she wished, a private, immediate family only, graveside service was held in late April at Sunnyside Cemetery.

Vivian was very active in Coupeville Community Bible Church, of which she was a founding member. She taught Sunday school and Bible classes all her adult life. She loved flower gardening and painting and wildlife and in every aspect of her life expressed her creative nature.

She was a person of integrity, kindness and fortitude. She knew her own mind and stuck to her convictions.

Her family and friends will miss her, and every time the swallows return to Whidbey Island in the spring her closest family will think of her.

The family wishes to thank all the very fine and compassionate hospice workers who helped her and the family during the challenging end of life care for Vivian.

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