A funeral service was held at 4 p.m., Thursday, May 18, at Family Christian Center, 203 W. Dogwood, in Palmer, with Pastor Peter Gallardo officiating.
Visitation began at the church one hour prior to service time. A small graveside service following the church service was held at the Wasilla Aurora Cemetery. Pallbearers were Ron, Roland, Reed, Howard and Roland Tresham, and Shane Voelk.
Mrs. Newell was born Aug. 17, 1943, in Grants Pass, Josephine County, Ore. She graduated from Illinois Valley High School in Cave Junction, Ore., in 1962.
She became an Alaska resident in 1991.
From 1975 to 1982 she was the owner of Wilbur Mini Mart in Wilbur, Ore. From 1983 to 1990 she provided home foster care, and from 1991 to 1998 she worked for the Mat-Su Borough School District and at the Wasilla Safeway.
She retired from Safeway in 1998.
Her family said: Vanita loved everyone and everything. One of her favorite things in life was to visit the coast, watch the ocean and let the dogs run on the beach. She found great pleasure in fishing, flowers, playing games and sharing Bible scripture with friends and family. All who met and knew Vanita will miss her cheerful way of life, fun sense of humor, fabulous cooking, especially her famous Christmas fudge, and her beautiful expression of love in her crochet work.
Survivors are her daughter, Dena Reeser; son, Ronald Reeser; daughter-in-law, Kathy Reeser; brother, Ronald Tresham; sister-in-law, Diane Tresham; nephews, Roland, David and Howard Tresham; great-nephew and nieces, Roland, Reed, Kasandra, Alycia, Hunter, and Fisher Tresham, Shenah Wyne and Shane Voelk; and her special Shane Rozak, who called her grandma; and many loving cousins in the Tresham, Osais, and Pullen families.
She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Vivian and Roland Tresham, and her loving canine companion, Cuddles.
Memorial contributions may be made to Family Christian Center, P.O. Box 2491, Palmer, AK 99645.
Source: Frontiersman, 18 May 2000