Genevieve L. (Gen) DeVlemingApril 25, 1926 ~ August 22, 2017 (age 91)
Genevieve L. “Gen” DeVleming, 91, longtime resident of Pullman, passed away peacefully on August 22, 2017 at Bishop Place in Pullman. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 28 at Trinity Lutheran Church with Rev. Wesley Howell officiating. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall.
Gen was born at home on April 25, 1926 in Leavenworth, Washington, the oldest of three daughters born to Paul & Betty (Hardman) Lowery. When Gen was five, her family moved to Wenatchee where she completed her schooling, graduating from Wenatchee High School with the class of 1944 as the Salutatorian. While in school, Gen was the editor of the high school yearbook and was also president of the Hi U Girls’ Pep Club.
After graduating high school, Gen attended Washington State College in Pullman, which was made possible through a state scholarship. It was unconventional for women to attend college in that era but, in the fall of 1944, Gen boarded a train for Pullman with $300 she had earned picking cherries and doing office work, bound and determined to break social convention. Gen was a lifelong learner and education was one of her passions. She was inducted as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Mortar Board Honors Society and served as a national foundation trustee for six years. Gen was awarded the Distinguished Lifetime Mortar Board Award in 2005 for her service to the organization.
Gen lived in Community Hall for her freshman and sophomore years at WSC and eventually pledged with the Tri-Delta sorority, serving on the homecoming committee. It was through that committee that Gen met a young man named Bob DeVleming, also a junior at WSC, and they were married on September 3, 1948 in Pullman. The young couple remained in Pullman for an additional year for Bob to finish his degree before moving to Ritzville in 1949 where he had accepted a teaching position. Over the next decade, Gen & Bob moved around the Pacific Northwest until returning to Pullman in 1959 where Bob established his optometric practice.
On September 1, 1959, the same day that Washington State College officially became Washington State University, Gen began working for Dr. Clement French as his executive assistant. Gen served the university in that capacity for 32 years under four WSU presidents – Dr. French, Dr. Wallis Beasley (acting-president), Dr. Glenn Terrell and Dr. Sam Smith. Gen retired from WSU in 1991, the same time that Bob sold his optometry practice to his son Jim.
In retirement, Gen was very active in serving her community. Gen served on many boards and committees over the years including the United Way, Pullman Community Foundation, Pullman School District Facilities Committee and the Community Action Center Major Gifts Committee. Gen was also an active member in Trinity Lutheran Church, the PEO Sisterhood as well as the Pullman Chamber of Commerce Artesians.
In addition to being very avid bowlers, Gen and Bob also enjoyed traveling, visiting Maui and Cabo quite frequently. After Bob passed away, Gen traveled with her son John to Ireland to visit her ancestral homeland. This would be a trip she would treasure for the rest of her life. She always enjoyed spending time with her family, either in Pullman or at the family cabin on Hayden Lake. She was a truly remarkable and inspiring woman. Those who knew her were forever changed by her loving presence. She will be greatly missed.
Gen is survived by her children, John (Kathleen) DeVleming of Henderson, Nevada; Robert (Lynn) DeVleming of Clarkston, Washington; Jim (Cathy) DeVleming of Pullman, Washington and Nancy (Shane) Bateman of Woodinville, Washington; thirteen grandchildren and their spouses Jill (Quinten), Joseph, Kathryn, Elizabeth, William, Kristin (Dan), Jacob, Sarah, Robert, Tyler, Jason, Joyce and Bryce. Gen was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Bob DeVleming, her parents and two sisters.
Memorial contributions in Gen’s honor are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org or to one of the many community causes that were so very near and dear to Gen’s heart. The family also wishes to express their sincere appreciation and gratitude to the staff of Bishop Place and Kindred Hospice for their loving care of Gen over these past few years.
Kramer Funeral Home of Palouse, Washington is caring for the family. You are invited to leave online condolences and order flowers for the family at www.kramercares.com