YAKIMA — On Oct. 12, 2014, Virginia Catherine Gable, 92, died peacefully and gracefully with her daughters at her side. Her last few days were spent at Garden Terrace, an adult family home in Yakima, under the loving care of family and friends.
Virginia was born and raised on Beacon Hill in Seattle, and met her husband, William Franklin “Bill” Gable at the officer’s club there during the war. They were married in August 1944 and eventually settled in Yakima in 1951. Prior to her final bout with illness, Virginia had lived in the family home for 63 years. She graduated from high school and earned what would be the equivalent of an AA in business at the Edison Technical School, which would become Central Seattle Community College, the first in the city. After both daughters became teenagers, she worked at Washington Scale for many years before becoming office manager at J.M. Perry Technical Institution, where she retired in 1986.
Virginia was a lifelong knitter and was legendary in the kitchen: well-known for her sugar cookies, fresh fruit pies, and homemade almond roca. In 1958 she won the “Queen of the Kitchen” award, the first year of its existence, as top ribbon holder in all culinary categories at the Central Washington State Fair. She went on to become manager of the fair’s junior divisions and a judge in adult categories; she was issued a lifetime pass for her volunteer work there.
In addition, Virginia was treasurer for more than 40 years for both the Yakima Enological Association and the Cliffdell Homeowners Association. She was an active member of the Women’s Century Club, Washington Credit Women’s Association and one of the “founding mothers” of the Yakima Red Hat Society.
Sea Rim Court, on “K” Place in Seaview, was the traditional family vacation spot throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s. In the last decade, Virginia returned to the beach, purchasing a second home in Nahcotta. She made many new friends, was a member of the Peninsula Senior Activity Center in Ocean Park, and continued to enjoy clam digging and baking.
Bill and Virginia were members of the Central Lutheran Church in for many years sang in the choir. They were also active in barbershop groups: Sweet Adelines and the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQA). Cate and Starla have kept up the family musical tradition, singing often in Oysterville vesper programs and house concerts on the Peninsula.
Virginia was preceded in death by her husband. She is survived by her daughters Cate Gable of Nahcotta; Starla Gable of Yakima; adopted daughter, Deb Lavis of Yakima; a favorite cousin, Denise Denton of Poulsbo, Wash.; many sisters-in-law and brothers-in law on the Gable side of the family; and many great-nieces and nephews.
Her Celebration of Life will be held at Central Lutheran Church in Yakima on Oct. 27 at 2:30 p.m.