Yvonne Eileen (Brown) Whedon, was born to Kenneth E. Brown and Wanda (Leonard) Brown, October 13, 1935 in McMinnville, Oregon. Yvonne lived her entire life in western Oregon, initially in the Sheridan/Willamina area and then at the Oregon coast where she attended Reedsport High School.
She married her childhood sweetheart, Daniel Whedon (not once, but twice!), and they moved to Eugene Oregon where Dan attended the University of Oregon. They had five children, one of whom died shortly after birth. They raised their family in Eugene and she moved to Portland in 1970.
Yvonne’s love of music was evident from an early age, a gift inherited from her mother. She took music classes at the U of O for a period of time as well as performed with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra on clarinet. Her association with music led her to a women’s a cappela singing group - Sweet Adelines. Their style of music resonated with Yvonne and it thrilled her to find able singers for quartets as well as chorus groups. She soon found herself fully immersed in singing and spent her free time practicing, competing and building friendships with other singing members. The special sound of four-part harmony gave Yvonne a thrill as they blended voices in harmony to strike a chord. She was constantly challenging her vocal ability and she seized the opportunity to try all four singing parts; tenor, lead, baritone, and bass as she studied and practiced to perfect her craft. Over the 50 years she participated in Sweet Adelines, Yvonne sang in numerous quartets and choruses and became the director of the Blue Lake Chorus in the mid ‘80’s. The group was small in members at the time, but they went on a membership drive and built the group into a local powerhouse winning multiple regional championship competitions. Yvonne was competitive by nature and her quartets and choruses won many singing competitions throughout her long singing and directing career. She attained a prestigious Master Director Status, an accomplishment that she took great pride in achieving.
Yvonne worked as a bookkeeper, in finance, and as an office manager including positions at White Stag, John Hancock, and her last position as the office manager at Hillsboro Elks, retiring in 2012.
Always a welcoming soul, she “adopted” friends from many walks of life. Over the years she welcomed people into her home for family holidays and other get-togethers. Some of her favorites were 4th of July (her best friend Linda Smiths birthday) and Christmas. One year for our Christmas holiday she announced to her family that they were going to cook a huge traditional meal and pile in the car to deliver it to a shelter for homeless people. We ate sandwiches – a lesson that resonates today to be giving and thankful of what we have. Celebrations, as well as hard work were a part of family life and she instilled a sense of patriotism and civic responsibility to her children. Yvonne donated annually to charitable organizations for the under privileged families in her community.
Yvonne was an avid reader averaging one or two novels a week, until Alzheimer’s addled her brain processing, a horrible disease which she suffered with for the last few years of her life.
She is survived by her children Linda J. (Whedon) Boyd/Larry, Karen M. (Whedon) Matthews/Michael, Susan L. (Whedon) Seaver/Dave, grandchildren Rachel Sherwood (Todd) Portland, Trevor Sherwood (Ona) Aloha, Andrea Wightman Portland, Daniel Christiansen Portland, Jennifer (Whedon) Brackett (James) West Jordan Utah, Elizabeth Christiansen Bozeman Montana, and 6 great grandchildren, and her ex-husband Daniel D. Whedon.
She was preceded in death by her parents Kenneth and Wanda Brown, son David D. Whedon, and her brother Claude E. Brown.
Memorial donations can be made to one of the following charitable organizations or the organization of your choice:
Please join us for A Celebration of Yvonne’s Life
Saturday, August 4th, at 2 pm
Latvian-Lutheran Community Center
5500 Dosch Road
Portland, Oregon 97239