Thelma Louise ‘Weezie’ Buchanan, 88, a longtime Skagit Valley resident, passed in peace December 16, 2018 while living at Birchview Memory Care in Sedro-Woolley.
From her birth in Sylva, North Carolina on March 26, 1930 to her death on Sunday she nourished people around her with love, faith and song. Louise was the fourth of seven children born to Albert & Mary Rachel (Shular) Blanton. She was raised and attended school in Sylva before the family moved to the Skagit Valley in 1947. Shortly thereafter she met a handsome Merchant Marine and friend of the extended family, Henry Buchanan; it was magic in the making and they were united in marriage in Lyman in 1948. They made their home in Lyman for 10 years, moving to Sedro-Woolley in 1958, then to Burlington in 1965 and finally returning to Sedro-Woolley in 1981.
Louise and Henry were instrumental in establishing Valley Baptist Church in Sedro-Woolley where they were charter members. Louise served as Sunday School teacher, church treasurer, VBS volunteer and sang in the choir for many years.
In 1969 Louise began working at United General Hospital, distributing surgical instrument supplies, working there for 10 years before transferring to Skagit Valley Hospital working in Central Supply until her retirement in 1989. Retirement meant freedom to travel, so the happy couple hit the road, visiting family in North Carolina, creating new family in the Desert Southwest and criss-crossing the country with a family caravan that had good old fashioned fun wherever they went.
Music was an integral part of Louise’s life. She learned to read and sing shape notes from her daddy at a young age, a rare art form these days, and taught her children and Grands to enjoy and appreciate music of all varieties, but especially gospel and bluegrass.
The Buchanan’s were avid gardeners and when harvest time approached, the house was a bustling frenzy of preparing, canning and freezing of the bounty. Louise’s homemade creamed-style corn, Tarheel beans and strawberry jelly were amongst the favorites of her offspring. After each visit everyone was blessed with a gift or two to take home from the freezer or pantry. Hot summers camping at Conconully with lake fishing, bike riding and eating tomato sandwiches will always be cherished. Everyone learned how to bait with worms and clean their fish! Evenings were spent making crafts and playing cards. Louise had a way of making the situation better with a gentle smile, a touch of her hand. She knew how to make everyone feel special, particularly when they felt less so. There was no doubt in our minds that she was the Best Grandma any kid could ask for. She had a down home, easy going charm, signified by her gentle southern drawl that stayed with her a lifetime. But for every sweet, there might show up a sassy, spunky, and certainly feisty, “let’s have a party” posture. She kept us on our toes and we loved every minute of it. It was the simple things around her that she never took for granted, humbly commenting about how fortunate and thankful she was. She was a lady of strong faith and conviction, fully aware of the beauty and peace that would await her after her passing. Not to mention her loving Henry, who would be “Waiting on the far side bank of Jordan”.
Left to honor Louise and remember her love are daughters, Janice Jensen (Ron) of Mesa, AZ and June Snelson (Greg) of La Conner, WA; five grandchildren, Michelle Johnson, Wade LaFontaine, Jessica Snelson, Amanda Snelson, Vance Snelson and fiancé Matney Cook; six great-grandchildren, Brandon and Brooklyn Johnson, Samantha, Ashley and Austin La Fontaine and Aayla Belle Peterson; brother, Ernest Blanton of Bend, OR; sisters-in-law, Judy Blanton, Joan Blanton and Gloria Buchanan of Sedro-Woolley; brothers/sisters-in-law Olin Buchanan (Jolene), Jim Buchanan (Becky Sue) of North Carolina, Earl Buchanan (Evelyn) of Sedro-Woolley and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; additionally her beloved church family at Valley Baptist Church.
She was preceded in death by her parents; infant daughter, Lawana; husband, Henry; brothers, Earl and Ed Blanton and sisters, Inez Henry, Vergi Hansen and Pauline Wyatt.
The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff at Birchview Memory Care and Hospice of the Northwest for their attentiveness and loving care of Louise.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at the Valley Baptist Church in Sedro-Woolley in March, 2019, the date to be announced at a later time. Inurnment will be at the Hamilton Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Valley Baptist Church Building Fund, PO Box 267, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284. Arrangements are under the direction of Lemley Chapel, Sedro-Woolley.
This obituary, written collectively by the family, is a tribute to Louise’s memory, which will be carried on in the legacy of love which is now each of us – the lives she formed and touched by her love.