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Lifelong Sandy resident heads festival court

80-year-old Queen still volunteers in community


The Sandy Mountain Festival’s Five Generation Court is lead by a long time Sandy resident with a lifetime of service to the city.

Donna Deming Vedder, 80, has lived in Sandy for 78 years. When her parents and grandmother lost their farm in North Dakota during the Great Depression she traveled with her family to Sandy, where two of her uncles already lived.

Deming Vedder said her parents were very active in Sandy, her father was the Secretary Treasurer of the Sandy Kiwanis Club for more than 25 years, and her mother was Queen of the Five Generation Court in 1982.

She said she is very proud of the fact that she attended Sandy Ridge Elementary School before its consolidation with Sandy Elementary in 1947.

Deming Vedder graduated from Sandy High School in 1952. Immediately after that, she said she moved to Portland to work as a bookkeeper for First National Bank. She worked there for two years.

In 1953, she married Dwayne Vedder, and the next year moved back to Sandy. “That’s the only time I didn’t live in Sandy,” she said. “But I was practically out here every weekend.”

Deming Vedder worked as a bookkeeper for Clackamas County Bank for a year, between the birth of her daughter, Debra, in 1954 and son, Donald in 1957.

Eventually, Deming Vedder went to work as a secretary for the Community Church of Sandy, a church she had been involved in her whole life. She worked there for 37 years.

During that time, her younger three children were born, Douglas in 1962, Dana in 1964 and David in 1965.

In 1961, her husband became a U.S. Mail Contractor, and Deming Vedder helped him deliver mail from Brightwood to Timberline. Her son, Douglas, still holds that contract and Deming Vedder continues to be a substitute carrier on the route.

So far, Deming Vedder has enjoyed being a part of the Five Generation Court. She said that she especially enjoyed the meet and greet with the Sandy Kiwanis because of her connection with the group.

In addition to her dad’s position, Deming Vedder helped serve at Sandy Kiwanis monthly meetings with her Sandy Community Church Women’s group throughout the years.

She also met her husband at a Sandy Kiwanis meeting.

While looking at the Sandy Post Sandy Mountain Festival special section, Deming Vedder noticed that she knew many of the women included in the Five Generation Court since the Festival began.

“I feel honored to be part of that heritage,” she said.

Although she lives with her daughter, Dana, and her grandson, Dakota, and said she spends a lot of time housekeeping, Deming Vedder also finds time to do things she enjoys.

She is still very active at the Sandy Community Church and volunteers a couple times a month at its weekly Our Open Door events, serving meals for free.

She also volunteers each month with the Sandy Senior Center.

Deming Vedder said she enjoys reading and gardening in her spare time. She loves to grow flowers, but with difficult soil, this year her garden mostly contained vegetables.

Not counting being queen of the Sandy Mountain Festival, Deming Vedder said that one of the most exciting things she has done lately was vacationing in Hawaii for her 80th birthday with some girlfriends.

The group went to Kauai for eight days. Although Deming Vedder said she never had a desire to go to Hawaii, she decided to take a chance for her 80th birthday.

“It was so relaxing and wonderful,” she said.

Deming Vedder said that it is nice to be recognized in a town that has changed so much. Although she used to know everyone in Sandy early on, she said it has been good to get a chance to meet the newer residents.