Val Dumond died October 6, 2021 from the complications of living a full life. She was born July 24, 1930, in Durand, Wisconsin, the daughter of Nelle Marie Whaley (died April 1974) and Chester Dumond (died December 1947).
Val leaves behind two fantastic children—Frederick Joseph Wheelehan III, a loving and trustworthy son who is a heck of a good landscaper, and Lisbeth Ellen Wheelehan, a loving and caring daughter who is engaged in making the world around her a pleasant place to be. Val is preceeded in death by her sister Maryan Dawn Justus, of Loveland, Colorado, who she loved dearly, five treasured nieces and nephews, and her beloved granddaughter Kiona Wheelehan.
Val also leaves behind many good friends, some with whom she has worked as a newspaper writer and editor, as a marketing director for a bank, as a writer friend, as a teacher, editor, and as a business associate. She freelanced in western Washington for most of the years since 1981 as a business writing consultant. She published 25 (or so) books, conducted classes at area colleges, and worked with business people to make their writing easier and more fun. Between 1997 and 2005 she mentored The Lakewood Writers Roundtable. For another five years she hosted Tuesday Afternoon Writing Salons, a real joy.
Val grew up in Wisconsin, graduating as valedictorian from Fort Atkinson High School, where she visited regularly for class reunions. She cherished the 20 years she spent in Florida as wife of Fred J. Wheelehan Jr., who died in 1986. It was in Florida (Nova University via New York Institute of Technology) she earned her bachelor of science degree in psychology (1974). She was one of the few women in the second class of the UPS Law School (1975).
She considered the Northwest her ideal home, enjoying the moderate climate and the closeness to the earth. She watched birds, sort of—gardened, sort of—loved boating, flying (she took lessons), and traveling. She enjoyed her trips abroad, visiting France and Brittany four times, England, Spain, The Netherlands, Greece, Mexico, and Egypt. She climbed to the top of the Delphi arena, crawled to the center of a great pyramid, rode camels and donkeys, sailed on the Mediterranean, and strolled the Luxemburg Gardens in Paris. She missed the EuroLex conference in 2006 in Turin, Italy, opting to undergo a heart valve replacement instead.
Val led a fairly quiet, untroubled life. She had secure growing-up years during the Great Depression and WWII; loved her warm extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins; enjoyed a charmed professional life achieving personal goals; and raised a blessed family of her own. She experienced the eye of a hurricane, the eruption of a volcano, a couple of earthquakes, an exciting love affair, flying an airplane, seeing her books in print, and watching unsure writers discover their own talents. She loved that best—showing writers the confidence to stand on their own writing legs.
She volunteered her talents for a few organizations: She was a lifetime member of Girl Scouts Pacific Peaks Council, helping to found and chair the Women of Distinction annual fundraising luncheons for 15 years. Because she was a jazz enthusiast, she was a member and volunteer at KPLU-FM, especially enjoying the summer jazz cruises.
Val spent the last years of her life with her beloved daughter, in her own home, enjoying the time to do puzzles, garden, doodle, even write another book. She wrote and published a couple dozen books on grammar and English, a few novels, and a chorus of anthologies, including her great fun writing One-Sentence Stories.
Celebrate Val’s life by writing your first book, or your second or twelfth, and enjoy every minute of your life.