Cecil Vinson

Cecil Vinson

October 31, 1932 – October 21, 2023

Cecil Vinson of Yakima and former longtime resident of Wapato passed away on October 21, 2023. He was born in Noble, Arkansas, on October 31, 1932, and had seven brothers and two sisters. His family moved to Modesto, CA, in 1939 and a few years later to Chiloquin, OR, then to Vancouver, WA, where his father worked in the shipyards during WWII.

Following the war they moved to Sweet Home, where he attended Sweet Home High School. It was there he met and married his wife of 59 years, Marjorie Ann Foltz, who passed away in 2009. In Sweet Home they started their family by having three children, Sharon, Daniel, and Michael.

Cecil worked as a gas station attendant and then worked at the local plywood mill. He began his career with Pacific Power & Light while also selling Allstate insurance. He was also a charter member of the Sweet Home Elks Lodge and maintained his membership until his passing.

He started his PP&L career as a meter reader in Sweet Home and had the opportunity to move to Pendleton, in 1961 to begin his apprenticeship as a Journeyman Lineman.

He then transferred to Harrah, WA, in 1970 to be the Pacific Power Service Rep covering the area from White Swan to Lombard Loop. During this time, he built incredible relationships with the Orchardists and Farmers across the valley and was highly respected and liked. He also volunteered with the Harrah and Wapato fire departments for 20 years, responding to nearly every house fire and emergency at all hours and days of the week.

In 1972 he and Marjorie purchased 17 acres of apples and pears just outside of Wapato. Needless to say, between his Pacific Power career, his Fire Department volunteer work and tending to his 17 acre orchard, he worked tirelessly until his retirement from PP&L in 1992. A few years later he ended his volunteer work with the Fire Department and sold his orchard to fully retire.

He and Marjorie enjoyed many years of retirement having taken four trips to China and multiple cruises with his brothers and their wives during the 1980’s and 1990’s. They loved to spend long weekends on the Oregon coast and occasional visits to the Toppenish casino. He also loved joining his brothers and nephews for long weeks of fishing in the Oregon Cascades or deer hunting in the Oregon Ochoco mountains.

In 2009 he met the second love of his life, Carol Smith of Yakima. They were true soulmates and have been together ever since. In 2017 he sold his beautiful home outside of Wapato, and they moved to Sun Country Estates Senior Community in Yakima where they resided until his passing. Carol and her extended family became Cecil’s second family and became a treasured part of his life.

Cecil is survived by one sister, Nina Burian of Lebanon, and by his children, Sharon Murphy (Roger Fruci), Aran Daniel Galway (Karen), and Mike (Kevyn) Vinson as well as Carol and her children, Russell Lenberg, Rick (Linda) Lenberg, Tom (Michelle) Lenberg, and Brad (Janey) Smith. In addition, he is survived by 18 grand; 26 great-grand; and five great-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews from both extended families.

Cecil often said, “I’ve lived a very good life.” Indeed he did and will be deeply missed.