Nellie Wert, 71, of Grandview passed away on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, at her home.

Nellie was born June 22, 1939 in Antioch, Calif. and was raised in West Pittsburg, Calif. She attended schools in Concord, Calif. and Pittsburgh, Calif.

After her school years, Nellie worked as a daycare operator for her mother-in-law and sister-in-law in California. She later began driving school bus, where some of her responsibilities included driving handicap children to and from school. One of the longer trips with the bus, she drove and chaperoned the Concord Blue Devils Drum and Bugle C Corp. to Utah for a competition being held there. Nellie was an excellent driver and won numerous prizes at bus rodeos that she would participate in. Prizes included televisions, microwaves and various other items.

During those working years, Nellie found herself raising her son on her own, and formed what turned out to be a 35 year partnership with her close friend, Bernese Collins, to share household expenses. Nellie and Bernese moved to Washington in 1990.

After coming to Washington, Nellie worked for Safeway as the Deli manager at the Sunnyside store. When Safeway built their new store in Grandview, Nellie transferred there and served as the Deli manager until her retirement in 2002.

Bernese passed away on Jan. 16, 2000. Nellie never forgot Bernese and the things they overcame together.

Nellie loved to shop, being with and cooking for family at their gatherings, decorating for holidays, and being around kids. Nellie's rule about cooking at the family gatherings was that after she cooked others were responsible to do the dishes. Nellie also loved great music from artists such as Harry Bellefonte and Dolly Parton, and collecting German Hummels and Precious Moments figurines.

Nellie is survived by her son, Jeff Wert; a granddaughter, Mickayla Marie Wert of Grandview; one sister, Christa (Roy) Bennetts of Scotts Valley, Calif.; the Bernese Collins family, Mary, Sallie, Marti, James, Tim and Wes, with many nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and life-long friends, Carol Meirhofer and Bud Torres, both of California.

The family would like to thank Lower Valley Hospice for all of their loving care and relay that they truly are a blessing.

The family would also like to thank Pastor Fred Cohu, Deacon Hal Williams and the church family of Valley Life Baptist Church for their kindness and assistance during this time.

A celebration of Nellie's life will be held Saturday, April 9, 2011, at 10 a.m., at Valley Life Baptist Church, 609 West Bonnieview Road in Grandview. There will be a time of fellowship immediately following the service. Those who would like to bring a food dish to share are encouraged to do so.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that anyone wishing to honor Nellie may do so through a contribution to Valley Life Baptist Church, 609 W. Bonnieview Road, Grandview, WA or by contributing to a charity of their choice.


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