Vance Preston Norwood

Vance Norwood, known to family and friends as VPN, - although, his mother always called him “VIP,” because he was a Very Im-portant Person to her - left us to join his heavenly father on Thursday March 8, 2018.

Vance was born to Frank “Woody” Norwood and Ju-lare “Jonni” Norwood on Aug. 18, 1953. in Seattle.

Vance enjoyed a happy childhood growing up in Granger. He attended Granger public schools, graduating in 1971. Eagle Scout status and class salu-tatorian were but two of his many high school accom-plishments. Vance, always an industrious, talented, bril-liant and courageous man, enjoyed many adventures and misadventures in his lifetime.

Like all the Norwood chil-dren, Vance saw his parents establish Woody’s Goodies and found himself working in the concession business. Vance excelled at an early age as a “hustler” in the grandstands and by the age of 14, was managing a “grandstand crew.” His en-trepreneurial self was real-ized. He honed his skills even more when the Nor-wood clan opened and op-erated the Tillicum Restau-rant in Sunnyside, for many years.

Following high school, Vance engaged in his biggest adventure to date as a Washington State University exchange student in Mexico. Vance spent a full year submerged in Mexican cul-ture and cuisine. He returned home fluent in Spanish and with an appreciation of Mexican food, especially tacos.

After Mexico, another ad-venture was right around the corner when in 1975 Woody announced the Norwoods were going to construct a log cabin. Vance and his car-penter skills were an invalu-able part of this project. “The Log,” became not only a construction job, but a family affair that Vance thoroughly enjoyed. Many wonderful family memories were made building “The Log.”

Not one to be idle long, Vance soon became inter-ested in construction. He and his younger brother Lar-ry joined forces and Nord Construction was born. The duo began constructing homes as well as partnering in making hand-crafted rus-tic log furniture, which was being sold out of their store, Earthtone Furniture, located in the Valley Mall at Union Gap.

Vance soon realized he needed a “storefront” for the homes they were building and decided to secure his realtor’s license. Soon after he was also working for Krieger Realty in Yakima.

Vance enjoyed working with the public which led him back to a position in the food service industry when he went to work for John-ny’s the Towne Plaza in Ya-kima. Vance enjoyed look-ing dapper in the tuxedo he wore to work.

In the early 1980’s, Vance began another adventure with a move to Cannon Beach, Ore. He again donned his tuxedo to work for Dooger’s Seafood & Grill.

Not long afterwards he se-cured a part time position with the United States Postal Service. A few years later he relocated to Beaverton, Ore., and then Cornelius, Ore., where he remained a full time postal employee until his retirement 27 years later.

Vance again found a way to provide a service for those on his mail route by carrying a shovel, hammer and nails with him in his mail truck to repair damaged fence posts and post boxes as he found them.

Vance truly was a civil servant with a heart and his postal customers showered him with gifts at Christmas to show their appreciation for his efforts and his smile.

Vance was a family man who loved the family he grew up with, but the birth of his sweet girl, Josie was the high point of his life. Josie was the light of his life and the apple of his eye. Times he spent with her were his most cherished moments.

Vance’s heart had been recently stretched to full capacity with the birth of his grandbaby girl, Aurora Rose. The title “Grandpa” was one he wore with pride.

Our hearts break as we must bid farewell to our dear father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and friend.

This untimely departure was due to complications of surgery and we could not be sadder about this loss. Vance will be missed by all who called him friend, lots who called him family and all who knew his uncondi-tional love and genuine smile.

Family, friends and loved ones are gathering at noon Saturday, March 17, to cel-ebrate the life of Vance Pres-ton Norwood at Calvary Bible Church, 105 Golden-dale Ave. Toppenish.

Plan to share your memo-ries of Vance with us all. We will be feasting on Vance’s favorite food following the service so please join us for tacos.

Vance was preceded in death by his father, Frank “Woody” Norwood and his brother, Gregg Norwood. He is also preceded in death by his loving grandparents, Herbert and Lois Zediker Gelhart and Elmer “Slick” and Fern Porter Norwood.

Survivors include his mother, Julare “Jonni” Nor-wood, of Granger; his daughter, Josie Norwood, of Portland, Ore., his two brothers, Grant (Natalie) Nor-wood, of Granger, and Larry (Dixie) Norwood, of Yakima, and his two sisters, Cyndie Lock-Norwood, of Zillah, Kathy Norwood (MaryAnn Burke) of Henderson, Nev.

Also surviving is his grand-daughter, Aurora Powers and her father Donavon, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, as well as his best friend and cousin, Steve Gelhart, of Prineville, Ore., as well as his lifelong friends, Chuck Alexander and Ralph Rodriquez of Granger. He is also survived by Josie’s mother, Laura Denny.

In lieu of flowers please consider donating to the Vance Norwood Granger Alumni Scholarship Fund. Funds can be sent to The Granger Alumni Association P.O. Box 1, Granger, WA. 98932.

To sign the online guest book or to send a condolence to the family go to


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