Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Leona Fitzthum

Sept. 26, 1926 - Apr. 3, 2019


April 18, 2019

Leona Ellen Fitzthum

Leona Ellen Fitzthum

Leona Ellen Fitzthum, 92, passed away peacefully on April 3, 2019, in Colfax, Wash., with family by her side.

Leona was born September 26, 1926, on a house boat on the Ponderay River in Sandpoint, Idaho, to parents, Rollie and Pearl Shaver. They moved to Okanogan County where she graduated from Tonasket High School in 1944. In 1945, she married Donald J. Fitzthum and they moved to Spokane, Wash. She was later divorced and raised her three daughters, Chris (Bob) Stockbridge, Savanna Stevens and Debbie (Ken) Kilpatrick. She worked for Washington Water Power, now Avista, for 27 years.

In 1991, she moved to Tempe, Ariz. While living in Tempe, she volunteered for the Tempe Police in various capacities. One of her jobs was to take care of the horses used by the Tempe Police. She moved to Pullman, Wash., in 2006 where she was active in the Pullman Senior Center. Three years ago she moved to the Courtyard Assisted Living in Colfax, Wash., where she lived out her final days.

She was very proud of her four granddaughters, Celene, Kerrie, Kayla and Kelsie; eight great-grandchildren, Dylan, CJ, Lyla, Zayne, Bryce, James, Una and Reillyn, and two great-great-grandsons, Hudson and Oliver. When Kayla was little, she nicknamed Leona, "Blue Grandma." No, her hair was not blue, but she had a blue chair and a blue suit she wore to church. The great-grandkids still call her, "Blue Grandma."

Leona was a painter and enjoyed painting pictures for her family. She also had a very green thumb. Her patio planters were her pride and joy. She excelled at knitting and crocheting. Her family has numerous sweaters, blankets, doilies and crafts to remember her by. When she lived at the Courtyard, she crocheted dish cloths for the staff. You could always see Leona with a book in her hand. She was so happy when the library came to the Courtyard.

Traveling was in her blood. She traveled to Europe and to many places in the United States. Snow skiing was an activity that she enjoyed with her family, especially going to Schweitzer Mountain in Sandpoint, Idaho. She loved making treats for her grandchildren, which included her famous banana chips, pretzel cookies and pickles with cheese wrapped around it. She also loved Cougar Gold cheese.

A celebration of Leona's life was held April 7, 2019.


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