Vera Lucille ‘Jennings’ VanHouten

1922 – 2014

Vera Lucille Jennings VanHouten Messing passed away in Carmichael, CA at age 92 after a long, full life which began January 8, 1922 in Preston, Iowa. Born to Silas Burton “Bert” and Jessie Pearl Jennings, she was one of eleven living children and the last surviving sibling of 6 brothers: Russell, Dorsey, Oras “Ode”, Don, Milburn, Bert, and 4 sisters: Opal (Persyn), Thelma (Frazier Krulijac), Betty (Wagner), Marion (Laws). While a resident of Clackamas County in Oregon, she attended Estacada Union High School for 3 years earning a degree akin to a GED.

She married Charles Howard “Van” VanHouten on November 20, 1940 and had 5 children. From Oregon they moved to the California Bay area and worked in the Alameda ship yard, then in 1951 settled in Del Paso Heights, CA where Vera worked at Granny Goose. February 2, 1957 her beloved husband ‘Van”, tragically drowned in a boating accident.

Following a marriage on February 23, 1958 to LeRoy Messing, the family moved to Orangevale, CA.

Vera had many jobs over the years including 12 years as a Nursing Aide and 13 years as a housekeeper but her favorite was being a mother and a child care provider to many who affectionately called her “Grandma Vera”.

She enjoyed reading, gardening, playing penny-ante poker and other card or dice games. She cherished time spent with family and friends and her greatest joy was cooking, baking, and canning for them.

She will be deeply missed by her sons and spouses Robert and Ruth VanHouten, Larry and Manssa “Boots” VanHouten, James and Carol VanHouten; her twin daughters and spouses Connie and Ben Counts, Carol and Mike Eubanks; her son Gary Messing, her “adopted” Silvernall family; 18 grandchildren; 32 great grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and lifelong friends.

She will forever be remembered for being a source of great story telling, delicious cooking, wit, humor, and unconditional love.

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