Lydia Whipple

1944 - 2013


Lydia Whipple

Sept. 9, 1944 — July 21, 2013

Lydia Andrea Whipple was born Sept. 9, 1944, in Walla Walla, to Walter and Leona Nielson. Lydia passed away in her home on July 21, 2013, with her husband at her side after battling 11 years of cancer.

Lydia married her husband, William (Bill) Whipple, in Walla Walla on June 3, 1998. Bill and Lydia were married for 15 years. Their marriage was special to them from the beginning. Bill and Lydia did everything together and traveled to a number of places such as Hawaii, Florida, Maine and took two cruises to Alaska. Lydia loved the drive to Wallowa Lake, loved fishing on the Snake River, loved knitting, sewing, quilting and woodworking until she became ill. Lydia especially enjoyed making quilts for her friends and family. Her favorite place to be beside her back yard was the Oregon Coast, in particular, Netarts Bay. Lydia loved to sit, watch the surf, see the beautiful sunsets and play cards with her husband for hours.

Lydia worked as a correctional officer for 28 years both in Florida and in Walla Walla. Many years were devoted to raising her children.

Lydia dearly loved all of her family even though some were far away. She tried to visit them as often as she could. Lydia also loved her church family from New Beginnings Chapel who sustained her throughout her illness. She loved her extended family at Providence St. Mary Regional Cancer Center, her doctor, Dr. Quackenbush, the nursing staff because they were wonderful to both her and Bill and made them feel like family. Lydia was forever grateful to Linda Miller and the Walla Walla Community Hospice staff for all the loving care they gave her until her passing.

The thing Lydia loved the most was her relationship with her Jesus. Lydia shared with many that she was not frightened about death because she knew her Jesus was waiting for her. Lydia touched so many lives and all who knew her could depend on her for a smile and a helping hand.

She is survived by her husband at home, Bill; two sons, John Gilson of Florida and Robert Gilson of Maine; two step-sons, Scott Robertson of Walla Walla and Billy Whipple Jr. of Oregon; three step-daughters, Tammy Padgett of Florida, Trisha Whipple of Idaho and Jessica Whipple of Oregon; two brothers, Gail Nielson of Walla Walla and Carl Nielson of Seekonk, Mass.; three grandchildren, Shane Gilson of Florida, Shauna Gilson of Florida and Tori Gilson of Maine; five step-grandchildren, Darcy Shave and Diane Shaver of Idaho, Gregory Silcox Jr. and Mikki Silcox of Florida and Dylan Beals of Oregon. She was preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Leona Nielson; and one brother, Sam Nielson.

A celebration of her life will be on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013, at 2 p.m. at her church, New Beginnings Chapel, 822 W. Main St., Walla Walla. Memorial contributions may be made to Providence St. Mary Regional Cancer Center or Walla Walla Community Hospice through the Professional Funeral Director & Crematory. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at


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