Dorothy Vanderford

Obituary of Dorothy Louise Vanderford

On her appointed day, January 1, 2020, the Lord took the breath of life given on earth from Dorothy Louise Vanderford, known to all who loved her as "Louise", the precious wife of Bill Vanderford of Tucson, Arizona. Louise carried the name of Louise Fredrickson from her first marriage to Donald Fredrickson, who passed away in 2004. For those who knew Louise from childhood, her full name was Dorothy Ida Louise Kauppila, born on November 2, 1931 to Hulda and Richard Kauppila in Calumet Michigan.

Louise and Donald’s children include Brook Grant of Tucson, Lee (Gerd) Fredrickson of Springfield, MO., Lori (Rick) Flanders of Plano, IA., Mark (Haley) Fredrickson of Hancock, MI., and Bonnie (John) Steffens of Murray, UT. Son James (Collette) Fredrickson and husband Donald proceeded Louise in their entrance to the pearly gates of heaven. Grandchildren and great grandchildren also mourn her passing, yet rejoice in the knowledge of heaven as her eternal home.

Back on earth, a eulogy, the written sum of one’s life, lays down words that will express Louise’s testimony to glorify her Creator. These words reflect the truth that answers the question from Proverbs 31:10, “Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies?” Louise- wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and sister in Christ- displayed with her flesh and the Spirit of God that dwelled in her a prime example of that virtuous woman, to which a “Praise God” should be shouted from all of us.

As a young girl, Louise loved to read the Bible and sought to understand God while developing her talent for playing the piano. As a teen, Louise excelled in school and gained a scholarship from Calumet High School for a full ride to Michigan University, where she began her studies to become a nurse. At the beckoning of her mother to return home, Louise left the college early to follow other paths and pursue her lifelong goal of pleasing God and others before herself.

Louise accepted Jesus as her personal Savior in 1950 and followed the Lord in believer’s baptism-“a full dunking, like a doughnut in coffee,” as Louise would say. In 1951 Louise married Donald Fredrickson and shared Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life with their 6 children. Louise did not hesitate to share her testimony confessing the love and work of Jesus in her heart here on earth, and ultimately in heaven hearing now, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

As a young mother and wife in Ontonagon, Michigan, Louise attended to her family’s spiritual needs through daily dinner table, family Bible devotions, bedside prayers and regular attendance in a fundamental Baptist, Bible believing church, where she used her chalk drawing talents, taught Sunday school classes, and played the organ. She had a heart for missions evidenced by the jar above the refrigerator filled with change saved to support a needy missionary family preaching the gospel overseas. She cooked nutritious meals, filling the house with the aroma of chocolate chip cookies, doughnuts, home-made bread and pasties, and kept a peaceful marriage and home. Coffee-time friends also enjoyed her cooking skills.  Her sewing skills created opportunities for income and great admiration among those, including her children, who wore her custom made clothing or were surrounded by her colorful tapestries. In the community, Louise spread the gospel message and touched the lives of numerous children through her ministry of Good News and Joy Clubs. In time, a better job for her husband sent the family packing for new adventures in another state, along with many sad good-byes.

In Englewood, Colorado, Louise loved and nourished her husband and children, built up a sewing business at home, but kept the family’s spiritual growth at the forefront of her mind, especially vigilant with keeping the children involved in church activities. From Englewood the family moved to Tucson where all grew up and left the nest with a strong base of spiritual knowledge needing to be tempered with wisdom from God.

After the home-going of Louise’s first husband, God blessed her family in 2007 with William (Bill) Vanderford. His strong presence remains an answer to prayer that started with a miracle meeting, which resulted quickly in a marriage ceremony. Bill’s salvation experience thrilled Louise as she discipled him in his ongoing, amazing spiritual growth. When the church doors opened, Bill and Louise could be seen sitting close together in the pew soaking up the songs, sermon and fellowship of brothers and sister in Christ.  He and his extended family mourn with him the loss of his wife, but will also seek comfort from the One who gives a peace that passes all understanding.

At the moment God took her breath, He sent angels to deliver her soul to Himself for safe keeping eternally in His presence, to walk on streets of gold, live in a mansion Jesus prepared for her, and adore and worship Jesus, her Savior, where no sun is needed because He is the light.

Louise ignited the love of Jesus and His word through daily devotions, prayer and church attendance with Donald and their children. This practice of prayer, devotions and church attendance never stopped throughout her 3 years of widowhood and ultimate, joyous married life with Bill.  Louise, that virtuous woman, wore the clothing of strength and honor on earth and now wears a white robe in heaven. Louise’s children call her blessed, her husband and her works praise her in the gates, as she abides safe in the arms of Jesus.

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