Cover photo for Vada Terrell's Obituary
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1923 Vada 2015

Vada Terrell

November 15, 1923 — September 9, 2015

Vada Lou (Carpenter) Terrell

Vada Lou (Carpenter) Terrell of Alma, Nebraska, was the youngest of 11 children, born November 15, 1923, in Smith County, Kansas, to Lou David and Eva Lucille (Morrison) Carpenter. She died Wednesday, September 9, 2015, at the Colonial Villa Nursing Home, Alma, Nebraska at the age of 91 years, 9 months, and 24 days.

Vada grew up in Smith County Kansas, on a farm north of Thornburg, Kansas. She was a member and attended the United Brethren Church, Thornburg. As a child she went to the Pleasant Hill School from first through eighth grade, and then attended high school in Smith Center, Kansas, graduating in May of 1941.

Vada was then employed by South Western Bell Telephone Company as an operator until March 1945. At this time she boarded a train and went to Jacksonville, Florida, where she was married on March 5, 1945, to Earl Terrell, who was stationed there while serving in the United States Navy. After Earl's discharge, they moved back to Smith County Kansas to farm. To this union five children were born - Janice Lynn, Jerry Lee, Beverly Ann, Danny Joe, and Cynthia Jane.

In December of 1956, the family moved to Buhl, Idaho, until August of 1957, when they returned to the area settling in Franklin, Nebraska.
Her employment while living in Franklin was as a grocery clerk at Haines Grocery, 1957 - 1968. In 1968, she started as secretary for the Franklin County Judge's Office. She was promoted and served as Associate Judge for the state of Nebraska in Franklin County from 1985 to retirement in 1989. While keeping busy with work and raising a family, Vada, loved to travel. In 1971, with her husband, Earl, and daughter, Ann, they went to Australia and Hawaii. In 1978, she went to Germany to her daughter, Cindy's. They toured France, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, and West Germany. By traveling with family members, she covered all of the United States except Montana and Alaska.

Vada's civic activities included the membership in the Rebecca's of the Odd Fellows Lodge in Franklin, and the V.F.W. Auxiliary in both Smith Center and Franklin.

Vada was preceded in death by her loving husband, Earl, daughter, Janice Lynn, parents, Lou David and Elva Lucille Carpenter, and ten siblings.

She is survived by four children - Jerry Lee, Beverly Ann, Danny Joe, and Cynthia Jane; 7 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Wilda Wilson of Houston, Texas; and a host of nephews, nieces, and friends.

A celebration of life service for Vada Lou (Carpenter) Terrell was Wednesday, September 16, 2015, at 1:00 p.m., at the Hutchins Funeral Home Chapel, Franklin, Nebraska. Graveside service was Wednesday, September 16, 2015, about 3:00 p.m., at the Meyer - Pleasant View Cemetery, Athol, Kansas. Smith Center V.F.W. Presented honors to Vada with a grave side service. Inurnment will follow in the cemetery. Friends may sign the book Tuesday, September 15, 2015, at the Hutchins Funeral Home, Franklin, Nebraska, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Hutchins Funeral Home, Franklin, Nebraska was in charge of arrangements. Online condolences can be left at

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