Leatha Vada Aitken
August 4, 2022
Obituary submitted by Sherry Aitken.
Leatha Vada Aitken "Vada" went home to her Lord on July 19, 2022 in Juneau surrounded by family. Vada was born Nov. 12, 1931, to James Virgil and Maude Briscoe in Healdton, Oklahoma and grew up in nearby Fox. The farm life was not easy, but Vada had happy times especially with cousins Judy and JoAnn. Vada had two daughters with first husband George Vaughan, Vicki, born in California, and Sandi, born in Juneau. After divorcing, Vada met and married Alan Aitken who added three stepdaughters, Sherry, Sandra, and Melody.
Vada worked for banks in Haines and Wrangell before settling at the USFS in Juneau, retiring in 1990. Life after retiring had gardening, reading, indoor orchids, trips to OK & NY family, talking to her daughters every day and spending time with her beloved dogs Pepper, Molly, Hannah, and Maggie; all cockapoos, which she thought were the best dogs in the world.
She is survived by her loving husband of 45 years, Alan "Al" Aitken. Vada was a kind, smart-as-a-whip person with a southern woman's wit and subtle independence. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother that never met a cake she couldn't bake to perfection or a roast that didn't melt in your mouth.
Vada is also lovingly remembered by her daughters Vicki Vaughan and Sandi (Robert) Shaw of Juneau, step-daughters Sherry (Greg Knight) Aitken of Sitka, Sandra (Chris LaValle) Empson of Juneau and Melody Anhalt of Littleton, CO; seven grandchildren, Kyle Shaw of San Francisco, CA, Amanda (Guillermo Palma) Empson of Juneau, Alexandra (Michael Krahling) Aitken of Prince Fredrick, MD, Adam (Virginia Veltri) Empson of Philadelphia, PA, Julia Anhalt of Greenwood, SC, Lindsey Anhalt of Littleton, CO and Gabriel Knight of Oak Creek, CO; two great-grandchildren Sage and Makai of Juneau and Oklahoma nieces and nephew. She was predeceased by her parents, brother, Robert "Golden" Briscoe, and nephew Brett.
Other special people in Vada's life were Sarah McDaniel, Vicki's BFF from college who became another daughter to Vada and lifetime best friend, Bea Rounsley of Juneau.
Vada requested to be cremated. Ashes will be spread in a favorite Juneau place as well as Oklahoma and New York. Memorial Service in Juneau @ First Baptist Church 8/15/22 @ 4pm. Call (925) 326-7746 for Zoom link.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Vada's name to Juneau Animal Rescue or SE Alaska Food Bank.