Though this month’s Savvy Senior resides in Lewiston, Wendy Teed still has a strong tie with many who live here. I run across the last name of Teed fairly frequently. Most recently on the plaque librarians found which dedicated the Clearwater Memorial Public Library to area servicemen who had lost their lives during World War II, between the years 1939 and 1945. Seymour Teed was among those who never returned home. I asked Wendy how they were related
Wendy Teed lives in Lewiston and has been my mother’s neighbor for many years. This interview gave me the opportunity to know her better and to better appreciate all that she does.
Even though she lives in Lewiston I was amazed at all the people she knew. She also had listened carefully to the oral history of her parents and can share a bit about their lives.
It all began in Weippe
Wendy’s roots begin in Weippe, and she shares that Seymour Teed was her uncle, her father’s brother. World War II took all of the Teed brothers.
Seymour Teed drove a tank. He was killed in Italy and is buried in a very nice cemetery in Florence, Italy.
Leo Teed worked inside the planes.
Wendy’s father, Ralph Sanford Teed, Jr., and known as “Sam,” worked with radio communication and repairs. He was stationed in Florida, preparing to go overseas when the war ended.
Wendy shares that her Uncle Lyle Hunt, on her mother’s side, who served in the Navy, was fortunate to get in the last lifeboat off his ship before it sank somewhere off the coast of France.
“Dad returned to Weippe, worked in the woods and saw mills. A few years before Wendy was born, her parents lived in Kamiah and her Dad ran a service station. She wasn’t sure how long they had lived there before the family moved back to Weippe.
Sam was born in 1918, in his Granny Teed’s log cabin on the Weippe prairie. He had two brothers, Seymour and Leo, and two sisters, Blanche and Loretta.
Wendy’s paternal grandparents were Ralph Sanford Teed Sr. and Grace D. Snyder who were married in 1917. Wendy knew that her Grandma Snyder was born in West Virginia, and came to Idaho when she was about nine months old (1900-1901).
Wendy’s mother, Rosemary May Hunt was a daughter of Lemuel and Rose Hunt. Rosemary was born in 1920 in Moscow. ID. They moved to Weippe when she was 10 years old. They lived on the breaks of Lolo Canyon.
Rosemary went to several one room schools. The last one was the OK School on Three Mile Road. She either walked or rode a horse, though she didn’t like horses.
Sometimes Rosemary’s father would take her to school on a sleigh in the wintertime. She had to walk into town for high school.
Rosemary had a brother, Lyle, who was six years younger than herself. She would have to stay in town with him during the winter. She also had a sister, Joan, who was about 10 years younger. The family attended many house parties. There was music, food and cards.
Wendy’s mom and dad met at the OK School and other school and social functions. They were married June 10, 1937. Rosemary was 17 years old. She didn’t attend school her senior year as she was pregnant. She would bear eight children over the next 21 years. Wendy was the seventh child.
Rose Lorraine was the first of eight children and was born in 1938. Rose was married to Elwin Hutchins; Milo Sanford was born in 1939 and married Shirley Carr; Boyd Preston was born in 1940 and married Faye Gangewer; Laurinda Anne was born in 1943 and married Duane Wise; Monty Lee was born in 1950 and married Marla Snyder; Leonard Tracy arrived in 1952; Wendy Luane in 1956; Tammy Kim was the eighth child born in 1959, and was married to Monte Wells.
Sam and Rosemary’s family just kept growing. Wendy counts: She has 14 nieces and nephews with one lost in 1985. There are 20 great nieces and nephews and 20 great-great nieces and nephews.
Wendy’s father died in 1965, and was living at Winchester at the time. He worked at the Idaho sawmill until it closed. Then he became a carpenter, first building on the shopping center. He was able to return to Weippe and assist in building the Jaype mill. He suffered a fatal heart attack at work on July 15, 1965.
Wendy’s mother had four children at home yet. They moved back to Weippe to be closer to the adult children. Wendy said it has hard for her, but she persevered. All of the children graduated!
Wendy graduated in May of 1974. In the fall, she moved to Lewiston to attend Mr. Nick’s Beauty School. She stayed with her grandparents on her mother’s side, Hunt.
In September the following year, Wendy graduated from beauty school.
She first worked for JoAnn Kingsley at The Zip Beauty Salon. Wendy worked for her for 10 years, before taking the business over in 1985 and renaming the shop A-1 Zip Styling Salon.
Wendy had owned the shop for 26 years before merging with Linda Wakefield and Laurie Steiger. That’s when the shop was renamed The Look Salon.
Wendy does the math and tells me she has worked at the same shop just off of Thain in Lewiston for 43 years, and she’s not done yet!
Wendy’s mom moved to Lewiston from Weippe in 1976, to help care for her parents. Rosemary went to work at the Blue Ribbon Laundry Supply.
They bought a mobile home in 1979 and “we moved my grandparents in with us,” remembers Wendy, “Grandpa Hunt passed two months later. Mom and I took care of Grandma for five more years. Mom retired at the age of 63, to stay home with her mom.”
Wendy’s and her mother lived together until Rosemary was 89 years old. When Wendy was no longer able to care for her day and night, Rosemary lived at a nursing home the last nine months of her life, before passing June 29, 2010, at the age of 90.
“My heart was truly broken,” shares Wendy.
Wendy explains that her eldest niece is nine months younger than herself. Her youngest niece, Leah, is 37 years old. Wendy and Leah are very close.
“Leah is a very special little person! She was born with Cerebral Palsy. She is tiny. She had surgery when she was 12 years old at Shriners Hospital in Spokane. It was the first time her feet touched the floor! She uses a special walker, and she has a fantastic wheelchair, enabling her to compete in the Special Olympics wheel chair racing event. She is a very busy person. Sometimes,” Wendy teases, “I have to make an appointment just to see her!”
On Sundays, Wendy and Leah enjoy going to church together, followed by going out to eat and sometimes, shopping or to the movies.
“She says she is happy and wants to know if you are happy, too. She is very loving, caring and a prayer warrior. Leah can say some words and uses sign language. Her special name for Wendy is “Waga.”
“Anything that is mine is hers too,” says Wendy, “Especially my car, she always wants the keys.”
Wendy is a member of Orchards Community Church, small group and helps with the Awana youth program. She has attended for the past 32 years. “I have a church family that is fantastic. Gary and Kathryn Anderson are the best friends you could imagine! He always tells me I am family!
Every Memorial Day, Wendy goes to decorate the graves of Grandma and Grandpa Hunt and Grandma Teed-Dresher (Thomas Dresher was her second husband) at the Memorial Gardens in Lewiston, then she drives up to Weippe to decorate the many graves on the hill. “It is very important,” shares Wendy, “that I carry on this tradition.”
“Lorraine, Milo, Preston, Monty and Tracy have all passed away. Only Laurinda, Tammy and I are left. It feels very odd to go from a large family, to just us girls. I really miss them.
Looking after others
I love working with the elderly people, you can learn so much from them. Many of her customers are elderly and Wendy has actually gone to pick them up, fix their hair and take them back home. She goes to Royal Plaza Nursing Home, plays Bingo and reads Bible Stories with the residents. One of the ladies tries to have a root beer float waiting for her when she visits.
“I have a special neighbor, Sandra Davis. We talk every day and I help her at times. I have a cat named Mickie and she has a cat named Pipsqueak. When they first met, they sniffed nose to nose, and as he turned his back on her, she swatted him on the “hiney”. To this day, Pip rules over Mickie and is half his size.”
Wendy frequently goes for a drive out to Tammany Creek Rd. to watch the mama cows with their new calves, and the sheep and new lambs. Sandra or Leah often accompany her.
“She is so good to me,” shares neighbor, Sandra. We go to watch the sunsets, she loves watching the sun set. We’ll just find an empty parking lot, have a picnic, and sit there until the sun goes down. She practices her faith on a daily basis.”
Wendy also has a green thumb. She has many roses and various types of flowers in her yard and in flower pots.
“I have a crazy red clematis, which is really hardy and blooms until it frosts. I have three Christmas cactuses, and two blooming orchids. Some kind of vine tries to take over my kitchen and I just give it a whack when it is out of control.
“I have no regrets or a bucket list,” adds Wendy, “My faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the best one can have.”
Wendy lives alone and her days are filled with work and service. There has never been the fanfare or the recognition she so deserves. I believe that it is people like Wendy who make the world go round.
For the past 11 years, Wendy has been my mother’s neighbor. My mom and Wendy’s mom, Rosemary were steadfast companions and would visit with each other daily, while Wendy worked until Rosemary’s health declined.
When Rosemary passed, Wendy and my mom became closer in her absence.
As years have passed, my mother’s health has presented bigger challenges and limitations. Wendy has always been there without fail, to take mom to doctor appointments, pick up her prescriptions, take her shopping. As my mother is blind and battles Parkinson’s, getting around isn’t easy.
Wendy has the heart and patience of a saint, On behalf of my mom and my family, we so appreciate you, Wendy, and all that you do.