In memory of

Nancy Jo Gaudette

Jan 9, 1950
May 30, 2023

Obituary

Life Memories of Nancy Jo (Gaudette) Criswell 1/09/1950-5/30/2023

AKA Lita, short for Abuelita. Meaning “little grandma” in Spanish. This is what we called Nancy for 31 years.  

From her Daughter, Tami Jo Alvarado                        

Nancy Jo (Gaudette) Criswell was born in Ashland Wisconsin, January 9th 1950 to James and Betty (Reynolds) Criswell. Nancy graduated from Montesano High School in 1968 in Montesano, WA. During high school she got honored with 5 extra curriculum awards, 2 being honor roll and perfect attendance. She attended college in Pullman Washington for a period of time. Moved to Oregon with her two children around 1978 and attended Portland State University. In 1996 Nancy relocated to Washington and received her Bachelor's Degree in Arts of Social Science at Washington State University, in 2000. Located in Vancouver, WA.

She met and married Dale Robert Fenton and they welcomed two children. Tami Jo Fenton born 12/21/1973 and Sean Robert Fenton 1/24/1975. Both children were born in Renton, Washington. She and Dale divorced in 1976. 

She loved both her children very much. She was kind, and loving. She was friendly and could talk with anyone easily. She would help a stranger out in need when possible. She was a giver when able. She sure could be a feisty little one and stubborn. She was independent and strong willed. Strong till the end. Nancy was very smart and loved talking with others. She was an avid reader and a constant learner. She could help you spell any word. She amazed me by writing the entire Bible on paper. She wrote every morning while she drank her coffee and saved every sheet of paper! She gave Tami a new word to keep in her memory bank during the last hospitalization. We even joked about it. Neither of us knew, it would be her last. Just to mention how she was. Oh, she could be a character. She could be so fun.

Nancy enjoyed the beach a lot, dancing, bingo and bowling! She was on several bowling teams when she was younger. She loved being outside. Her favorite flower was a Rose and runner up I would say was a Hyacinth. She enjoyed the smell of both. Her favorite plant was a Shamrock. Oh she loved how the leaves closed in the evening and opened at daylight. She also liked Orchids or she'd be happy with any greenery. She was so easily happy with anything. The simple things was all it took to give her a smile. How I'm going to miss that and to be able to spoil her. She crocheted many blankets and made doilies. She made hand-made ornaments. Cross-stitch was one hobby she absolutely loved. She would spend hours upon hours doing it. Amazing and beautiful work. She made Christmas stockings, decorative baby blankets and more. Including a beautiful pillow and many wall hangings. A Catholic church wanted to purchase one of her creations. She showed family members who wanted to know how. Nancy was a perfectionist when it came to her hobbies. Her children, grandchildren have either done or learned how to do one of her hobbies. Nancy had a strong belief in her faith.

Favorite holiday was Christmas. She enjoyed everything it meant. She enjoyed going for drives and seeing Christmas lights. She loved when it snowed. She enjoyed going for drives with her daughter and getting a cup of Joe(coffee).

She enjoyed watching her brother Robert, race (#2 Mustang) in the summers. That was a family thing we did when we visited all our family. That was always fun. Nancy also enjoyed NASCAR. She went to the Olympics in 1984.

Tami shared: “I loved my mother dearly.  I loved her with everything I had. She was my everything. We were extremely close. I was there for her. We had so many memories together. I was there whenever she needed me.  I knew I could talk to her about things, I couldn't with anyone else. I advocated the best I could for her. I'll miss you forever mom.  I loved you so, so much. That love will continue. That beautiful smile will be embraced in my mind forever. Your daughter, always and forever.”

Nancy Jo Criswell went to be with her Lord Jesus Christ May 30, 2023.

Nancy Jo was preceded in death by her parents; James and Betty Criswell, her brothers; Ralph, Richard and Roger Criswell.

She is survived by her brother, Robert Criswell, her children; Tami Jo Alvarado (Fenton) and Sean Robert Fenton, Grandchildren; Amairali (Maira), Mariana, Michael and Casandra, Great Grandchild; Maliyah.

The Footprints Prayer

One night I had a dream…

I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and
Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life, There was only one set of footprints.

I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life
This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
You would walk with me all the way;
But I have noticed that during the
most troublesome times in my life,
There is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why in times when I
needed you the most, you should leave me.

The Lord replied, “My precious, precious
child. I love you, and I would never,
never leave you during your times of
trial and suffering.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.

Messages of Sympathy

  1. Sharon Simmelink Slothower says:

    Thankyou Tami for writing these things about Nancy. . . We met as freshmen in high school and remained friends to our being great-grandparents . . She never forgot my birthday and always reminded me she was (2 months) older . . I look forward to seeing her in Heaven some day, and I’m sure she’ll remind me who got there first !

  2. Mariana says:

    My daughter will always have memories of her Gigi ( Great Grandmother) in pictures. My grandma was a warrior, a soft soul, but very stubborn. We love and miss her everyday.

  3. Athens Crass Hume says:

    Nancy was a sweet, wonderful person and she will always be missed.

  4. Bob Randall. says:

    So very sorry for your loss. A family friend,

  5. Kittie St Claire says:

    She was a wonderful lady!

  6. Johnson Funeral Home Staff says:

    Thank you for trusting Johnson Funeral Home.

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