Della was in born in York, Nebraska February 27, 1924, to Harvey and Louise Jenkins.
Harvey met Louise Pavard while stationed in France during WW1, they married, and Harvey brought sweet Louise home to the United States. They had three daughters, Della being the youngest.
Harvey a carpenter by trade, was also an avid horseman and made sure his daughters loved to ride. The outdoors and animals were an important part of life. Louise encouraged gardening, canning, beautiful stitch work and sewing. All three girls had lovely voices and were encouraged to sing and perform at local events.
The family moved a lot for Harvey’s work, at one point moving to Harbor City, CA. Della met Wally Laflamme at the local high school. Took Wally a bit to ask beautiful Della for a date, but he eventually asked, and they ended up falling in love.
Wally was drafted into WW11, and they married before Wally was sent overseas. Della worked in the shipyards during the war and was a card-carrying member of the carpenters union - she was very proud of her service to the war effort...
After the war Wally became an LA County fireman, they settled down and had two children Kim and Christy. Eventually, they moved the family from the coast to the high desert and daughter Laura was born.
Della stayed home to raise the kids; she was an incredible mother. Her love of animals was passed on to the kids - horses, dogs, cats, sheep, pigeons, baby skunks, ravens, snakes. Laura would always bring home wounded wildlife, because mom could always make them better.
She was an excellent cook, baker, and amazing seamstress – making all Christy’s formal dresses for proms and dances. She loved to garden and can, kept track of all the finances. She was so patient when Wally would decide to design and build a new house, packing up everything, move into a rental, then eventually packing it up once again to move to the new house.
They moved to Malibu to pursue Wally’s love of sailing – often sailing to Catalina to see daughter’s Christy and Laura.
Wally retired and they purchased a beautiful piece of property in southern Oregon – Wally built a house and at Christy’s suggestion, built an art room for Della’s painting and crafts. They raised cattle for a couple of years. Kim moved to the property, and they began raising and training Peruvian Paso horses, eventually planting 40 acres of wine grapes. Della keeping the books for it all until she was 92.
Harvey had raised Della to be somewhat of a tomboy. Laura was quite impressed when a rattlesnake threatened Kim’s pigeon coop one day, Della brought out the shotgun and shot like pro. She helped Wally and Kim wrangle cows and horses in Oregon, climbing ladders at 92 to pick fruit from the fruit trees. Kim bought her a little jazzie bike in her nineties and she tooted around the yard like nobody’s business.
She loved her grandkids dearly – Alaisha, Ashley, Nick, James and Jeff. Many very special times were had visiting Grandpa and Grandma at the ranch.
She had wonderful care in her later years, she and Wally’s friend Roma helping her garden and rallying her every step of the way.
She was such an inspiration, Della lived a full, amazing life – to continue… with Wally and Christy in heaven.
Love you so very much.