We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Smith Funeral Home - Sunnyside
Mary Jane (Jenny)Hernandez Vela ascended into heaven, surrounded by her children. She was born on March 29, 1941 in Helena, Montana to Magdaleno and Altagracia Hernandez. Upon relocation, she was raised in Satus, Washington. Mary Jane eventually met and married Ruben Vela, of Edinburg, Texas. They moved around a bit, before settling in Grandview, Washington. She was a long-time attendant of Blessed Sacrament Church.
She was a hard worker. She worked in agriculture and was determined to work right along side the men. She wanted to prove that her father taught her well, she became the best hop truck driver. And for a while, she was the only woman driver. She also worked at DB’s restaurant and Ken’s store. All while raising all her kids on her own.
“Jenny” had many talents and hobbies, including arts and crafts, sewing, catering events, and co-raising many children. Her floral arrangements were beautiful, and the food she catered was well known and could be experienced at weddings and Quince’s across the valley.
Jenny loved to gather with loved ones! She cherished hanging out with her sisters and touring the casinos of Washington. She, of course, also loved spending quality time with her enormous tight knit family. Attending sporting events and collecting newspaper articles on her grandchildren’s achievements was a source of pride for her.
Mary Jane had a heart of gold, if she knew you then she treated you like her own. She was the mother and grandmother figure to so many, affectionately known as “Mrs. V”. She treated everyone with respect, understanding, and empathy. Our family will miss her dearly.
She was survived by her children: Maggie (Steve) Castro, Lupe (Fidel) Castro, Ruben Vela Jr, Victoria Tovar, Altagracia (Gracie) Montelongo, Aaron Vela Sr, Cyndi (Frank) Medina, Lisa Vela. Her 43 grandchildren, 73 great-grandchildren, and 3 great great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by: Son - James Paul Vela, Son in Law-Jesse Montelongo, Grandson - Joe Anthony Medina, Great, Granddaughter – Angel Sugar Castro, Parents - Magdaleno and Altagracia, and her 6 brothers & 5 sisters.
Viewing and visitation will be held Wednesday, July 27, 2022 from 4:00-8:00 P.M. with recitation of the Holy Rosary at 6:00 P.M. at the Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside, Washington. Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday, July 28, 2022 at 10:00 A.M. at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Grandview, Washington. Burial will follow at the Elmwood Cemetery in Toppenish, Washington. Those wishing to sign Mary's online memorial guest book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Home is in care of arrangements.