ValRae Evangaline Granlund Taft, 83 years old, a resident of Hermiston, Oregon, passed away on August 27, 2015, at Regency Care Center. She was born August 26, 1932, in Milnor, N.D., and grew up on the family farm in De Lamere, N.D. She was the eldest of six children, four brothers and one sister.

She graduated high school and went to Valey Teachers College, where she met her soon-to-be husband, Kenneth L. Taft. She and Ken were married on December 23, 1951. They moved to Terry, Mont., in 1952 where all four of their sons were born. In 1957 they moved to Fessenden, N.D., and from there in 1960 they moved to Umatilla, Ore.

Val decided to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher and as soon as her boys were old enough, she enrolled at Eastern Oregon State College where she graduated with honors in 1970 and went on to teach in Hermiston and Echo school districts until her retirement in 2005. Retirement did not suit her energetic personality, and still wanting to teach, she began her second career as a substitute teacher. In 2009 she thought she would give retirement another try but realizing she still wasn’t ready (again) and knowing she still had much to give, she volunteered as a teacher’s aide at Umatilla High School until 2013, when she decided she was finally ready to retire.

She is survived by her four sons, James (Debbie), Richard (Kathy), Robert and Ronald (Laurie); 12 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; brothers Royce and Hamilton and her beloved nieces.

She was predeceased by her husband Kenneth, brothers Walter and Ronald, sister Sharon and grandson Joseph.

At her request, there will not be a service.

She loved her students and enjoyed teaching. Always teaching, she wanted to make sure that we remembered that “the right side of the brain is the female and the left side is the male. And that is why the female is always right.”

We love you, Mom, and will miss you always.

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