Mamie Vest passes away, worked with Virginia GOP and Govs. Holton, Dalton, Allen

CookbooksBy Lynn R. Mitchell

It was with sadness that I learned Friday afternoon that Mamie Vest had passed away (see her obituary below). With her passing, a big part of Virginia’s Republican institutional knowledge is gone (see Roanoke advertiser, Republican activist Mamie Vest dies at 77 in the Roanoke Times). She was from a more tolerant era of our party’s history when Virginia was still under Democratic control but Republicans were finally successful in electing Governors Linwood Holton and John Dalton in the 1970s. Her mark was felt by her service to the party, as noted in her obituary:

She was appointed by Governor Linwood Holton to the Consumer Credit Study Commission; by Governor John Dalton to the Advisory Committee on Furnishing and Interpreting the Executive Mansion; and by Governor George Allen to the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Museum of Natural History. She served as Chairman of the Roanoke City Arts Commission and was an active member of the Roanoke City Sigh Ordinance Committee. She also served as the Roanoke Valley Coordinator for the Virginia Bicentennial Commission.

During the 1970’s ’80s and 90s , she created and directed advertising for over 80 local, state and federal Republican political campaigns. She received the American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award in Roanoke for contributions to the industry and community, the first woman to receive the honor in Virginia.

I got to know Mamie through Molly Koon through Facebook. We had similar political philosophies and she would often give a “thumbs-up” on my Facebook posts including something I posted earlier this week, so hearing of her death was a shock.

It reminded of a post I wrote last year about my “Dining with the Daltons” cookbook and discovering a recipe in there from Mrs. Vest (see “Dining with the Daltons” and “Virginia Hospitality” still favorites at my house). I wrote about my personally-autographed copy of Mrs. Dalton’s cookbook and added:

There’s even a recipe from Mamie Vest for “Mamie’s Walnut Pumpkin Pie” with the added note from Mrs. Dalton, “Mamie Vest has won prizes with her recipes. She has worked on most of John’s campaigns.” I didn’t know Mrs. Vest in those days when I was fresh out of high school and working in Richmond but these days she and I are Facebook friends which proves it certainly is a small world.
I posted a link to the blog post on Facebook which prompted a response from Mrs. Vest. With her permission, I amended my original post and added the historical background info she had provided. This is what she wrote:

“Thanks, Lynn. I worked with Eddy to design and produce two Dining with the Daltons cookbooks; the first (black cover) while Dalton was governor and the second (red cover) after he left office. The second one included many photos of events at the Mansion and recipes from those who enjoyed the first cookbook. Collector items now!

“Those cookbooks were major projects. The idea was born when I produced a small cookbook with Eddy’s recipes for a campaign handout. Best I remember, I had 100,000 printed. At several events, we used recipes (such as the wonderful shrimp dip) at receptions. Eddy was a wonderful cook back then — had to be with four children!”

Mrs. Vest’s photos of her farmhouse and beautiful flowers in Floyd, her little piece of paradise, graced her Facebook page throughout the years with the rolling hills and mountains of southwestern Virginia showcased for all to see.

So today it is with sadness that I remember Mrs. Vest and yet feel a sense of gratitude for all she did throughout the years to help a floundering and struggling young Virginia GOP gain a foothold in the early years, and make history with GOP governors named Holton and Dalton. Rest in peace, and thank you.

Obituary for Mrs. Mamie Phillips Vest

Mamie Phillips Vest of Floyd and Roanoke entered into eternal rest Tuesday, November 17, 2015. A native of Floyd County, she was born August 9, 1938, the youngest child of the late Deputy Sheriff William Lewis Phillips and Cordova Quesenberry Phillips. She was preceded indeath by her brother, William Morris Phillips and wife, Freeda; a sister, Clarah Vae Phillips; brother-in-law, Elwood Mabry, and infant brother and beloved great nephew, David Schlosser.

Left to honor her memory are her best friend and husband of 56 years, Earl Stewart Vest. She is survived by a great love of her life, granddaughter, Sedona Marguerite Hanks who brought much joy and pride. Surviving are sister and brother-in-law, George and Ruth Heafner of Greensboro, N.C., Helen Mabry of Cherryville, N.C.; sister-in-law, Barbara Vest of Maryland. Also surviving are nieces, Rebecca Heafner Schlosser (Michael) of Greensboro, N.C. and Cathy Mabry Clonninger (Alan), of Dallas, N.C.; nephews, Douglas Mabry (Tami) of Cherryville N.C., Michael Phillips (Barbara), of Christiansburg, Stephen Phillips (Patricia), of Christiansburg, Terry Phillips (Wanda), of Eggleston and Jeffrey Phillips, (Jill), of Christiansburg. Also surviving are many great nieces, great-nephews and cousins.

Mamie enjoyed a long and vibrant career in advertising/design/ public relations in Roanoke. Her art career was launched with an internship at Delmar Studios in Charlotte. Returning to the area to marry the love of her life, she worked as a graphic artist for Roanoke Engraving followed by employment as Director of Art Services at Brand Edmonds Advertising. At age 28, she established her independent business, Mamie Vest Associates. In addition to her agency work, she served for several years as a legislative aide in both the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates.

She was appointed by Governor Linwood Holton to the Consumer Credit Study Commission; by Governor John Dalton to the Advisory Committee on Furnishing and Interpreting the Executive Mansion; and by Governor George Allen to the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Museum of Natural History. She served as Chairman of the Roanoke City Arts Commission and was an active member of the Roanoke City Sigh Ordinance Committee. She also served as the Roanoke Valley Coordinator for the Virginia Bicentennial Commission.

During the 1970’s ’80s and 90s , she created and directed advertising for over 80 local, state and federal Republican political campaigns. She received the American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award in Roanoke for contributions to the industry and community, the first woman to receive the honor in Virginia.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at Maberry Funeral Home in Floyd at 2 p.m., Sunday, November 22, 2015, followed by interment at Jacksonville Cemetery. Family will receive friends from noon to 2 p.m. prior to the service. Mamie requested that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the Floyd County Rescue Squad, PO Box 257, Floyd, VA. 24091 or a charity offering aid to those in need. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven; A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

LynnRMitchell.com

Virginia politics and more

%d bloggers like this: