Vicki Sue Van Bemmel (née Scott)

September 9, 1948 – October 24, 2015

Vicki Van Bemmel, of Kirkland, Washington passed away on October 24th following complications from an illness.

Vicki was born in Santa Barbara, California in 1948 but was raised in Kailua, Hawaii from the age of 2. She was one of two daughters of Theodore and Margaret Scott. Vicki attended the local Kailua schools, graduating from Kailua high school in 1966. Vicki was a local girl who embodied all things Hawaiian.

After high school Vicki worked for the Reservations department of Hawaiian Airlines in Honolulu until her marriage to her husband Chris in 1984. She loved music and theatre and was active in the Kailua High School Select Chorus and in the local Windward Theatre Guild. Vicki could sing Hawaiian and other music in perfect harmony, always with a smile.

Vicki met her future husband in 1981 on a flight from Portland to Honolulu, when she asked about, with her usual outgoing personality, his photos of Mt. St. Helens erupting. She married in 1984 after Chris completed his graduate studies and moved to Beaverton, Oregon, where her son, Rhys, was born. Vicki then moved to Kirkland, Washington when Chris took a job at Boeing. She continued to work in travel while their son was growing up. She remained active in the local chapter of her Sorority. Vicki loved to travel, visiting Samoa, Australia, Europe, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Turkey, and New Zealand.

Vicki will be remembered for her thoughtfulness and true spirit of Aloha, her dignity and honesty. She was always kind and considerate of others with a warm heart. She was a true and loyal friend to many. Vicki was faithful wife to Christopher van Bemmel for 31 years. She leaves her husband Chris, son Rhys, and sister Sherry. She will be sorely missed by all.

11 Responses to “Vicki Sue Van Bemmel (née Scott)”

  • Sara Ballard says:

    Vicki Sue has been a cherished friend of mine since 1977 when I started to work at Hawaiian Airlines. I loved her dearly and there is an empty spot in my heart. Welina me ke aloha.

  • Patti and John Peterson says:

    John and I are sending our thoughts and condolences at the passing of Vicki. We shared so many cold, hard benches at Peter Kirk for the boys baseball games as well as sidelines during soccer games. I will remember Vicki’s laugh, sense of humor, and joyful presence. Thinking of your family, Chris, and offering prayers,
    The Peterson family
    Patti, John, Rob and Lydia

  • Rhys says:

    Below is what I shared this past friday at my mom’s memorial service. I plan to add more as I get the chance to write more memories down in the coming weeks.

    Hello everyone, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Vicki’s son, Rhys. I want to thank you all for coming today to share your respects for my mom. And I also want to thank those of you who have reached out to me and my dad in the past couple weeks to offer your condolences and share your fond memories and thoughts about my mom. It means a lot to us that you’ve come today and I know my mom would have appreciated your presence here as well.
    It goes without saying that these last few weeks have been very difficult for my dad and me. But I think I speak for us both when I say that the stories you all have shared with us, and those you’ll share today are a real source of comfort as we grieve her passing.
    Any of us who have lost a loved one know that this is a very difficult time, and that it often brings to mind big questions. Questions about the meaning of life – and the finality of death.
    For my part I don’t find it helpful to dwell on such topics. I can’t reconcile with the pain of a loss like this by trying to stitch together a grand vision of the meaning of life. My mom is gone and I wish she wasn’t…but she is. I had hoped for the chance to share more memories with her. I wanted her have the chance to be a grandmother. I wanted her be there when I finally graduate from grad school. Instead it will have to be enough for me to cherish the time we did to get spend together.
    I see a lot of people here today; family, and friends, and old neighbors; some of you I’ve known for a very long time, and some I’ve just met. Some of you knew my mom for just a short time and some knew her for longer than I’ve been alive. But my mother loved people. And I know she loved everyone here.
    No matter how long your relationship was with her, I know that she had a special place in her heart for each of you. I can feel her love with me still, and I’ll continue to carry it with me and as a source of comfort and strength. My mother had a very big heart and I hope that you all can feel her love today as well, and that it will be a source of comfort for you as it is for me.
    Today is about sharing that special relationship each of us had with her. It’s about remembering my mom, the woman she was and the special place she held in each of our lives. Today is about bringing her back to life through our words, sharing what she meant to us and trying to capture her essence in our stories.
    She was many things to each of us here; a devoted wife, a loving sister, an aunt, and a loyal friend. For me she was a mother, an endlessly supportive and understanding mom. And I was her son. Her favorite son. Her favorite child, really. But I had no competition, and by that I mean that our family was small. Just my mom, dad and me.
    As a result our relationship felt very close as I was growing up. I’d like to share with you all a few memories from that time have been a comfort to me in the days since her death; memories about her generous nature, her dry sense of humor and surprisingly quick wit, her open and friendly attitude, and the foibles that made her the person she was to me. There a more memories than I have time to share with you today, so I have just picked a couple of my favorites.
    I can remember as a child she used to wake me up in the morning for school singing , “it’s time to get up, it’s time to get up, it’s time to get up in the morning.” It was a hell of a lot nicer of a way to get up than the iphone alarm tone I struggle with now.
    She loved to sing, was active in the local theater in Hawaii where she grew up. I didn’t share her taste in music too much; man did she love soft rock, celine dion, seal, air supply, you get the idea, but I do share her love of music. I’ve also been listening to seal’s kissed by a rose on repeat the last two weeks because she loved that sappy song and it reminds me of being a child in the passenger seat of her car, with warm 106.9 blasing on the radio.
    In 2001 our family took a vacation to New Zealand. I can remember one evening as we were walking from our rental car across the parking lot to our hotel room we crossed paths with a large Samoan man with a ukulele. I don’t know how the conversation started, but soon my mom and this man, a complete stranger we singing Hawaiian folk songs together in that parking lot. Even at the time I knew it was a special momement, and for me it perfectly encapsulates her friendly, open, Hawaiian nature.
    My mom was an open book, and as a result people felt right at home with her. It’s the funny stories that best encapsulate her in mind. The times she she said something goofey or unexpected and we all had a good laugh. On another family vaction we took to Turkey, about half way through the trip I became very sick and threw up all over the front stoop of the bed and breakfast we were staying at. After the owner had finished hosing down the stairs, my mom turned to him to praise his work and said in Turkish “yoke guzell”, which isn’t a phrase in Turkish at all, but literally translated, means “no good”, or “not pretty”. In the context she may as well have said, you did a crapy job. The owner looked at her a with a funny look, but he know that she meant. She was trying to “choke guzell”, which means “beautiful”. We all had a good laugh. She wasn’t embarrased in the least and was moments like that; times where her friendly attitutude and open demonor served to bring her, and me closer to the people around us are what I’ll remember most. She was great role model for how to be a kind a person, and though I’m far from perfect, I like to think that I share her patience and kind heartedness. That I learned it form seeing so many interactions that like one on the stoop in Turkey.
    My mom was so nice, in fact, that she never seemed to grasp the simple pleasures of being upset. As a teenager, when I was at the peak of my juvenile obnoxiousness I did manage on a couple of occasions to provoke her enough to call me a “little shit” , usually she was joking though. She also once unirronically called me “a son of a bitch” after I had been doing something particularly annoying that I can’t recall anymore. I think I probably deserved much worse, but that was not my mom’s M.O. My mom was mostly incapable projecting anger. I used to make fun of her road rage when I was younger. Anytime a driver would cut her off she would either say nothing, or if it was a really bad offense she’d let out the J-word. “What a Jerk!” That’ll show ’em, mom. Good thing you had your windows up, otherwise they might of heard you.
    That was really her beauty. Noone’s that nice, but she was. It’s what I’ll miss about her most, and what I admire the most. That she could always make people feel welcome and comfortable. All the little things, like the way she loved to describe her favorite commercials to anyone who would listen or how she insisted on buying mother’s day gifts for all the nurses who were taking care of her at the adult family where she spent the last year of her life. It wasn’t long after arriving there that she was making friends.
    I miss her. I still can’t really believe that she’s gone. But I cherish these memories. There’s a line from Star Trek, the wrath of Kahn about the death of Spok that sticks in my head. “He’s not really dead as long as we remember him.” My mom didn’t care in slightest about Star Trek, but the quote holds meaning for me nonetheless. I would take it a step futher and say that my mom is still with us if we can try to find to bring to the world the things we loved about her. For me that means trying to be a friendly and welcoming person. To share a warmth and love with the people around me. In so doing I will feel that she is still with me.

    Thank you all again for coming and for listening. I want to invite anyone else up front who would like to share their memories about my mom.

  • Marilyn Shaw says:

    Vicki was a dear friend and Beta Sigma Phi sister for over 30 years. I will miss her warmth and wonderful smile. She was a good sport in anything we did and volunteered at the drop of a hat to do just about any job. She was a cherished member and friend and will be sorely missed by all of us.

  • Barbara Gilbert says:

    I was stricken with this news of Vicki’s passing. We have been constant long time friends from Kailua, I graduated a year behind her. My heart is broken once again in these last few years for I have lost a husband if 42 years, a mother and now Vicki. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. What a beautiful woman Vicki was. I get a fond Aloha as she takes on a new adventure in the heavens.

  • FRANK PHILLIPS says:

    Vicki was my sis in law for 5 years but will never be forgotten

  • Sally (Davis) Gile says:

    I met Vicki back in high school and graduated in 1966 with her. We hung out in a small group, listening faithfully to the Beatles and the Beachboys and having many wonderful times.I will always remember Vicki for her lovely smile and laughter and her sweet nature. She was a true friend.
    My heartfelt condolences to Vicki’s family and friends. She will truly be missed.

  • Jenny Mahoney (nee Holway) says:

    I was so sorry to read about Vicki’s passing, but just reading about her here has brought back so many wonderful memories. She was part of our high school “crew” growing up in Hawaii. What a happy time that was! There was never any of the meanness or “cliquishness” that you hear so much about today. Vicki was too nice a person to hang out with a group like that! I remember driving around the island, listening to the hits on KPOI and singing along at the top of our lungs. We had such fun and I will always remember those days with Vicki and our other friends with great fondness.

  • Jana Simpson says:

    I know this is very belated, but I am so sorry to hear of her passing. She was one of my favorite bosses.
    RIP my friend! Hugs

  • Kelli Seals says:

    A very belated message, but I worked with Vicki at US Travel for several years. We were very close. Rhys, you spent the night with my boys once when you were very young, 6 maybe?! You didn’t want anything for dinner but a peanut butter sandwich! 🙂
    I think about Vicki often and was out of state when I heard the news. She was by far one of the kindest woman I have ever met! It was a pleasure and a privilege to have her in my life.
    Today I was thinking of her and the fond memories of our travels and work and came across this memorial.

    Hugs to Chris, Rhys & everyone that she loved.

    Aloha

  • Charles “Kip” Kippen says:

    Hi Chris and Rhys,
    Please accept my extremely belated condolences. We have never met, but I worked with Vicki at Hawaiian Air prior to moving to moving to the Bay Area in 1984. I was doing a “people search” and learned of Vicki’s passing. Vicki was one of the nicest people I knew – gracious, friendly, good sense of humor, kind.
    She was a wonderful person – and it was my privilege to know her.
    Aloha,
    Charles “Kip” Kippen

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