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Celia Ladine Casey Vittetoe, 93, passed away November 25, 2023 at Lake Stock Healthcare Facility after a short illness. She was born April 19, 1930 in Cedar County, Missouri to Creel Faye Casey and Celestia Fern (Marquis) Casey. Her parents, brother, and many beloved pets preceded Ladine in death.
Ladine is survived by her son L. Dean Vittetoe (grandsons Dylan and wife Emily, Cole and wife Casey with Elliot and Autumn); Gaila Ingram (grandson Andy Miller and wife Marla with Jorden and wife Morgan (Hadley and Logan), and Macy, Trenton, and Drew; granddaughter Casey Sims with Hayden and Holden; grandson Steven Dodd and wife Jessie) Arlinda Vittetoe (daughter from other mothers Mary Hill and Nikki Allison); and Falena Vittetoe-Moore and husband Butch (granddaughter Ashley Karr and husband Andrew Karr with Kashton); and adopted daughter Chelle Hillier Mott (Skylar Cheldon).
Growing up on a farm during the Great Depression, Ladine worked with father farming and learned confidence, independence and how to make something from nothing—all attributes that would serve her well. Her mother taught Ladine to sew on a Singer treadle machine and other needle crafts. Ladine embraced the 70’s crafts movement adding new skills and if something was needed for the home or family, Ladine made it. Her parents taught a can-do attitude, to never say can’t.
In 1975 she bought a house in Nevada, Missouri where she became an immediate neighborhood sensation roofing the house with her daughter Falena. house. Helen Armstrong’s husband and father-in-law would set up lawn chairs to watch them work. Mom did appreciate son-in-law Butch Miller’s assistance. She took a wood-working class so she could have new kitchen cabinets made in Brazilian hardwood. Her dad logged and milled wild cherry trees so she could make her furniture for her house—a coffee table, entertainment console, dough box, bookshelves. She learned to work a lathe and made walnut lamps (again from walnut trees the farm) and as a “because I always wanted one” she and Falena turned the posters and made a lovely four-poster bed from maple.
It wasn’t enough that she learned new crafts, she would gather others with like interests. She was a charter member of the quilting guild in Nevada and in retirement started the non-profit Vernon County Arts Council with her painting ladies. They opened a gallery in the Carnegie library building and had many art shows, juried contests and fundraising events. She was a member of the Nevada Chamber of Commerce.
Ladine graduated from El Dorado Springs High School in 1948. When faced with supporting four children ages 6 months to 9 years-old, Ladine went back to school in 1963 to become a registered nurse. She graduated from Kansas City’s Trinity Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing in 1966 and worked at Children’s Mercy hospital. She would do double shifts in Kansas City over three or four days and return to her children and parent’s farm in Cedar County for the rest of the week. She and the neighborhood helped start the Hazel Dell 4-H Club in 1966 in the one-room Hazel Dell school house. The schoolhouse needed a new roof, so Ladine and the neighbors built a roof of many colors from shingle remnants Ladine had procured from local builders.
When Ladine was 55, her life really picked up. She realized her dream by completing a degree from the International Academy of Fashion Merchandising and Design in Kansas City and opening her shop Ladine’s Designs (1986-1998). With her two employees and fellow students (Song and Regina) and industrial machines, she began her next career designing, manufacturing, dressmaking and tailoring. Ladine always appreciated exquisite fabrics. She took a completed garment from fabric that had come from Kaplan’s Fabrics on the Country Club Plaza down to the owners Alan Rubin and Steve Chaskelson. Alan and Steve designated Ladine as a primary dressmaker for their customers from that point forward. Kaplan’s fabric came from all over the world which has a symmetry since many of Ladine’s garments travelled all over the world—including a suit from Kaplan’s fabric worn to a tea in London with the royal family. Her shop turned out entire wedding ensembles, haute couture, Manuel-type western suits and fine tailoring. Working with this exquisite fabric at the top of her skills was a dream come true. It was fitting that when Kaplan closed their doors February 28, 2014, Ladine was able to visit Alan one last time. He made her a very good deal on a choice piece of fabric.
After closing her shop in 1998, Ladine opened a new chapter in her life, retiring to her home in Nevada. She refreshed all the flower beds, learned to paint so she could have new artwork in her home and started the art council and gallery with her painting ladies. She was so proud of her neighbors Sandy and Richard Burdick and the family they raised across the street from her. She and her neighbor Helen Armstrong had many adventures and were dragon women together righting the wrongs. During this time Ladine helped her neighbor gain custody of his three-year old daughter Jody. She baby-sat Jody for five years and was so proud of her for graduating from Crowder and then finished her undergraduate degree in Spain. Ladine was very fond of Rex Beirgo, Angie Reasoner and Candice Stone at Countryside Animal Hospital and the love they gave her beloved pets.
At 82 Ladine moved to Kansas City to be with her daughter Arlinda and later with Falena in Ashland, Missouri. Although Ladine enrolled in an elder care program, taking life by the horns she moved herself into Ashland Villa Assisted Living. In Ladine moved 2018 to the Lake Stockton Healthcare Facility. She loved her home at the facility and maintained her artwork, knitting, and reading. Her family appreciated the special care that Lake Stockton staff gave Ladine and their support during her end-of-life care.
From a distance when looking over a life well-lived, a thread begins to appear that grows to a steady theme. It weaves its pattern throughout the generations. With a heart of service, Ladine was an educator gifted by her ancestors with many loves, interests, and talents that she shared freely with others. She loved her family, always wanted her children around her and woe to any threat to those within her circle of care.
Ladine honored her parents and ancestors by embracing and developing those inherited gifts and then promoting them through her children and their children. Ladine inherited education and life-long learning from her mother, a one-room schoolteacher. She passed these gifts to Falena who pursued her paralegal degree to work in public service, Arlinda who taught 15 years at a Kansas City college, and to her grandson Cole who teaches art. Her father taught Ladine to always strive to improve and to develop morally and spiritually. With Ladine’s encouragement and support, her children and grandchildren have earned 10 college degrees and 2 professional certifications. The healing arts and service from her great grandfathers Drs. Hackleman and Marquis and manifested through Ladine’s nursing career. Arlinda and Dylan also are in healthcare with medical technology that focuses on patient safety. Ladine’s love of travel and independence was inherited from her Harley-Davidson riding Aunt Ethel Casey. All of Ladine’s children have embraced travel: Dean and his son Aaron travel for a living; Gaila built and supported highway systems; Arlinda, Andy, and Dylan travel for both work and leisure; Falena and Andy have travelled extensively to support their children’s activities; Ashley traveled to Italy with Fame’s show choir; and Steven and Jessie have traveled with his welding career. Aaron and Maud (Lusk) Casey’s love of music bloomed in Ladine who taught herself to play piano and to love classical music. The gift of music filters down through Dean’s and Dylan’s love of rock, Arlinda and Ashley’s degrees in music with Ashley performing at Carnegie Hall and Falena performance in community theater and singing in various country bands. Great grandson Holden plays guitar and works at the Gibson shop in Nashville. Aunt Jenny Hart’s artistic ability found a home in Ladine’s painting and many other creative arts. From this example, Andy developed a fine sense of home color and garden design. Three of Ladine’s offspring make their living in art—Casey who created and sold crafts and currently works as a floral designer, Ashley as a graphic design artist, Cole as an art teacher. Dean, Gaila, and Falena are also artistically inclined.
Ladine fully appreciated and embraced life while teaching others to live to their highest self. It is a rich legacy, and we will miss her dearly. Hmm, wonder what she and Helen will instigate next!
Memorial services will be held at 11:30 on Saturday, December 2, 2023 at Ferry Funeral Home in Nevada with Pastor Terry Mosher officiating. The family will receive friends from 10:30 -11:30 a.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.
Memorials are suggested in her memory to Children’s Mercy Hospital c/o Ferry Funeral Home.