She was born December 14, 1914 at the family homestead in the Nehalem Valley near Birkenfeld, Oregon, to Andrew and Mary Nordstrom.
Spending her childhood on the family dairy farm, Big Bend, she was the youngest of four children.
Following graduation from Winema High School she moved to Corvallis and graduated from Oregon State College (now Oregon State University) with a degree in Home Economics Education.
Her first teaching experience was in Heppner, Oregon, where she met her future husband, Alfred Eugene Van Winkle.
She also taught in LaGrande, Oregon and Doris, California.
Cecilia and Alfred were married May 23, 1944 in Stockton, California.
During WWII while Alfred was deployed in the Philippine Islands, Okinawa and Guam, Cecilia was employed as a Home Demonstration Agent for several Oregon counties.
In addition to serving the communities with War Conservation Efforts, she had a weekly radio program and newspaper column advising homemakers living with food and other product restrictions brought by the war.
When Alfred returned from the war and completed his master’s degree at Oregon State, his job brought them to Spokane in 1950.
Spokane has been home for 65 years, during which time Cecilia became the mother of five daughters and a son.
As a mother, Cecilia was active in all her children’s activities, including school, church, PTA, Camp Fire, Scouting, and American Field Service for International Students.
A 4-H leader for over 45 years, she mentored hundreds of youth.
One favorite 4-H project was growing fair quality dahlias.
Other community activities included Homemakers Association, Compass Club, regional coordinator and driver for Meals on Wheels, as well as being an active member of St. Charles Catholic Church and Altar Society.
Cecilia enjoyed and excelled in quality sewing, quilting, cooking, canning, and gardening.
Cecilia had a kind gentle nature, a strong work ethic, gave of herself, and found the good in others.
After Alfred’s retirement from Spokane Bank for Cooperatives, Cecilia traveled with him and supported his efforts to help farmers with agricultural programs in Costa Rica, Uganda, Zambia, and the Philippine Islands.
Cecilia enjoyed travelling with her husband in their RV to visit interesting places, family and friends.
Cecilia is survived by Alfred, her husband of 70 years, her children Susan (Jim), Christine, Phyllis, Rose Mary, Janice (Mark), Mark (Barbara), thirteen grandchildren, and one great grandchild.
The family is grateful for the devoted care provided by Providence Visiting Nurses Program, allowing them to remain in the family home.
Services will be held at St. Charles Catholic Church.
Vigil Service and Rosary will be Friday, August 2, 2013 at 7:00 PM.
Funeral Mass will be Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM.
Arrangements have been entrusted to: