Valley County, IDGenWeb Project

Velma Summerville

Velma (Shaw) Summerville, 86, passed away at her home in Riggins, on Nov. 5, 2012, after a courageous two-year battle with cancer.

Funeral services were held Saturday Nov. 10, 2012, at the Riggins Assembly of God Church in Riggins. Burial followed at the Riggins Cemetery.

She was born in Kooskia on April 11, 1926, to James Madison and Eleanor Olive (Lytle) Shaw and lived in Stites for most of her youth.

A child of the Great Depression, Velma was known for many attributes of this generation. She was a champion recycler before the term “recycle” was coined, and she was well known for her hard work ethic.

Beginning at age 13, she worked in cafes in the Stites area and out of state as well as cooking at several ranches in the Grangeville area during haying season.

These skills were put to good use when she met and married James P. Summerville. In 1945, they built and ran Summerville’s Club & Café in Riggins until retiring in 1978.

During the years of running Summerville’s, they were open 24 hours a day year-round except Thanksgiving and Christmas. They built a reputation for good food, and the restaurant was known as “The Lighthouse of Highway 95,” a beacon for weary travelers on the main north-south highway in Idaho.

Unable to have children of her own, Velma was a special aunt to her nieces and nephews as well as many kids growing up in Riggins during the 1950s through the 1970s. Along with Jim, she was involved in numerous community affairs, especially the Salmon River Cowboys Association and the Idaho Old Time Fiddlers’ Organization.

In their retirement years, Velma and Jim enjoyed camping and fishing at Cascade Lake and traveling to Missouri, Alaska, and Calgary, Canada, visiting friends and family along the way.

Many fun summer days for Velma were spent with her sister, Jane, picking huckleberries and enjoying the beautiful mountain and river scenery which surround Idaho and Valley counties.

Velma is survived by her loving sister and best friend, Jane Stout of Riggins and her brother Lester (Lourene) Shaw of Boise as well as many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Norma Shaw, and husband Jim Summerville.

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