Valda Vere Fruit was born June 2, 1922, south of Packerton to Ruth and Frank Fruit. She had a twin brother, Dalton Daryl, who lived two days. She had two older brothers, Robert and Delyne. She went to Sidney High School for nine years and after moving to Pierceton she graduated in 1940 from Pierceton High School. She then worked at the Blue Bell where she made duffle bags for the war and also worked at the Krogers in Pierceton.
On Feb. 14, 1946, Valda married her high school sweetheart, Charles Collier. They have been married 66.5 years. Her wedding gown was made from a Japanese parachute that Charles brought back from the war. She and Charles owned Collier Oil Co. for 36 years, where she was bookkeeper.
Valda and Charles are the parents of eight children: Jim (Linda) Collier, Warsaw; Sharon (Harold) Lehman, Pierceton; Lewis (Terri) Collier, Pierceton; Chuck (Lise) Collier, Pierceton; Colleen (Mike) Trueblood, North Manchester; Tim (Deborah) Collier, Pierceton; Marsha (Greg) Holmes, Angola; and Mark Collier, Sidney. They have 26 grandchildren and 42 great-grandchildren, with one more due in August.
Valda is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and Presbyterian Church in Pierceton. She enjoys quilting, sewing and cooking. She is an avid basketball fan.
A party will be held in Valda’s honor from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. June 3 at Jim and Linda Collier’s, 4122 E. Old Road 30, Warsaw. She requests no gifts.