Marguerite Lucille Vella, 96, of Chattanooga, TN, passed away on Saturday, April 10, 2021.
Marguerite was born on September 10, 1924 in Murfreesboro, TN to the late Raymond and Bessie Sanders. She was the youngest of 5 children and the last living survivor of her family. As a young girl, her father would take her on the horse and buggy to get ice cream. She was a member of the drama program at school and enjoyed playing basketball in high school.
While working as a waitress, Marguerite met her husband, the late Joseph Vella. They were married for 57 years, 35 of which they spent in the Philippine Islands as missionaries of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International. It was during their first term that Marguerite became very ill and the family returned home. She overcame multiple surgeries to regain her health and the family was then able to return to the Philippines several years later.
Marguerite loved the Lord and lived it every day in her words and actions. She volunteered for the Christian Women’s Business Association and held many positions since 2000. Even though she was a retired missionary, she never retired from serving the Lord. At age 95 she was teaching Sunday School at her home in Morning Pointe. She also passed out copies of scripture verses to anyone she felt needed an encouraging word. Marguerite also enjoyed doing needlepoint and playing games with her friends, especially when she won!
Marguerite’s life could be titled “From horse and buggy to cyberspace”. She lived a life that led her to many different places and she met and made many friends along the way.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Joseph Vella; parents, Raymond and Bessie Sanders; siblings, Emmett Sanders, Francis Sanders, Raymond Sanders, and George Sanders.
She is survived by her daughter, Diane Ensing; sons, Douglas Vella, Gordon Vella; grandchildren, Kimberly Ensing, Greg Vella, Mark Vella, Amy Crane, Daniel Ensing, Jennifer Marvin, Matthew Cates, Christopher Pond, Nicole Ross, Phillip Eskew; 25 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Vella Memorial, c/o Rev. Del Hooge, BBFI, 720 East Kearney, Springfield, MO 65803. All donations will be sent to the Bethany Baptist Church in Manila, Philippines. This is the church Joe and Marguerite started during their first term.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 4 PM on Tuesday, April 13 in the funeral home chapel with Pastor Bill Summers officiating. Burial will be private.
Please visit www.heritagechattanooga.com to share words of comfort to the family and to view the livestreamed service.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, April 13 prior to the service from 3-4 PM at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Rd.
To send flowers to Marguerite's family, please visit our floral store.