Vicky Jayne Van Dyke
August 14, 1945 - March 11, 2022
Vicky was born August 14, 1945 (V-J Day). She was the third of five children born to Fred and Sophie Marshall in Sac City, Iowa. Her siblings Joan, Judy, and Kenny preceded her in death. She is survived by her husband Jim Van Dyke in Phoenix and her sister Sandra (Eugene) Weitzel) as well as numerous much-loved nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews in Minnesota, Iowa, Florida, and Arizona. Also, surviving her are Michael (Jim's son by a previous marriage), and grandchildren Rachel and Nathanial. To the grandkids, she was the "Gram-cracker" because she loved to play games, dance, and joke with them whenever she saw them.
Vicky grew up in Sac City, graduated from Sac City High School, and then attended South Dakota State University. She later worked in the Physics Department at Iowa State University, where she captured the hearts of many of the very serious Physics professors and staff not only with her quick mind, but with her sense of humor as she always traveled the halls of a very sizeable facility on roller skates.
A few years later, she moved to Phoenix where she worked as Assistant to the President of Greater Arizona Savings and Loan. It was there, in 1972, that she met Jim Van Dyke, Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing. In 1978 they began a 44 year adventure as partners in life and business. They were married in 1991, after deciding this was "working out pretty well". In the years between 1972 and the early 80's, Vicky Jayne maintained Advertising Dimensions, an ad agency that she and Jim formed, until she was offered an opportunity to become Director of Marketing, Advertising, and Public relations for the Earnhardt Auto Dealerships while Jim became a faculty member, and ultimately Vice-President of Rio Salado Community College.
For Vicky Jayne, the move to Earnhardt's was another adventure that brought new outlets for her hard work, creativity and humor. She loved working with Tex Earnhardt, and the "bull". In her 30 years with Earnhardt's she made over 2200 radio and television commercials with them and produced at least that many memories. Her stories of making commercials with a live bull that didn't really want to be a TV star were always hilarious. Tex always did a great job, even though he sometimes edited scripts "on the fly" while taping was in progress. The bull had his own form of editing. On many occasions he decided that he really needed to empty his bladder and/or bowels on the spot or, alternatively, by shaking his head to clear his sinuses of copious quantities mucous. While Tex always saw the humor in this, it took Vicky a while to get used to the bull's antics and the need to change her clothes during a commercial shoot, but she adapted and, as Tex's last line in almost every commercial said, folks, "THAT AIN'T NO BULL". In addition to enjoying her work on behalf of Tex and the Earnhardt family, Vicky formed many treasured friendships within the dealerships and executive branch as well as local media that still exist today.
Culinary adventures were another of Vicky favorites. Whether it was for a group of four or twenty, Vicky loved to cook and she always had enough food for everyone as well as a "take home" carton for a second meal for anyone who wanted it. Although everyone thought she had a big recipe book, she liked to cook "Grandma style" from lots of experience. People frequently asked for her recipe for something, and she would often have to approximate it. The most frequent request was for her "Bomb Cake", a very dense and delicious chocolate-chocolate- chocolate cake. Sometimes, when she wrote up this recipe, it had an "extra" ingredient like a cup of salt. She knew that her friends would see this as an obvious joke and get a laugh out of it. Occasionally, however, she would get a call from someone who said the cake just "didn't seem to come out right."
Vicky Jayne loved to travel, and every trip was a new adventure. She looked forward to an annual "girl trip" with some dear friends to New York for a marathon of Broadway Shows and sightseeing. She and Jim enjoyed cruises on the rivers of France, the islands of the Caribbean, Alaska, Italy, Monte Carlo, Greece, Catamaran races in Mexico, "Land Cruises" (Bus) of the Northeastern US and Canada, and many more. She also enjoyed an annual trip to Las Vegas with niece Robin Holmes and husband Greg.
Vicky and Jim also enjoyed trips to Lo Lo Mai Springs, a camping resort on Oak Creek near Sedona and Cottonwood in Arizona. They had a membership for over 30 years at Lo Lo Mai and maintained several RVs there over the years that served as a "sometimes summer home". Every spring, summer and fall, it was a great place to kick back with many long-time and new friends and to enjoy food, some drinks, and what Vicky called a "Big A** Fire"
Another type of adventure was the "furry kind". In their 44 years together, Jim and Vicky shared their home and their love with over 26 cats and dogs. None of them were purebreds, but Vicky said they were mostly all pure love. These animals all found their way to Vicky and Jim in many ways, but most just "showed up" as strays looking for a home, and they always found one. Except for very short periods, the Van Dykes never had fewer than two, or more than five animals at one time. The animals always learned to get along even though they were strangers when they joined the family. They seemed to just understand that the home always had plenty of food and love to go around. They taught each other the house rules, and how to use the dog door. Beyond that they just worked it out.
Vicky's interests were ever expanding. She enjoyed gardening and creating art in various modalities from watercolors to painted river rocks. She liked simple games like Yahtzee, Uno, Sorry, and even coloring books that could played with or worked on by people of any age. These distractions allowed players to have some very interesting conversations while not letting the mind over-think what was being said.
Naturally, there is much more to Vicky's story, and it really was all a series of wonderful adventures because of the way she approached them. She was fearless. She embraced new things and new ideas. For those who knew her, none would have any doubts that she gave this life all that she could - and, she enjoyed all of it. Although a part of her spirit will always be with us, the rest has danced on to yet another adventure.
A Celebration of Vicky's life will be held at Desert Hills Chapel, 6500 East Bell Road, Scottsdale, AZ at 10:00 am on Saturday, April 23, 2022.
All are welcome, and dress is casual. Please consider bringing a story about a moment of laughter or a time you enjoyed with Vicky that makes you smile, and that you can share with those in attendance.