Mildred Waynette (Whitehead) Van Fleet, 71
April 19, 2023
Our Heavenly Father has a new cowgirl to ride through His flock and tend to those she left behind with love and kindness overflowing. Smiling her biggest smile and mounted on the fastest, high-spirited horse, Mildred Waynette (Whitehead) Van Fleet rode across the Nevada and Montana skies to join Him on April 7th, 2023. Waynette was born in Fallon, Nevada on April 28th, 1951 to parents, Donald Wayne and Alma (Matteucci) Whitehead. Named after her father, early on it was evident she had an unrivaled fondness for horses and all things ranchin'.
Waynette loved being on horseback. She was a member of 4-H, the Junior Riders, and, also, spent a year making grand entry runs as the High School Rodeo Queen. If she wasn't riding with the wind whipping through her hair, she was at home caring for sick animals and her favorite little sister, Donna. Horses were always a part of her life. She met Boyd (Max) Van Fleet after winning a 4-H essay contest for a stud service to his family's AQHA stallion. They married in 1969 after her graduation from Churchill County High School. From this union were born three children – Shylea, Sharmen, and Boyd Joseph.
In the spring of 1973 and the first of the Whitehead family to leave Nevada in many generations, the family moved to the Heart Bar Heart Ranch in Ovando, Montana. She loved ranch life! For her, it was so blissful working cattle, putting up hay, and keeping the books while raising three spunky kids. Waynette loved a challenge when it came to keeping calves and lambs alive. She taught cleft palate calves to nurse and tended to endless broken limbs and open wounds on lambs as well. In 2004, she returned to family and friends in Fallon, but always called the Bar 7 Ranch and Ennis, Montana home.
Waynette accepted every challenge with the biggest grin on her face. Those who were blessed to spend time with her received the most genuine hugs and the warmest smiles. No problem went unsolved and no illness went untended. In Fallon, she spent countless hours taking care of ailing loved ones and their families. Her hidden talent was her artwork, but she loved people so much she spent most of her time with family and friends. Waynette enjoyed membership in the Churchill County Cowbells and she loved traveling back to Montana to watch her grandchildren compete in rodeos, 4-H livestock, and horse shows, and play sports. She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Rest assured, she will be the first to meet us, swing us up behind her saddle, and ride to be with her again.
Waynette was proceeded in death by her father, Wayne. Also her grandparents. She is survived by her mother, Alma Whitehead, and sister – Donna (William Bill) Card of Fallon; her children Shylea (Jeff) Wingard – Ennis, MT; Sharmen (Al) Scafani – Whitehall, MT; and Boyd J Van Fleet – Greybull, WY; and 7 grandchildren – Dalyn and Vance Wingard; Allee, Dalaney, Leo and Alannah Scafani; and Boyd "Bo" Van Fleet - and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral will be held at the LDS South Stake Center Richard Street building, in Fallon NV on April 25th at 11 am with a celebration of life luncheon to follow. Her burial will be in Ennis, MT with a graveside service on April 26th at 1 pm. Luncheon to follow at LDS church in Ennis. All are invited.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the organization of your choice. Waynette donated time, talent, and money to many organizations and people in need.