Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 8, at First AME Zion for Ethel D. Canda.
Ethel Doris Canda was born June 22, 1939, in Vicksburg, Miss. to Wesley Love and Carrie Mae Pearson. She was the seventh of eight children and the youngest girl.
Ethel caught the eye of a star athlete by the name of Julius Canda III while attending Boman High School in Vicksburg. Once their eyes met, the history was already written. Julius joined the United States Army and was reassigned to Fort Lewis in Washington State. Julius and Ethel now married, brought to the Northwest their first born child, Sharon Kay Canda. After their honorable separation from military service, they moved to Portland, where their union produced three other children, Michael, Barbara and John.
Ethel worked at Pacific Northwest Bell as an operator, office clerk and payroll clerk and retired after 32 distinguished years of service.
Julius and Ethel attended Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church under the direction of Reverend O. B. Williams for many years and were faithful tithing members. Ethel and Julius served their church by recruiting and training the adult and youth Usher Boards. Ethel also served on the Hospitality Committee where her truly warm spirit, social graces, caring and compassion for others shined.
Later they became members of First AME Zion Church where they continued their service to the Lord by recruiting and training members of the 1st AME Zion High Spirited Usher Board. The young ushers they trained have been and continue to be complemented on their appearance, demeanor and skill levels of instruction.
Ethel from her early years was always a songbird. The background noise her husband and their children grew up to was her singing some of the great gospel hymns of all time. While attending First Church she felt a calling to join the choir, after which, the church was never the same. She was a true soprano and when she was asked to sing, she would humbly stand, bow her head in a quiet moment of prayer, cast her eyes toward heaven, take a breath and let loose the most smooth, sultry and jazz like gospel vibe. The words, sounds, vibrations, tones, octaves and range this woman possessed were simply God given. She lead songs like: Holy Ghost, Open Doors, How Excellent, Mary Don't You Weep, Hold The Light and Just For Me. Bishop Clearance Carr appointed Ethel the keeper of sacred music.
Ethel was preceded in death by her father, Wesley Love, mother Carrie Mae Pearson and sister Carrie Mae Love. She leaves to cherish her memories Julius Canda, spouse of 53 and a half years, daughters Sharon Kay Canda, (Barbara Lorraine Peterson and granddaughter Michelle Peterson), sons (Michael Terry Canda and grandson Julian Canda) and John and Darla Canda and grandchildren Brandi Nycole Probasco-Canda, Breanna Lynn Probasco-Canda and great grandson Zaire Alexander Williams and granddaughter Brooke Alexandria Probasco-Canda and grandson Bryce Jonathan Nelson Canda all of Portland.
Survived by brothers Charles Lee Pearson, Wesley Charles Love, Dr. Robert Lee Smothers and Ellis Smothers. Sisters Mary Lee DeVolt and Evelyn Chatman, and host of nieces, nephews, cousins and very special friends.
Arrangements by Terry Family Funeral Home. Please visit Ethel's online obituary at www.terryfamilyfuneralhome.com to sign the guestbook.