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Nature 10


Victor V Carnell

July 18, 1931 ~ October 11, 2018 (age 87)

Carnell, Victor V. Our beautiful, caring Dad, Husband, Grandpa and Great-grandpa was called home ho his Holy Father October 11, 2018.  Born in Potlatch, Idaho July 18, 1931 to Italian immigrants Giovanni and Marcella Vedelago, he was the oldest of their 2 sons.  Moving to Spokane in 1939, he attended St. Anthony’s grade school and Gonzaga High School.  He enrolled at Gonzaga University and graduated with a BS in Chemistry, minor in Philosophy.  During his years at Gonzaga he played tenor saxophone in the school band and enrolled in the ROTC program.  Vic was accepted to dental school at Creighton University where he graduated 1st in his class, receiving his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1958.  He continued with his military commitment, being stationed at Fort Riley, KS, serving military personnel during the Korean War and earned his rank of Captain, a total service of 13 years.  Vic met his loving wife, Shirley in Spokane early on during his years in middle school.  They married in 1953 and had Rick, Bob and Susan while in dental school.  Upon honorable discharge from the Army, the family moved back to Spokane, WA where he practiced dentistry at various locations, and with his brother Dr. Frank Vedelago,  built an office building in the Shadle area.  Vic and Shirley’s family continued to grow, with the births of Jim, Julie and Steve (their 6-pack)!  From 1961-1967 he opened a dental practice in Sprague, WA for the outlying farm communities.  Vic was a lifetime member of the ADA and a licensed dentist for 60 years.  He loved education, and later returned to the University of Toronto, Canada receiving graduate training in Orthodontics.  His passion for dentistry, combined with his love of Chemistry led him to continue  lifetime of research and development of pharmaceutical products (Oral Defense) that have outstanding results for treating oral mucositis.  He was Chairman of O’Leary research at Gonzaga University where he helped mentor students within the Chemistry department, directing research projects to expand pre-med and  pre-dental students’ scope of learning.  Dr. Vic also lectured at Tufts and Yale Universities and with his passion for learning he held 7 patents, starting with the recovery of silver from x-rays.  His love and dedication to Dentistry, along with his compassion toward the underserved made him a dentist admired throughout eastern Washington.  His professional chairside manner with all patients along with his dental skills, and ability to relate to patients of all ages made him the lovable, successful dentist that he was.  Our dad cherished fatherhood, following their 6 children, 7 grandchildren and 3 great-grandkids in their sporting and educational successes, reminding them to be sure to “hit a home run with their pencils”!   Education came first, but the value of teamwork and the comradery of athletics had great value.  He coached baseball through his kid’s school years and was well known for his ‘trick plays’.  Vic and Shirley have been Gonzaga University season Basketball ticket holders since 1961 and anyone sitting near him at all games knew he coached vociferously from his seat, helping the coaches, he was both their best fan and critic of Gonzaga Sports. His passion was gardening, with a greenhouse he constructed himself, where he would start all of his flowers to later transplant throughout his yard, office building and share with neighbors and family.  His geraniums (a personal favorite) were featured on local news for their beauty and size! Other interests were his love of music (big band era and Frank Sinatra), bird and deer hunting with his close friends, fishing at Crab Creek.  An avid golfer, he and Shirley shared many wonderful memories with friends on golf trips, his children followed him in love of the game as well . . with many competitive rounds and quality time together.  His community involvement was vast, serving on the Waste to Energy Board, serving Our Lady of Fatima parish on the Pastoral and financial Council, the Board of Directors at both Fatima and St. Patrick’s Schools, a lifelong Knights of Columbus member, Serra Club member and avid pro-life advocate.  Vic and Shirley were fortunate to have shared wonderful trips throughout Europe, as well as the United States.  He truly enjoyed being behind the wheel, taking day trips to enjoy the beautiful sites of the Northwest.  A golden heart stopped beating, hard-working hands at rest.  God broke our hearts to prove to us, he only takes the BEST.  He was dedicated to education and his faith.Vic is survived by his loving wife Shirley of over 65 years and their 6 children; Rick, Bob, Susan, James, Julie and Steven. His grandchildren are Scott (Samantha), Troy (Rachel), Heather (David) Handwerk, Regan Carnell, Savannah Crisp, and Ashley Brown. His great Grandchildren are Luke and Krew Handwerk, Siena Hinchman, and Lincoln Brown. He is also survived by his brother Frank (Kathy) Vedelago.    If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Poor Clare Sisters, The Sisters of Charity, Gonzaga Prep School, Gonzaga University, Our Lady of Fatima or Our Lady of Lourdes.  A Vigil Service will be held at Hennessey Funeral Home 2203 N Division St  Spokane, WA at 7 P.M. Friday, October 19, 2018.  Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral on Saturday, October 20 at 10 A.M.Please visit Victor’s page at

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