Vida Luisa Demuth Wight was 20 years old when she made a swift departure from this earth on May 31. She died instantly when she was struck by an oncoming vehicle after crossing the centerline and losing control of her Subaru on Beaverton Valley Road.
Vida was driving home from the job she loved at Mama Bird Farm. She was not using her phone as she drove and was not speeding. It will never be known exactly what happened, but it seems she may have been swerving to avoid hitting an animal and over-corrected.
Vida was born Oct. 18, 2000, in Guatemala City, in Zona 8, to Luisa Fernanda Cruz. She had lived with her foster mom Rosario for five months when her mom Cere traveled to Guatemala to adopt Vida and bring her to Friday Harbor. Her brother Nate named her Vida, which means life in Spanish and it suited her perfectly.
Vida was a beautiful brown Latina baby girl, full of life and energy.
Vida loved her family. Playing for hours with her nieces and nephews, reading stories, doing art projects, jumping on the trampoline, watching movies and eating big bowls of buttery popcorn. She hand-made each of their gifts at every holiday. She delighted in going to the ballet with her Grammy and having sleepovers at her little yellow house.
As a young girl, Vida’s family split time between Friday Harbor and Waldron Island. Vida loved gardening with her dad Larry where they spent hours together; reading books, exploring the woods and new ideas.
Vida spent a magical time with Anne Digiovanni, then attended Lighthouse Preschool, Montessori Preschool, and kindergarten at Friday Harbor Elementary School.
She was in several performances at the San Juan Community Theater since age 5 and acted with Island Stage Left when she was 11.
In fifth grade, she began attending Spring Street School where she spent four years. She loved all her teachers, especially Kate Small who nurtured her writing, and Amanda Schroeder, who helped develop her love of Spanish.
In eighth grade, Vida went on a trip to Guatemala with her class; her second visit since going with her parents to meet her birth mom when she was 10. Vida was looking forward to returning with her best friend Alifaire. She wanted to spend time getting to know her birth family as an adult fully fluent in Spanish.
Vida loved her skateboard and music, but was most passionate about dance. She started dancing at age four. She participated in dance camp and was on the cheer team at FHHS.
Vida was a writer, painter, seamstress, and avid collage maker. She was an activist for human rights. She believed above all else that people should be treated equally. Vida had true compassion.
Vida planned to return to Western Washington University to finish her double major in Spanish and dance and to live with her partner Jake Massey. She wanted to minor in Psychology and was looking forward to applying to doctorate programs in Somatic Psychology.
Vida’s family’s loss is unfathomable, and yet, so was the gift of her life.
Muchas gracias, Vida. Te queiro mucho.
Vida is survived by her birth mother, Luisa Fernanda Cruz; half-siblings Lisbet, Alexander and baby; father Larry Wight; mother Cere Demuth (Geoff LaRiviere); siblings Nate Penny (Stacy), Heather Wight-Axling (Matt), Nathan Wight (Miriam) and Matt Wight (Andrea); nieces and nephews, Carter, Canon, and Clementine, Lou and Arlo, Sol and Sequoia, Hazel and Owen; aunt, Terry Wight (Bob); and multiple cousins and second cousins; Papa, Skip Demuth; Uncle, Oliver Demuth (Vanna); cousins, Callum and Finn; Great Uncle Jim Mullally (Sarah); and her Grammy Mully Demuth Mullally.
Vida’s family is grateful for your love and support during such a painful time, and especially thankful to Jess Chaffee and Mike Scott for honoring Vida on The Rock with such a remarkable piece of art.
In honor of Vida’s life we ask that donations be made to one of the following: The Vida Wight Memorial Scholarship at https://sjicf.org/, San Juan Island Family Resource Center https://sjifrc.org, Dance This Scholarship Fund https://www.stgpresents.org/, or Safe San Juans https://safesj.org, Thank you.