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Vidda Rayne Lute, 55, of Lincoln, NE, passed away peacefully at 2:44 PM, November 22nd, 2023, at Sunrise Country Manor in Milford, NE. She was born on March 7th, 1968, in Grand Island, NE, to Dorothy Randolf and David Lute. Vidda spent the majority of her life in the Grand Island and Lincoln area. Her childhood was marked by frequent moves, but this also gave her a unique perspective on life as she attended various elementary schools in and around Grand Island. She grew up with her brothers Kevin Mehan and Robert Lute and was raised primarily by her mother and step-father, Elmer Herald. Her younger sister Jessica Herald was born when Vidda was 15, and she played an active role in Jessica’s childhood. Despite leaving high school in the 10th grade, she demonstrated early resilience and determination by earning her GED.
As a young adult, Vidda loved to live life to the fullest by embracing a self-described “hippie” lifestyle, creating a few friendships that would last a lifetime. She loved making music, dancing, and immersing herself in the joy and depth that her friendships and life had to offer. These years were filled with adventures and lessons that shaped her unique and vibrant personality. Vidda’s friends became as close as family to her. She felt a strong desire to build strong relationships with those around her. She’ll be remembered by her friends as someone who loved feeling alive and who loved her friends deeply.
Vidda was a loving mother and her world centered around her daughter Zia Homewood [Eckerson]. When faced with difficult circumstances, Vidda made the selfless decision to place Enchantra for adoption and carefully chose a loving family for her, ensuring she had the best possible start in life. Her brief marriage to Robert Eckerson in May 1998 transitioned into a strong co-parenting partnership, showcasing their shared commitment to raising Zia. Vidda loved being a mom and all that went into it. She went above and beyond to raise her daughter with intention and played a very active role in all aspects of Zia’s life. As a mother, she opened her home to anyone of Zia’s friends that needed a place to go, from childhood to her teenage years, she was a mother to anyone who needed one. As a mother, she’ll be distinctly remembered for being non-judgmental, encouraging honest conversation, always being present, being an advocate, cheerleader, and just wanting to see Zia through the highest highs of her life and support her through the hardest parts. Above all, Vidda just loved being a mom and all that went into it. While physically with us, Vidda was proudly able to watch Zia achieve many of her dreams such as traveling abroad, graduating college, and getting married to a man that Vidda loved as her own. It is unquestionable that Vidda’s dedication to building a better life and foundation for herself and her daughter than the one she had provided Zia with the ability to achieve her dreams. Vidda accomplished incredible feats throughout her life but she would say her proudest accomplishment was raising Zia.
Vidda’s love for her family was boundless, and she often considered herself an agent of change, ready to support anyone she regarded as family. As a mother, older sibling, and aunt she aspired to be a role model, showcasing resilience and strength in the face of adversity. She enjoyed the company of her family and played an active role in her nieces' and nephews' lives. She encouraged the gathering of family members and having open conversations, even about difficult things. Vidda wanted to exemplify to her family members that it was possible to persevere through tough times while still seeing the beauty life had to offer.
The story of Vidda’s life would be incomplete without acknowledging her struggles with mental and physical health. Her battles with mental illness highlighted her extraordinary resilience. She fought to be defined not by her struggles but by her triumphs and the love she shared. The challenges she faced gave her a level of understanding and empathy that can be matched by few. It is the hardships she faced that put into perspective the significance of her accomplishments.
Vidda’s kindness extended beyond her immediate circle, touching the lives of everyone she met. She valued the importance of being kind to strangers and seized every opportunity to assist those in need. Her friends, who were as dear to her as family, benefited from her generosity, support, and the unique gifts that said, “I was thinking about you.” She understood the importance of giving back to others and consistently volunteered in a variety of places. She was particularly fond of volunteering for nonprofit thrift stores, women's crisis centers, and with (as she would say) “elders”. Vidda saw the value and wisdom gained through years of life experiences, making her particularly enjoy the company of, listening to, and learning the gained wisdom of the “elders”.
Her involvement in Narcotics Anonymous (NA) was a significant part of her life, where she formed lasting bonds and offered support to others on similar journeys. Vidda consistently returned to NA and found great value in the meetings. She loved bringing her daughter to NA events such as the Alexandra Camp Out and New Years Dances. NA was one of the few constants in her life, offering support wherever she was.
Creativity flowed through Vidda's veins and was a significant aspect of her life. Her passions and talents in art, sewing, painting, writing, dancing, and music brought joy to many. Vidda’s joy in self-expression was contagious, and she encouraged others to embrace their true selves. Holiday crafts with family, dancing and playing a tambourine at Dugans bar, and enjoying time with loved ones were moments when Vidda felt truly alive. Her art and writings will be a big part of her legacy as it provides a detailed lens into the way she understood and processed the world.
Vidda's educational journey, spanning roughly 15 years, was marked by multiple starts and stops. Vidda developed a lifelong passion for learning, emphasizing its importance in her and her family's life. Vidda's commitment to education led her to become the first in her family to earn, not one, but two college degrees. She received her associate degree in Human Service from Southeast Community College in September 2014 and later graduated with her bachelor's degree Human Relations from Doane University in May 2019 with an impressive 3.83 GPA. Following her graduation, Vidda began her master's program but was unfortunately unable to complete it. Due to life circumstances she had to restart her academic schooling multiple times over 15 years, but she always went back. Vidda’s academic achievements inspired her daughter Zia to pursue a career in teaching, a source of immense pride for her.
In the last few years of Vidda's life multiple factors resulted in the decline of her physical and mental health. She fought diligently each day to improve her surroundings and environment, even when faced with incredibly difficult challenges. To those around her the strength and perseverance shown by Vidda during this time was nothing short of remarkable. Even while on hospice, she made the most of her time, enjoying visits from loved ones and impacting everyone she met.
Vidda Rowell's life was a tapestry of strength, love, and inspiration. Her passing leaves a void in the hearts of those who knew her, but her legacy of resilience, kindness, and unwavering support for her loved ones endures. Her legacy will continue through her art and in the hearts of her family and friends.
Vidda is survived by a loving family who will cherish her memory. Her survivors include her daughters, Zia Homewood (Eckerson) and Enchantra Tien, her brothers, Robert Lute (and wife Shirley) of Austin, Kevin Meahan (and wife Shelly) of Grand Island and her sister, Jessica Cardenas of Grand Island.
Vidda was a beloved aunt to her many nieces and nephews: Heather Clark, Kayla Lute, Michael Lute, Amber Lute, Aria Ham, Tiffany Meahan, Zachery Meahan, Kristopher Meahan, Brittany Meahan, Izabelle Cardenas, Cierra Cardenas, Natalie Cardenas, Abigail Evans, Jacksen Williams, and a great-niece, Cheyenne Clark.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Dorothy Randolf, her father, David Lute, her aunt Wanda Donaldson, her ex-husband Robert (Jeano) Rowell, and her nephew Jeremy Lute.
Vidda loved bright colors, dancing, music, the outdoors and the coming together of her friends and family. To honor who she was it only seemed right to throw her a celebration of life party over a traditional funeral. The celebration of life party will take place in a few months once the weather warms. The hope is that this event will mirror the joy and vibrancy she brought to life, properly honoring the impact she made. Friends and family will be invited to join in this celebration of Vidda's remarkable journey.
In lieu of a traditional funeral, Zia invites stories and memories about Vidda through cards. These will be a comforting reminder of the lasting impact she made on this earth. Cards can be sent to 2800 Garfield St. Lincoln, NE 68502.