Victoria Lori Way, also known as Dolly Way, died on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Victoria was very private about her age and therefore it will not be announced. She was healthy throughout her entire life until a diagnosis in late October 2020 of stage 4 colorectal cancer. After much pain/discomfort, surgery, and an attempt at chemotherapy, she died in the ICU at Adventist Health in Bakersfield.
Victoria was born in Chicago, Ill., and spent her childhood there. She made her way to California as a teenager where she lived the remainder of her life. She met and married Richard Martin Way and was married for 44.5 years. They moved to Tehachapi in 1985 to raise their young family and relocate the family business WASCO Inc., a machine shop. Victoria had many jobs in her early life but worked at WASCO Inc. initially as a machine operator and then managed the office handling the accounting and payroll as well as being co-owner of the company. She worked there up until she got sick for a total of about 32 years.
She also had her own side business/hobby as a certified appraiser and personal property appraiser specializing in antique dolls and predominantly the evaluation of antique items for estate sales from the CAGA. She loved her dolls. She always talked about her toys from her childhood and how her mother gave all her stuff away. She truly valued the story behind the dolls that she purchased and had a big soft spot in her heart. Whether it was buying a struggling mother’s childhood dolls that were in poor condition just because she knew that that person really needed the money or buying an older lady’s prized possessions because she knew that there was no one in her family to leave them to, Victoria always built up her own collection. And she remembered a lot of the stories behind all these toys.
Other accomplishments include earning a first-degree black belt in Hapkido martial arts! When she was raising her older children she had many hobbies including toll-painting, cross stitch, sketching, sewing, making mop dolls and rag wreaths, and she also took a cake decorating class which she claimed she was never good at. She hated cooking but she was a good cook. She cooked every night for her family and by request from her kids’ friends was her baked chicken and mashed potatoes. She was an avid reader and could finish a good book in a day or two. She enjoyed westerns, ghost stories, and romance novels.
Victoria’s biggest pride was in her family. She was a mother to three and a Nana to three. She always believed in hard work and earning what you have and instilled this in her children. She taught her kids to be honest and that once somebody lies they’re always a liar. She also taught her kids strength. She in the eyes of her children was the strongest woman they have known. Sometimes life is tough but she demonstrated by example that you have to keep on going. She taught her kids to never depend on anyone and that you need to be able to support yourself. For her grandchildren she displayed a lot of love. Any visit to Nana’s house was filled with fun, toys, cartoons, a trip to the park, and a trip to McDonald's!
Victoria is survived by husband Richard Way; children Benjamin Way, Nicki Ray and husband Danny Ray Jr., and Xia Weekley; grandchildren Danny Ray III, Addison Ray, and Grace Ray. Victoria was an animal lover. She had many pets throughout the years and is survived by her dogs Daisy and Pippy, and her cats Patsy and Scaredy Cat.
Victoria had a small circle of people who were very important to her. Anyone who had the pleasure of her company or friendship was truly lucky. She was very loyal to the ones that she loved. For this reason her family had a private service for her and she is now resting at Home of the Peace Cemetery in Bakersfield. Victoria’s family is planning to have a celebration of life for her in June for her birthday. Please reach out to her family for further details.
Thank you to everyone for the love, support, prayers and comfort. Victoria was a one-of-a-kind person and she will be dearly missed.