Mary Ellen Anderson
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August 1, 1926 ~ July 17, 2018

Mary Ellen born in Craig, Colorado, was a child of The Great Depression, living in poverty. Her parents migrated from the Midwest looking for work, then moved to Grants Pass, Oregon. They eventually settled in Vancouver moving frequently within the local area based on short-term work. She attended many schools due to her parent's migration and graduated from Vancouver High School. She grew up in a very civic minded family who enjoyed spirited political discussions, always exchanging different points of views.
As a young adult during WWII she worked in the Kaiser Shipyards. When the war ended her girlfriends convinced her to move to Los Angeles "to seek their fame and fortune". She met Duane "Andy" Anderson, fell in love and they married. They had their first child and decided to move to Vancouver seeking better employment opportunities. They had their second child while living in the Heights (post war housing). Her parents had property in the Orchards area where they built their first home and had their third child, completing the family.
Mary Ellen found work at Woolworth's in the late 50's and early 60"s. In her spare-time she was an avid reader and loved English history and current events. She instilled a sense of civic responsibility in her family. She was active in Girl Scouts and Duane "Andy" was involved in Boy Scouts. She joined the League of Women Voters and pursued her political interests and made many friends who were on both sides of political issues. She served on several boards and committees in the community and volunteered for the Democrats. During the Johnson Administration the "War on Poverty" presented many new employment opportunities. She was hired in her dream job as Library Assistant at Covington Jr. High. She loved introducing students to the world of literature. This is when her advocacy for education came alive. She then moved from the Library position to become the school secretary. She became active in her Union (PSE) and served as President. She went on to serve on the PSE State Board and was presented the PSE lifetime membership upon her retirement. In her retirement she decided to run for the Evergreen School Board and served a four-year term. She then began traveling throughout Europe and the US.
Mary Ellen was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and Grandma Great (as her great grandchildren called her). She was the family Oral Historian providing historical facts and antidotes. She championed her children and grand children's educational and life goals and was always generous with her time and money. At family gatherings she challenged her children and grandchildren with lively discussions about local, state, national and world events. While not formally educated, she was self-taught, highly intelligent, fiercely independent who provided vision and insight to her family to make the world a better place. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.
A graveside service will be held Thursday, July 26th at Evergreen Memorial Gardens at 2p.m. and a Celebration of Life to be held at Main Event - East at 3p.m.
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Published in The Columbian on Jul. 22, 2018.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
July 27, 2018
I was so sorry to hear of Mary Ellen's passing. I was her dentist at Kaiser for many years. She was a very nice lady. She will be missed.
sue k
July 24, 2018
My heartfelt sympathy to the Anderson family. I hope you will find comfort in God's promise at John 11:24,25. Knowing there is a future for those we have lost in death can be very reassuring during this difficult time.
July 24, 2018
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.
July 23, 2018
World class lady and friend.
Denny Heck
July 22, 2018
As you remember your love one, as God heals your broken hearts (Psalm 147:3), may your treasured memories continue to bring you peace, comfort, and strength to endure.
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