Mary Jean Malfait

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May 14, 1924 ~ July 4, 2018

Mary Jean was born May 14, 1924 in Chewelah, Washington to Joseph D. McPherson and Eva C. Ochs McPherson. She was delivered into this world by her grandfather Doctor Samuel P. McPherson. She was the oldest of five siblings. When she was twelve, her loving Ochs uncles brought the family to Camas, WA. She graduated from Camas High School and attended one year of Art School in Portland.
She married Raymond Malfait in 1947. They bought the farm in Washougal from Ray's parents. Those were the days of no indoor plumbing and a wood cookstove. Mary Jean dedicated herself to being the accommodating wife in his adventuresome life.
They leased Government Island in the Columbia River to raise cattle. A venture which involved travel by boat and barge. For many years she packed her portable kitchen to the Island to cook for haying crews and round ups. For some years, Ray was a stock contractor for amateur rodeos and Mary Jean was the secretary. Ray also became interested in the ranching country of British Columbia. That took her back to a wood cook stove and an outhouse. She cooked for large groups of hunters and fishermen, often times over a campfire.
Her hands were never still. If she wasn't cooking, she was working in her garden, knitting slippers, crocheting doilies, painting, or sewing.
She loved to dance, sing and whistle. She loved music. She loved babies. She had healing hands, and was a wonderful care giver. As her memory failed, she was moved to a safer environment at the Hampton Ashley facility in Vancouver where she became a special person to the loving caregivers who were always willing to dance with her.
Mary Jean was preceded in death by her brothers, Daniel and Donald McPherson; husband, Raymond; and children, Arthur Raymond, Lynette Arlene and David William.
She is survived by a sister, DeEtte Ford; and brother, Dexter McPherson; daughter, Laurene (Tom) Eldred; grandchildren, Daniel (Suzanne) Eldred, Abbie Eldred, Jacob (Gina) Eldred and Tye (Melissa) Eldred; and great- grandchildren, Tanner, Caleb, Nahaleigh, Isabel, Sophia and Thomas.
Burial was Sunday, July 8, at the Washougal Cemetery.
Thank you to Davies Cremation and Burial Services for providing the funeral services.
Please sign her Guest Book at
Funeral Home
Davies Cremation & Burial Services, Inc.
309 E 15th Street, Suite E
Vancouver, WA 98666
(360) 253-7730
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Published in The Columbian on July 11, 2018