Suzanne Jeanine “Sue” McElwain of Toledo, Oregon passed away after a long illness on April 30, 2021 at Corvallis Manor, Corvallis, Oregon.
She was born February 2, 1945 in Portland, Oregon to Elwain Ross "Buck" McElwain and Orvetta E. (Wilhite) McElwain
She attended elementary and high school in Toledo, graduating high school in 1963. Sue then graduated from Oregon College of Education (OCE), now Western Oregon University (WOU) in 1967 with a BS in Secondary Education and Master's Degrees in Chemistry and Physical Science. After graduation, she married fellow-student, Gary Way of Seattle, and moved to Alaska where she worked a few years for the State of Alaska in the Labs for the Fisheries Department. After five years, she was divorced and reclaimed her maiden name of McElwain, moving back to Oregon. She taught school for a brief time in La Grande, then moved back to Toledo. Sue spent a few years working for a seafood company in Newport and then many years at J. C. Market in Toledo. While there, Sue enjoyed the daily contact with all the regular and new customers. She often had a new "joke" to share as she checked out shoppers. After retiring from J. C. Market, Sue happily bought a new home and placed it on her family's acreage in Toledo. She continued her dedication to teaching by tutoring various-aged students in all levels of science and math.
When younger, Sue was an active 4-H Club member, competing in categories involving animals, primarily sheep, and won many ribbon awards in that area. She also enjoyed hunting with her father who meticulously showed her all about guns and safety using them. Sue's second cousin, Carol (Bateman) Tretkoff, from the East Coast, fondly remembers her monthly phone calls with Sue for many years until recently. Carol and Sue updated each other about their shared Oregon family and mostly discussed their love of books and favorite authors, Fannie Flagg and Elizabeth George. Sue's love of reading followed her all through her life and left her with rooms of added shelves packed full of books in her new home. She also attended the Church of Christ in Toledo.
Sue's parents, Elwain and Orvetta McElwain, preceded her in death, as did her only sibling, sister Sharon Elaine (McElwain) Matney-Skannes, and her two children, Brent Van Matney and Cindy Lea Matney, Sue's nephew and niece. Surviving Sue are many cousins, including those living in Quito, Ecuador and Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Science Department at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon.