August 15, 1935 — May 6, 2020
Arlene Louise McElroy was born to Arthur and Maybell Eben in Salem on August 15, 1935.
As a girl she was involved in choirs, 4-H, and theater. In 4-H she worked on many projects, learning about canning, knitting, baking, and sewing among other skills. She entered a style show and ended up winning Grand Champion in 1947 with a two-piece suit that one of her daughters still, has along with her club sweater. The skills she learned in 4-H she passed along to her children. She was also involved with her sister in a dance group and they became the first dancing majorette club for Oregon City high school.
She married Leo McElroy in 1952 and made their life together in Oregon City where they raised their five children. When McElroy’s Meats opened on Henrici Road she worked there with her husband, taking orders and wrapping meat. She was an adventurer and often went with Leo fishing, trapping, hunting, and even gold panning in Alaska. Arlene also enjoyed drawing and painting nature that she spent time around.
She loved her family and was delighted with every opportunity she had to be with them. She could be found taking photos and laughing at antics of her children and grandchildren or in the kitchen with official “tasters” when she was baking desserts or treats. In the summers she spent time with her grandchildren, teaching them to ride bikes or making scavenger hunts for them.
After retirement they traveled around in a motorhome to see more of the world for many years, though they always came back to Oregon to catch back up with their family. Eventually they settled back down in Pilot Rock, where she continued to work on her projects, even sewing pajamas for her grandchildren every year at Christmas.
She is survived by her sister Maxine Cross; five children: Wendy McElroy of Gladstone, Sherry Whiteley of Mulino, Peggy McElroy of Christmas Valley, Jody Matlock of Canby, and Frank McElroy of Beaverton; 14 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren.
She will always be written in our hearts.
Burns Mortuary of Pendleton handled arrangements. Sign the online guest book at www.burnsmortuary.com.