Arlene McElroy



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

To plant a tree in memory of Obit: McElroy as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

Sign A Guestbook

Offer a personal message of sympathy...

By sharing a fond memory or writing a kind tribute, you will be providing a comforting keepsake to those in mourning. If you have an existing account with this site, you may log in with that below. Otherwise, you can create an account by clicking on the Log in button below, and then register to create your account.

(2) entries

Independent Thinker

from old neighbor Brent Merriman.

Independent Thinker

Sorry for your loss Sherry.

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.