Mary Ellen Cleasby (née Gross), 86, of Yachats, Oregon, passed away on Jan. 15, 2022, in Newport, Oregon. She was born on Dec.12, 1935, in Portland, Oregon, to parents Marguerite and Glenn, of Battle Ground, Washington.
Mary Ellen leaves behind her husband Gary, of Yachats; daughters Kathryn and Joanna (Chris); son Douglas (Michelle); granddaughter Jane; sisters Marjorie and Lynelle; sister-in-law Ariel; 14 nieces and nephews; and many grand nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents and brothers Don (Marjorie), Russ (Jeanne), Bill (Doris) and Bob.
Mary Ellen was one of seven children and the first in her family to be born in a hospital. She moved from the family farm in Battle Ground to Portland after graduating from high school and married Gary on Oct. 15, 1966. She worked as a licensed insurance underwriter both in Portland and Enumclaw, Washington, and was the city clerk for Buckley and South Prairie, Washington. Mary Ellen also raised calves to help pay for her children’s college educations, rising early to feed them before going to work. She moved to Yachats after retiring where she and Gary spent the first part of their honeymoon. She was an excellent visual artist who worked with oil paint, acrylic, watercolor, chalk pastel and pencil. Mary Ellen was very private about her artwork, which she did for her own pleasure, and shy about showing it to others. She was an excellent baker and gardener, often trading or giving away flowers and seeds when neighbors complimented her.
Mary Ellen was an accomplished horsewoman throughout her childhood and adult life. She loved horses from the time she was a toddler, and other animals as well, including her cat Dreadful, dog Ozzie and wild birds, except for Blue Jays which she chased out of her filbert trees with her slingshot. Mary Ellen was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She was fiercely independent, somewhat accident prone, curious and smart. She loved taking day trips with her sisters. Mary Ellen was intuitive and good at many things but did not think she was good at teaching them. Now she can rest knowing she does all her favorite things best and will be missed forever.
At Mary Ellen’s request there will be no funeral or memorial service. The family requests no flowers be sent. Anyone who wishes to express sympathy or honor Mary Ellen’s memory can make a donation in her name to any of the charities she supported, which are: Planned Parenthood, Habitat for Humanity, Doctors Without Borders and Oregon Public Broadcasting.