Mary Ann Elliott
Mary Ann Elliott, an adventurous, mischievous and generous soul, died June 27 in Portland surrounded by family and friends. She was 81. She was born in Salem, Ore., on Jan. 22, 1938, to John and Margaret Smith. She grew up in Portland, where she attended Immaculata Academy, Providence School of Nursing and Portland State University. She earned her master's at University of Oregon. She worked as a nurse but quickly ascended to management positions. She quietly relished her role as someone who could improve conditions for those she led. Many who worked at Morningside Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Washington High and the VA in Portland can attest to this.
She was proud of her work accomplishments but would rather be remembered for her life outside the office.
As a volunteer, she traveled to flood-stricken regions with the Red Cross, consoled trauma victims with the Trauma
Intervention Program, shelved endless stacks of books at the Multnomah County Library and assisted hungry families at Snowcap. Over the years, she had many interests, all of them illustrating her curious, whimsical nature. Among
them: sewing, guitar, macramé, belly dancing (the 70s!), Volkswalking, hiking, swimming, rafting, and the list goes
on. Her lifelong hobbies were gardening, reading, theater and travel. She visited the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland
annually; had season tickets to multiple theater companies; traveled throughout the world; and nurtured an enviable vegetable and rose garden. Her nightstand was always overflowing with library books. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She also loved ballroom dancing, which is how she met her husband, Gayle. They married in 1960 and raised three daughters. They entertained frequently, joined several dancing clubs and made life fun for themselves and those in their orbit.
Irreverent and witty, Mary Ann could find the humor in the most dull and desperate situations. Her stories focused on life's follies and she made many laugh in the retelling.
She is survived by her husband, Gayle; two daughters,
Angela (husband Michael) and Diana (husband Jerry); her brother Tom Smith; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren, and many others who loved her dearly.
Her daughter, Brenda, and her brother, Jim, died previously.
A celebration of life will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 27, at Gresham Memorial Chapel. Donations can be sent to Snowcap or the Multnomah County Library.