Shirley Suzanne Woolfolk
On December 9, 2020, Earth lost an angel as heaven gained one. Shirley Suzanne McMullen Woolfolk "Sue" was born April 30, 1932 in Seattle Washington, and raised primarily in Juneau Alaska. Sue attended Willamette University her first 3 1/2 years from 1951 to 1953 when much to her and her advisor's chagrin, she learned she needed an additional credit (in statistics) to graduate. She returned to Willamette to complete her degree in Sociology in 1989.
When Sue left college initially, it was to move to Portland and share an apartment with her favorite cousin, Dede. It was while living in Portland that she met her future husband in a grocery store when she was in line and discovered she had left her purse at home. She wanted to borrow a dollar from her friend who was the checker and he turned to another friend of his who was standing there and said, "I don't have any money but John will loan you some." A year later, Sue made a beautiful bride as she married John at St. Mary Magdalene the summer of 1957.
A gifted musician, Sue played piano by ear. She had never learned to read music but entertained professionally in a nightclub called The Helm on Broadway Street in the late 1950's. She took requests and had a loyal following. Clientele would come in each evening with a tune to try to challenge her. She would say "hum me a few bars" and then she'd play the song. She was never stumped. While this was quite fun for her, she did this while working days as a legal secretary to support John while he finished his teaching degree at Portland State University. Later, Sue would pitch in to play the organ at mass when the regularly scheduled organist wasn't available. True to her nature, she was known to slip in a secular song in place of something the Priest suggested if she thought it dreary or otherwise outside her skill level.
In the summer of 1962, Sue and John spent a month camping out of their VW Beetle as they traveled the Alcan Highway to visit their friends the Patterson's in Fairbanks Alaska. The Alcan was still an unpaved gravel road at that time. Sue loved the wilderness, birds, gardening and all things of Nature. Sue was particularly fascinated by hummingbirds, some of which stayed with her and her ever full feeders all year round along with the small herd of black-tailed deer that wandered through the barnyard as regular as clock-work.
In 1968, Sue and John bought land South of Molalla Oregon and began construction on the home in which they would raise their family. In 1970, they moved to what became Foxhill Farm with their two young children and lived there on that land for the next 50 years.
During Sue's 50 years living in the small community of Molalla, she became well known for her civic involvement. She was a poll volunteer for nearly every election from the early 1970s until Oregon went to the Vote by Mail system exclusively in 2000. She could be found volunteering in her children's schools and in church and worked as a dispatch officer for the Molalla Police Department in the early 1980's. Sue was well known and well-loved in Molalla. In her later years, she became a fixture at the senior center and many of the local restaurants. If someone would call out "Sweet Sue" she would respond in an exaggerated little girl's voice with "That would be me" with her forefinger poised under her chin and a slight curtsy.
Sue was a part of a group of families and individuals who got together for black powder shoots and rendezvous. While not a fan of shooting, she still enjoyed the people part. She camped and cooked - sewed costumes and made crafts. Sue made many deep and lasting friendships with people she met in this community where she was given the name of "Happy Echo" as the musical sound of her laughter could be heard throughout the camp. In later years, many of these shoots were held at Foxhill farm where she was given yet another name, "The Fudge Lady" for the mint fudge she provided at these events.
Sue is survived by her beloved husband of 63 years, John Woolfok; her son Michael Woolfolk; daughter JoAnna McDonnell; grandchildren Artem Woolfolk, Victoria Woolfolk, Berkeley Fisher, Emilie Fisher, William McDonnell and Ericka Eatherton; cousins Rosemary "Dede" Patterson (and her husband Pat Patterson) and Gail Patterson; sisters Carol Ann McMullen and Roberta Hales and nephew Mark Morton. She will be deeply missed.
For Sue, a stranger was a friend she just hadn't met yet.