Elaine Alice (Laible) Spidal was born on March 22, 1970, in Seattle, Washington, to Duane Henry Laible and Jeanice Diane (Liedle) Laible. Elaine loved life and she lived it to the fullest. She died Thursday morning, March 4, 2021, at her home after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer.
Elaine grew up in Seattle and graduated from Franklin High School in 1988. In 1992 she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. At Pacific she studied Japanese and fell in love with the Japanese culture. After graduation, she moved to Japan where she was an English teacher for two years at Yamanashi Gakuin University in Yamanashi Prefecture. During those two years she traveled as much as possible and hosted family and friends who wanted to experience the beauty of Japan and surrounding countries.
Upon returning from Japan, Elaine taught 1st grade at Forest Hills Lutheran School in Cornelius for 7 years. While at Forest Hills she had a huge impact on her students and their families and developed life-long relationships with them. In 1998 she married Glen Spidal and they had two boys – Jeremy and Josiah. Her boys were the joy of her life. For the past 5 1/2 years Elaine worked for the Gaston School District in the Junior/Senior High serving as the attendance and athletic secretary. Elaine loved working at Gaston and was an avid supporter of the Gaston Greyhounds!
Elaine had many interests. She loved the beach! She loved the wind in her face and the sound of the waves. She was a collector at heart. Throughout her life she collected all things Curious George, stickers, baskets, Glassybaby candle holders, children's books, Starbucks mugs and more. When she found something she loved, she pursued it and promoted it and shared it with others. Elaine participated in Bible Study Fellowship for many years. She was actively involved in Candlelighters for Children with Cancer and served on their board and mentored many families who had children battling cancer. For the past few years, Elaine was a champion for the Portland Chapter of The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN). She worked hard to raise money to fight this terrible disease and participated in Purple Stride walks in Portland and Seattle. She loved scrapbooking with friends and all kinds of crafts. And she loved to travel, try new foods, explore new areas, support local businesses and meet new people.
Elaine invested in the lives of others. She made friends wherever she went and deeply impacted the lives of those who knew her. She loved to laugh and have fun, play games, be with friends and family and mostly, she loved watching her kids do what they love!
Elaine had an incredible network of friends who supported her in every way, especially the last few years and months, when the battle against pancreatic cancer got tougher. These friends came from all areas of her life and their dedication to her through prayer, rides to appointments, groceries, meals, encouragement and so much more, was life-giving to her. They carried her when the journey became too hard and they spoke life to her until the end.
Elaine was a woman of great faith. She faced every battle by seeking the Lord and looking for the blessings…and she found them. Despite the struggles she faced, she was joyful and grateful for the good people she met and never missed an opportunity to encourage someone else.
Elaine was preceded death by her parents, Duane H Laible and Jeanice Diane Laible, and her mother-in-law, Rhoda Spidal.
Survivors include her two sons, Jeremy Spidal and Josiah Spidal, both of Gaston, Oregon; their father, Glen Spidal, of Gaston, Oregon and her brother and sister-in-law, Henry and Jennifer Laible, of Snohomish, Washington. Also surviving her are her niece and nephew, Ali and Diego Laible, both of Snohomish, Washington and her aunts and uncles, Myron and Sarah Laible, of Reston, Virginia and Tivola Liedle of Billings, Montana. She is also survived by many cousins and close friends who became family through the years.
The family would like to thank Dr. Kardosh and his team at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and Dr. Dianna Henson and her team at Global Integrative Medical Solutions for the incredible care they provided.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Elaine Spidal Scholarship Fund at Gaston High School, 300 Park St, Gaston, OR 97119, or to the 2021 Purple Stride TEAM AWESOME in Elaine's Memory go to support.pancan.org/goto/TeamAwesome1. From here you can make a memorial donation to the team or everyone is invited to join our team and walk with us on September 25, 2021.
A Service and Celebration of Life to honor Elaine will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 21, 2021. Private Cremation Rites were held at the Hoyt Crematory in Forest Grove. Fuiten, Rose and Hoyt Funeral Home in Forest Grove is entrusted with arrangements. To sign the online guest book or to send a condolence to the family go to www.fuitenrosehoyt.com.