Cover photo for Mary Ela (McLind)  Clarkson's Obituary
Mary Ela (McLind)  Clarkson Profile Photo
1935 Mary 2021

Mary Ela (McLind) Clarkson

March 19, 1935 — February 20, 2021

Mary Ella Clarkson

Mary Ella Clarkson, age 85 of Springfield, will be passed away on Saturday, February 20, 2021. She was born on March 19, 1935 in Alamosa, CO to Gustave and Velma Ledinski McLind.

In addition to her parents, Mary is preceded in death by her step-father, Albert McLind; ex-husband, Larry Clarkson; sister-in-law, Earldean (Deanie) McLind; and her brother-in-law, Bill Sanford. She is survived by her sister, Jenny Sanford; brother, Victor McLind; three children: Lynne (Matt) Herscher, Mark (Andrea) Clarkson, Michele (Steve) Tilley; and nine grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Mary was the eldest of three children and grew up in a home where money was scarce. She disliked that her mother made all of her clothes that got her laughs by the other children at school. This could be why, as an adult, she loved clothes and fashion, complete with the accessories of wigs, hats, scarves, and shoes.(Playing dress-up at Grandma’s house was a delight for her granddaughters!) She loved school and became an avid reader until the last two months of her life. She also liked math and had “photogenic memory”, as she called it, recalling phone numbers, social security numbers, etc., for life.

She attended church with her “Daddy Gus” at a young age, resulting in her baptism into the Seventh-day Adventist church, which she attended regularly until the last few years of her life. She grew up in southern Oregon and northern California, graduating from Sonora Union High School in 1953. She then
attended Pacific Union College and San Jose State College long enough to get a teaching certificate that led her to the town of Los Banos, California where she was hired to teach at the Adventist church school.

She met her future husband at church and soon she and Larry were married and starting a family. They moved quite often to follow Larry’s jobs in the Oregon towns of Malin, Myrtle Creek, Winston, Klamath Falls and Roseburg. Money was tight, and after several low paying jobs while in the Roseburg area, Mary took evening accounting classes from the local community college to obtain a job as an administrative assistant which aided her in eventually working for the state of Oregon in the Senior and Disabled Services office in Roseburg, OR. There she worked 23 years until retirement. She always worked hard to provide her children with a Christian education and kept them involved in church clubs
and activities. She and Larry separated at times and he often worked away from home which meant she often had to raise her children by herself. Her marriage ended after 25 years at which time she became active in her church’s Singles Club. The travel and friendships it provided brought enjoyment to her life, but she never remarried.

Her pride was in her grandchildren and she showered them with hugs, kisses, and sleepovers. After retirement, she did secretarial work for her local church in Sutherlin, OR, and also enjoyed getting together with her friends and former co-workers for outings and game nights.(Her laugh was her trademark.) Mary kept friends for life and corresponded with them until her final months. She lived with/near her daughter, Lynne, in Tennessee for the last 12 years of her life, where she was able to enjoy her great-grandchildren. Mary’s prayer was to be in heaven and see her mother and father along with her family and many friends.

Please visit Mary's tribute wall and leave a memory with the family.

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