Edna Christina McLean was born to George & Della (Cone) McLean on December 11, 1929, the 7th of 8 children. She died October 26, 2020. She grew up in Prineville, Oregon and during WWII saw her six brothers go to war. During those years, she with her sister Janet and her mom had a Victory Garden, gathered metal for the war effort, wrote letters to her brothers and finally were happy to welcome all 6 brothers back from the war. Edna graduated from Crook County High School in 1948. She always loved working with children, she put herself through college and became a teacher. Early in her career, she taught in a school for deaf children in Hood River and then moved to Gresham to teach 1st grade in the Centennial School District. There she remained until her retirement, touching countless young lives with her gentle and creative teaching methods.
About 40 years ago with two friends, Edna began the Beatrix Potter Group in the area. She also was a member of other clubs, such as a glass collectors club. While teaching, she helped organize annual in-service workshops for teachers, often inviting beloved children’s authors to speak.
After retiring, she continued to give of herself. She volunteered at Albertina Kerr Center in Portland, a former orphanage which now supports organizations for children and families with challenges. She also was part of a group that made quilts and clothes for newborns.
Edna continued teaching long past retirement though. The children in the family enjoyed her gentle approach with a book offered or a story read to them. As they grew, there were more memories made and more respect given her. She continued learning throughout her own life as well, and always enjoyed gathering new information.
Edna was active in her church and led a faith-filled life. She was a member of Hillcrest Bible Church in South West Portland for over 60 years. Additionally, she attended Trinity Bible Church. Her pastor’s wife shared that she participated fully in a sort of “ministry of encouragement” as she offered gentle understanding friendship and encouragement to others. It was clear that Edna loved the Lord; she was always accepting of, and willing for His Will.
In August of 2019, nearly all members of her family of 4 generations gathered in Prineville and celebrated her 90th birthday.
Edna is survived by many nieces and nephews who all treasured her love, faith and humor. She is preceded in death by her brothers Neil, Scotty, George, Bob, Don, Harry, and sister Janet Umhauer.
In lieu of flower, donations in Edna’s memory may be made to:
Hillcrest Bible Church
PO Box 19522
Portland, OR 97280
Trinity Bible Church of Portland
PO Box 16732
Portland, OR 97292
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