Memorial service Friday for Marie E. Sundberg, 1920-2017

Family and friends will gather Friday (August 11th) to remember Marie E. Sundberg. Here’s the remembrance being shared with the community:

Marie Ellingsen Sundberg passed away peacefully, after a full and happy 96 years of life, early in the morning (she hated mornings!!!) on Monday, July 31.

Marie was born November 20, 1920, on Vashon Island. She was the first of five children born to Alfred and Engvarda Ellingsen. She attended Columbia School, basically a one-room schoolhouse on what was at the time a quiet, not very populated island. It was a close community, and she still cherished the friendships made in those years. She graduated from Vashon High School, and attended Western Washington State College for a short time.

After marrying Les Sundberg, also from Vashon, they settled in West Seattle in the house where she lived until just a few months before her death. She also owned a home on Vashon, which just happened to be right next door to the one where she and her siblings grew up, and in which one of her sisters lived until just a couple years ago. Yes, her roots were planted deeply and firmly in her original and adopted homes!

Marie and Les raised two daughters, Nancy and Cheryl. She was involved through the years in the PTA at their elementary school, as a Camp Fire Girl Leader, and as a youth group leader at the church they attended, Tibbetts United Methodist, for nearly 70 years. She also held several other positions at the church, and loved being involved in the annual rummage sale. Of course, many hours were spent chauffeuring her kids and their friends around Seattle. She was also an active member of Children’s Hospital Alan Richard Howard Guild.

When her daughters were older, she started working, first at Shadel Hospital, and then later at Jencelite, as a bookkeeper, from which she eventually retired, though somewhat reluctantly!

Marie grabbed life by the horns and never wanted to miss an adventure or opportunity! She loved baking (it was expected that there would be cinnamon rolls whenever It was her turn to be hostess for the circle meetings at church). She was a faithful follower of Seattle-area sports teams, including being a season-ticket holder for UW Husky football until recently. As you can imagine, that led to some conflict with Cheryl, and other family members, who were WSU grads! She loved gardening, and could find an empty spot somewhere for just one more dahlia tuber. She didn’t believe in putting plants in the compost … they had to go somewhere in her yard or to a friend or family member. And the horror of those yellow flowers in the yard … they must go, and so, right up until about a year ago, she was out in the yard getting rid of them. Her love of gardening kept her body strong, and her daily devotion to the word search in the newspaper kept her mind sharp, she always claimed.

Mostly she loved family, and that was a large number of people since that didn’t just mean blood relatives, but anyone who was a friend of family as well. Oh, the adventures we all had. In the early years, that meant camping trips to places where the fish were running, from the coast to Eastern Washington. And those trips included lots of family, lots of yummy food, lots of adventures, tons of laughter. Another memorable trip was to watch the Huskies play in the Rose Bowl. Another, a drive up to Ketchikan to visit family there. In more recent years, there were trips to Reno and Vegas and several cruises with family and friends. She loved family reunions (Sundberg, Ellingsen, and any others who would include us … like Freeman’s and Paulson’s since they were basically family) and neighborhood parties.

Marie was preceded in death by her husband Les, her parents, her brothers Dick and Karl, her sister Bea, many other family members. Those of us left behind (including her daughters Nancy and Cheryl, sister Lue (Ray) Wales, sisters-in-law Ginny Sundberg and MaryAnn Ellingsen, grandson Jeff (Linda) Johnson, granddaughter Erica (James) Johnson, and too many to name cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends), are picturing her great reunion with family and friends: eating lefse and lutefisk, playing pinochle, discussing who has the best garden with Karl, Bea, and Dick, getting Les caught up with the current Mariner wins.

Services will be held Friday, August 11, beginning with a service at Tibbetts United Methodist Church, (3940 41st Ave. SW) at 11 AM. If you choose to join us, please wear your brightest, most flowery clothes (in honor of her love of her garden), and wear your pearls (hers were always a part of her dressing up attire), if you have some. That includes men with Hawaiian type or just brightly colored shirts… no suits or ties! If you can, please bring along a few flowers from your garden as we all know those were her favorites. Burial to follow on Vashon Island.

Suggested memorials can be made to Tibbetts United Methodist Church or Children’s Hospital, uncompensated fund.

Please visit our online guestbook at islandfuneral.com.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

3 Replies to "Memorial service Friday for Marie E. Sundberg, 1920-2017"

  • Also John August 8, 2017 (9:22 am)

    Sounds like she had a wonderful life!  Vashon Island must have been breathtaking back in the 20’s.

  • Mat August 8, 2017 (1:04 pm)

    Marie was a neighbor of mine for the past 10 years or so. Such a sweet lady. You’ll be missed Marie!

  • Rebecca August 8, 2017 (2:57 pm)

    Marie is my mom’s first cousin.    She will be missed!

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