On September 8, 2018, after hosting one of her card parties, our mom Elaine Nevue passed away at the age of 90.
Elaine Alice was born to Martin and Eva Undem on February 12, 1928, and lived her youth on a farm in the small town of Rogers, North Dakota. She graduated from Mercy School of Nursing in Valley City, North Dakota, in 1948, as a member of World War II Cadet Nurse Corps. Always modest about any accomplishments, it was not until her 80th birthday, during a family trivia contest, that we learned that she was her class valedictorian.
In a bit of luck for all of us, after graduation she was dispatched to work in the beautiful 100 Valleys of the Umpqua landing at Mercy Hospital, just up the street from where she would live for over 65 years.
She married her card partner in life, Rod Nevue, in 1951. Roseburg and the Laurelwood neighborhood are where they planted themselves, their children and Elaine’s flowers. They celebrated years of kids, games, cards and friends until Rod’s passing in 2001. Their Laurelwood house, with its close proximity to the high school, was always a place where friends and kids just walked in unannounced to hang out and eat in the rec room with their cars, bikes and motorcycles parked in the drive. Although our parents were both small in stature, for us, they were giants to be respected.
Elaine had many talents. Annually she would enter flowers and knitting in the county fair. Her sweaters always won blue and purple ribbons. She sang in the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church choir and performed solos on Christmas Eve in front of hundreds of parishioners. When we asked who the singer was, she modestly replied, “Me.”
Most of all, throughout her life, she was a nurse. And a respected nurse. After her work shift at the hospital, she would make her rounds in Laurelwood to elderly neighbors needing assistance. Even into her 80’s she would help “old people” and annually host flu shot parties. Nursing and helping people is just what she did. She also volunteered at the Cobb School until a few years ago.
Living in a neighborhood and in towns full of “characters,” Elaine’s only complaint was “there aren’t many characters around anymore.” For us, the world has lost one more.
Elaine is survived by her children, four Roseburg Indians, Patty, Beth, Bo and Paul; son and daughter-in-laws, John McArdle, Sarah Paulson Nevue and Stephanie Wolf Nevue; and a bunch of cool grandkids, Sam McCormick, Henry Nevue, Alex Nevue, Marcus McArdle, Audrey Nevue, Andrew Nevue and Logan Nevue. She adored her grandchildren and their friends who, in turn, loved her humorous and sage advice and commentary on a variety of subjects.
She is also survived by an extended family including her siblings Ione (Art) Anderson, Pat (Ken) Porter, Larry (Sis) Undem, and nearly 200 nieces, nephews and their children and grandchildren. She was predeceased by sister, Delphine (Bill) Brakke; and brother, Danny Undem.
We did find that last card game total on the table in her house, and she ended with the top score. This was documented by the four one-dollar bills next to the scorecard that verified the final tally. In the end, in life, she not only won her last card game, she won many.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Mercy Foundation or the Cobb Children’s Learning Center. Or just make sure to water your flowers or help a neighbor. She would like that.
Thanks to all of her friends who enriched her life; there are a lot of you, ones who are here and ones who have left us.
A celebration will be held in Roseburg on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, at 12:10 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 800 West Stanton Street, Roseburg. A reception will follow. The Rosary will be recited at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, September 17, 2018, at Wilson’s Chapel of the Roses. Please visit Elaine’s web site at www.wilsonschapeloftherosesfh.com to leave fond memories and condolences.