E. Arlene McCutchan age 93 of Maple Valley, WA passed away peacefully Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Arlene was born on August 11, 1927 in Medora, North Dakota to Donald and Viola Ray. As a girl, Arlene loved keeping up with her dad and brother Leo outside on the ranch. She loved to talk about her childhood and about the good times in Medora or the long walks with her siblings to the one room schoolhouse. Arlene even played girls half-court basketball and traveled to other schools in the back of a truck. She spoke of her childhood with great affection. After high school she moved to Omaha, Nebraska where she attended business school. On a visit back home, she met and married the love of her life, Don McCutchan. They worked on local ranches in and around Medora, later moving to the Seattle area where they would raise their three children: Billie, Susie, and Jerry.
Don and Arlene were happily married for 40 years, living on the Cedar River, loving life raising kids and grandkids. They enjoyed working on their 5 acres together, sleepovers with the grandkids, and especially summers when Susie and Rod came home and the whole family was together again. Don and Arlene enjoyed their life together on the river and all the wonderful memories made and traditions started there. Her beloved husband passed away in January 1989.
In 1980 at the age of 53 Arlene enrolled in Green River Community College’s Physical Therapy Assistant program and received her associate degree. She went to work at Rainier State School in Buckley where she worked for 30 years. She truly enjoyed her work and the many friends she made there, especially Debbie Gage and Margret Storbo. She retired in 2010 at the age of 83.
Arlene loved to travel, Greece and Ireland were among her favorites, but her yearly road trips back to Medora for the class reunion to visit friends and family were so important to her. Arlene made her last visit a few years ago where she went to a local rodeo, the musical, and visited old friends. We will all miss the guided tours around Medora complete with stories from her youth and early days with Don.
Arlene loved sewing and quilting. She made beautiful wedding quilts for each of her 8 grandkids and crib quilts for all her great grandbabies. It was always so much fun to look through the cedar chest at all the quilts waiting to be gifted on that special day.
Arlene was a wonderful cook. Her love was shared through her amazing food and each of our family traditions revolve around one of her special dishes. What Arlene loved most in the world was spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She taught the importance of family traditions, making sure her recipes for buns, fried bread, biscuits & gravy, fried chicken, cookies, and fudge were passed on. Christmas cookies and Lincoln Log houses with her delicious chili, Easter breakfast with epic Easter egg hunts on the hill, and Fourth of July picnics with her famous buns are just some of the cherished memories she gave us all. Having a full house was her favorite, with the laughter and love of her family around her. There was always room for more and she welcomed everyone with open arms.
Arlene attended St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in Black Diamond and had been a member since 1989. She loved attending mass on early Sunday mornings, especially when she could show off a grandkid or two. She was quiet about her faith, but it brought her joy. If you called her on a Sunday evening and asked about church, she loved to tell you about the day’s message.
Arlene had a wonderful picture window from where she could see her beautiful hill. She loved to tell you about the elk and this spring she was enthralled with the beautiful Foxgloves and greenery. The goats! She especially enjoyed watching her goats. Arlene was still feeding her goats and giving them a sweet treat up until last week.
Arlene was blessed with three incredible children who each had a special place in her heart. Billie loved shopping with her mom and taking road trips together. They also shared a love of reading and many good books. Susie loved talking on the phone with her mom. They enjoyed daily conversations, cooking together, and finding new recipes they would make when she came home. Jerry loved his time spent at the river with his mom. He enjoyed helping her, fixing things, and doing whatever it took to make her life a little easier. He loved eating her delicious food and decorating her Christmas tree together.
Billie, Susie, and Jerry loved watching their mom as she passed down our treasured family traditions to the grandkids and great grandkids.
Arlene was thankful for her kids and their spouses, especially in the last few years. In many conversations with her she would say as much. Robbie was so helpful, Rod was so neat, and Tracy was a good cook. Arlene would always say how lucky she was to get such nice kids, every single one of them.
Arlene loved being a Grandma and she was unbelievably remarkable at it. Her 26 grandchildren and great grandchildren loved her dearly and called her by many names: Grandma, Gram, Grandma Pa, Grandma Arlene, Grandma Cutch, GG, or Old Grammy, and she never hesitated to happily respond to any of them, at any given moment. The memories she made with all of her grandkids will last forever, the love between them will never fade and a special part of her will continue to live on in each of them.
Arlene had a quiet elegance about her and left a lasting impact on those she met. Arlene was a good friend to many and loved to have a cup of coffee and visit. You were always made to feel at home. If you had a favorite cookie, you could always find it waiting for you if she knew you were coming down. The cookies in the freezer were a favorite pit stop for everyone.
Arlene is loved by so many and each one of us will cherish our special connection with such a special lady.
Arlene is survived by her children Billie (Rob) Greenside, Susie (Rod) Anardi, and Jerry (Tracy) McCutchan; her beloved grandchildren, Kelly (Rich), Travis, Jason (Cherie), DJ (Erin), Tait (Tristan), Dusty (Chrystal), Cailan (Eric), Erik (Megan); her great grandchildren Cheyenne (Tim), Augustus, Maddie Ray, Tadem, Olivia, Icys, Logan, Ty, Owen, Avery, Malia, Kai, Kamyrn and Kiona; sister-in-law Lea Ray; brother-in-law Jim Lunde; numerous nieces and nephews; and dear friend Lois Greenside.
Arlene was preceded in death by her husband Don, her brother Leo, and sisters Eleanor and Mary.
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