Elayne Gloria McManus

September 15, 1926 - November 29, 2020


Elayne McManus of Tacoma, age 94, passed away peacefully Sunday morning, November 29, 2020. She was surrounded by her family. Elayne was born September 15, 1926 in Page, North Dakota, the daughter of Burnette and Anna (Sorenson) Isaacson, she was the oldest of six children.

Elayne’s independent streak started when she was young. She quit school when she was in the 11th grade and as an 18 year old she decided to move out of her family’s house because there were too many kids, and promptly moved in with another family with less kids!

Elayne relocated to the Fargo, North Dakota area and it was in this period of time that she worked as a telephone operator and then as a sales clerk for DeLaundrecies department store, a job that she loved. Elayne met the love of her life one evening in a bar in Fargo. She and her and best friend Pat were sitting in the bar when a young man stopped in for a pack of cigarettes. Elayne took one look at him and turned to her friend and said I’m going to marry that man! On July 21, 1948 Elayne and Bob were married and they began a journey together that would last 71 years.

After being married, Elayne and Bob took up residence in a small trailer on the campus of North Dakota State University where he was a student. They began their family together with the arrival of their son Mike soon followed by twins Tom and Julie. Elayne had to quickly figure out how to manage a household of five people while her husband attended school and worked part time. She learned how to stretch a dollar while raising three kids and tending to a husband.

Little did Elayne know that she was about to begin her traveling career as the family moved from Fargo to Seattle as the result of Bob taking a job with Boeing upon graduation. While living in the Kirkland area, Elayne gave birth to her fourth child, Kelly.  Soon after she was on the move again as Bob took a transfer to Wichita, Kansas. Elayne quickly decided that she preferred the green landscapes and mild climate of Seattle to the hot, humid, dusty confines of Kansas, and the occasional tornadoes were enough to send her over the edge. Elayne spent the next six years in Kansas where their fifth child Timothy was born. Elayne was glad for the opportunity to move back to the Seattle area with Bob in 1959 and in the next couple of years expanded the family by two with the births of her sixth child Casey and seventh child and second daughter Marianne.

Elayne became just as skilled a manager as her husband Bob as she dealt with running the daily affairs of a household that now supported nine people. At times a typical day would include early breakfast for her husband, then something for several in high school one in junior high a couple in elementary and one preschool age!  Don’t forget the lunches and after school homework and dinner for nine!! And, oh yeah time to shop with several kids in tow to keep the cupboards stocked.  When Bob retired in 1986 Elayne was ready to follow.

Elayne was always an incredible cook, but after the kids started leaving the house she expanded her skill set and took on gardening as well as decorating and refining her naturally instinctive artistic skills. All of her children have some of her art in their houses. Elayne traveled the continental United States with Bob as well as taking trips overseas to Ireland and Hawaii with her sister-in-law Catherine and brother-in-law Russ and family friends. She enjoyed the company of all as she shared her love and friendship with us and created everlasting memories.

After downsizing from their large house in Des Moines where they raised seven children, Elayne and Bob made stops in Longbranch, Grayland, and Kent, Washington before spending the last two decades in Huntington Park retirement community in Des Moines, Washington, volunteering and spending time with family and friends. She had just recently moved to Harbor View Adult Family Home assisted living facility in Tacoma, Washington.

Elayne was a kind and loving Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother and will be forever in our hearts. The family would like to thank Franciscan Hospice as well as the staff of Harbor View Adult Family Home for their compassionate care and kindness.

She was preceded in death by her husband Bob, her parents Burnette and Anna, sisters Ardis and Janet, and Brother Arnold. Elayne is survived by her seven children, Michael (Mary), Thomas (Kim), Julie Graf, Kelly, Timothy, Casey, Marianne (Jeff), her sisters Kathi (Alan) and Vicki, and brother in law Russ. Fourteen grandchildren, Matthew, Patrick, Molly, Jessica, Jill, John, Jacob, Katie, Darby, Delaney, Aaron, Kara, Meera Mac, and Jessi. Eight great grandchildren, Josie, Kinsley, Jameson, Olivia, Tristen, Mackenzie, Colton and Casey. And numerous nieces and nephews.

A private Funeral Mass will be held at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Federal Way. The service will be live streamed through face book via the parish web site. Go to www.stvincentparish.org and scroll down to Live Streamed Funerals on Friday December 18th @ 12:00 PM.  Interment to follow at Tahoma National Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Franciscan Hospice group or the charity of your choice in her name.

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Jennifer Ahern- Sorensen
Jennifer Ahern- Sorensen
2 months ago

Aunt Elayne, I will miss you very much. I miss both you and Uncle Bob. I can still hear you saying, “ Oh Robert!” I loved coming to your house in Des Moines for holidays and especially 4th of July. You were always the perfect hostess and your home warm and inviting, with everything in its perfect place. Later on, when Nannie, Grandma and I lived with you after moving back from Tennessee, you made your home feel like our home. I remember when you drove me to my new school the first day. I was so nervous, but you promised everything would be fine and I’d have a new friend by the end of the day. You were right! I loved coming to visit you and uncle Bob at your house in Grayland and being able to ride bikes. The apple tree painted on the floor is still a favorite of mine. What a beautiful life you had. You found a true love that transcended space and time and a family that worshiped and adored you. What gives me comfort, is knowing you are once again with the love of your life and 2 very special angels to me- Grandma and Nannie. Not to mention all of the fur babies from years past. I told Julie and Marianne, I bet you are all together, making Klub, Lefsa and those delicious sugar cookies you always made. I’ll see you again someday. Love, Jenny

Patrick McManus
Patrick McManus
2 months ago

The last 6 months have been hard. The world changed and I couldn’t stop by and see you whenever I wanted anymore. I’m sad that you are gone but happy you are with grandpa now. Please tell him how much I miss him. I will always remember all of our visits over coffee and you offering me delicious home made cookies or scones or whatever sweet you had at the time. I loved our conversations and how you would keep me up to date with all of my cousins and aunts and uncles. I to remember when you and grandpa would have a disagreement about something in the course of our conversation. You would say “Bob” and grandpa would say “Elayne” in his strictest sternest voice and I would try my best to not start laughing. You guys were great together and the best grandparents a kid could ask for. Your the only one I would ever answer to when you called me “patty cakes” What I wouldn’t give to hear you say that one more time. I miss you both terribly now. I know you cant read this or hear my words but I hope to see you again someday. Love always , your grandson.