Our beloved mother, Evelyn (Shaw) Murnen, passed away peacefully at home on June 22, 2016 at the age of 97. She lived a long, happy, and “charmed” life.
Evelyn was born on Oct. 31, 1918 to Stanley T. and Clara Shaw of Tacoma, the oldest daughter of five children. She graduated from Stadium High School in 1937, then earned her BA in Home Economics from the College of Puget Sound (now UPS) in 1941. Keenly intelligent, she was proud of her early jobs as Assistant to Dean of Women Students, and her office position at KVI Radio.
On April 4, 1942, Evelyn married the love of her life, Edgar J. Murnen, Jr, also of Tacoma. In 1952, after a few short years in Sutherlin, Ore., they moved with their four children to Hoquiam, where Evelyn gave birth to the final two children and said “no more!”
Evelyn had a deep love for Hoquiam, her friends and neighbors. Her passion for the arts and her continuous interest in learning kept her active in the Grays Harbor arts community. She devoted years to PEO, the League of Women Voters, Y Circle, Young Mother’s Club, Women’s Club, Opera Guild, Friends of the 7th Street Theater, Friends of the Hoquiam Library, and the Polson Museum. Her passion for music and theater gave her many fulfilling evenings at the 7th Street, Bishop Center and the Driftwood Theater.
Evelyn and Ed wanted us to see the world, taking our clan of 8 to Mexico in 1968. Later, she and Ed enjoyed numerous stateside road trips, Europe and Hawaii. After Ed passed, she traveled with sister Miki to Australia and to the east coast and Europe. Her favorite place, however, was the cabin on Hood Canal where there was always a fun crowd.
An expert homemaker, Evelyn was a ‘scratch’ cook, seamstress, and prolific knitter! Among her thousands of knitted projects, the self-proclaimed “KnitWitch” knit, among other things, dozens of beautiful Christmas stockings, and baby sweaters for generations of children past, present and future!
Evelyn was the anchoring champion of our individual lives, always cheerful, always positive to the end. There aren’t enough words to describe Evelyn and our love for her, and we will miss her forever.
She was preceded in death by her husband Ed in 1986, grandson Jacob Jupiter in 1991, and her daughter Marilyn (Larry Dittman) in 2005. She is survived by sister Miki (Shaw) Craighead, her children John (Becky), Diana (Bruce Spencer), Dave (Connie), Kathy (Mike Lytle), Rob (Susan), 12 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Evelyn would be honored if you would make a memorial donation in support of any arts-worthy project in Grays Harbor, especially the Polson Museum.
A celebration of Evelyn’s life will be held on Aug. 20 at 1:30 p.m. at the Polson Museum in Hoquiam.