Elinor L. Ries, 95, died Jan. 25 in Vancouver, Washington, from Alzheimer’s dementia. There will be a funeral Mass at 11 a.m. at the Madeleine, 3123 N.E. 24th Avenue, followed by a luncheon. Military committal will be at 10 a.m., Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 at Willamette National Cemetery.
Mrs. Ries, a Madeleine parishioner, was born April 26, 1921, in Hays, Kansas, to Clela Haworth Westhusing and George O. Westhusing. She graduated from high school in Plainville, Kansas, and moved with her family to Portland in 1939. She served in the Navy WAVES during WWII. She married John Ries Jr. Feb. 14, 1948. They lived in Redmond and Burns, where John taught high school, before returning to Portland to live in Parkrose and then Irvington, where they raised their five daughters. A stay-at-home mom, Elinor was always busy. She was a school volunteer, Girl Scout leader and trainer and was awarded the St. Ann Medal for Catholic Scouts. She was the originator of "Jonni Frames" in partnership with Arlene Burnett, which were sold worldwide. She also volunteered with the National Alliance for Mental Illness and Legal Aid. When her girls were older she worked at Parkrose and Fernwood Middle School as a teacher's aide. She and Mr. Ries were active at St. Rita Church and the Madeleine, where she was a member of the altar society. After John became a deacon, the couple traveled to Europe and throughout the U.S. on many church-sponsored trips. She also became active in the deacon wives' group.
Mrs. Ries loved her children and grandchildren and felt lucky to have all of them living in the Portland area. She was happiest in the kitchen preparing a meal for any holiday when she would invite all the family members and friends to their home. She loved a good party.
Mrs. Ries is survived by her daughters, Cheryl Weir (Don), Bibi Ries-Clarke (Richard), Elizabeth Pendergrass (Barry), Juli Currie (Kevin), Rose Jones (Alan); and stepson, John E. Ries (Marianne); 15 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren; brother, Keith Westhusing of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and sister, Claudia Ann Gordon.
She was predeceased by her husband, John Ries; and her brothers, Donald Westhusing and George Westhusing Jr.
Remembrances in lieu of flowers may be made to St. Vincent de Paul, The National Alliance for Mental Illness, or the Girl Scouts of America.