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Elaine Yunker of Richland, 78, died peacefully while surrounded by family on January 9, 2014.

Elaine was born in Glendive, Montana, to Ralph and Frances Scudder. After losing both her brother and mother, Elaine's father married Dorothy Scudder and settled in Roseburg, Oregon, in 1949. In 1957, Elaine graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics Education and a minor in English from Oregon State University, where she met her fiance, Wayne Yunker. That fall, they married and moved to Seattle to finish graduate studies at University of Washington. After two years in White Sands, New Mexico, Wayne and Elaine settled in Richland, Washington, to raise their family.

Elaine went on to complete training from St. Nicholas Training Center for the Montessori Method, London. She was a teacher at Paulsen's Preschool in 1972, Children's House from 1973-1978, and Central United Protestant Co-Op Preschool from 1976-1978. In 1978, she was appointed Director and served in this position for more than 20 years. In retirement, Elaine continued to volunteer in the community and was a favorite guest reader in many school libraries.

A devoted mother, grandmother, wife and daughter, Elaine's greatest joy was her family. She spent her adult life doting on her children, grandchildren and school family. She adored teaching so many children in the community and seeing them grow up to have families of their own. Not a shopping trip could be had without running into someone she taught or parents that knew her through school.

In her spare time, Elaine enjoyed antique hunting, growing miniature roses, calligraphy, geneology, cross stitch, learning Spanish and vacationing with her children.

Elaine was preceded by her husband Wayne and survived by her three children, and beautiful grandchildren. The family wishes to give special thanks to our many relatives and friends for their love and support. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Breast Cancer/Lymphoma) or OSU Foundation (College of Health & Human Sciences).

An open reception to celebrate Elaine's life will be held for friends and family at the Richland Hampton Inn on May 17, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Published in Tri-City Herald on May 6, 2014
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