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Elaine Tarke

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Elaine Tarke Obituary

1931 - 2014

Life-long Yuba-Sutter native, Elaine Tarke of Meridian, California, passed away on October 15, 2014 at the age of 83 at Rideout Memorial Hospital.

Elaine was born to Arthur Leighton and Mildred Dam Phillips on January 16, 1931, at Sutter Hospital in Sacramento, California.

Elaine attended Wheatland Elementary and was a graduate of Wheatland High School in 1948. She attended Yuba College and Chico State University earning an Associate Arts and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts as well as completing a California State Teaching Credential.

Elaine married Richard Lee Tarke of Meridian, California on June 24, 1956 at St. John's Episcopal Church in Marysville, California.

Elaine proudly taught 1st-3rd grades at Durham Elementary School in Durham, California from 1952-1956. During this time she finalized her 'courtship' with her beloved Richard. After marriage she and Richard established their home in Meridian, California in 1956.

Elaine enjoyed and promoted philanthropic work throughout her life. Through her college years she was member of the Chico State Chapter of Alpha Chi Sorority, the 'Cardinal' Key Honor Society and President of Associated Women Students and Association of American Women in Universities. As a farming wife she served twice as the President of the Meridian Farm Women's group and worked actively to support years of scholarship donations to students of Sutter High School. She also served as President of Alpha Sigma Delta Chapter of California's Women in Agriculture.

She was deeply involved with the local Yuba-Sutter hospitals and served as President of Fremont-Rideout Foundation and President of the Fremont Hospital Auxiliary. She worked as a 'Pink Lady' accumulating 11,246 hours of service. She was proudly honored in 2002 with the Phebe Rideout Award for Outstanding Volunteerism.

She and husband Richard also were active in multiple Masonic organizations. Elaine enjoyed her membership in Eastern Star serving both Fidelia Chapter 56 of Yuba City and Veritas Chapter 84 in Colusa. She served for 14 years on the Advisory Board for the Colusa Chapter of Rainbow. She was President of the Ladies of the Nile in 1990 and enjoyed the company of the Western and Central Valley Shriners as well as Shrine 'Hillbilly' Clan. Elaine was actively involved with local history and culture and thoroughly enjoyed her work serving as Commissioner of the Sutter Museum Historical Society as well as membership and service with Native Daughters of the Golden West. In her favorite role of being a mother and gardener, she had served as the Winship - Meridian - Slough 4-H Leader and was a Charter Member and President of Meridian School Parents Club.

Elaine is survived by her sister Elizabeth 'Sugar' Strom of Earp, Arizona, a daughter Debrah (Michael) Reid of Yuba City, son David (Gina)Tarke of Sutter, grandchildren, Brian (Tina) Helzer of Sutter, Brooke (Adam) Plant of Yuba City, Bradley (Kristy) Helzer of Sutter, Chloe' Reid of Fullerton, Ashlee Reid of Fresno, Franklin Tarke of Providence, Rhode Island and Leighton Tarke of Sutter. Elaine was blessed with 7 great grandchildren.

Elaine was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Richard Lee Tarke of Meridian California, brothers Arthur Phillips of Wheatland, Stewart Phillips of Chico, and Eugene Phillips of Igo, California.

A viewing will be held at Ullrey Memorial Chapel in Yuba City on Monday, October 20, 2014, from 4-7pm. Services will be conducted at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Yuba City on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm. Following a graveside remembrance at Sutter Cemetery in Sutter, California, a hosted reception will be held beginning at 3:00 pm.

Elaine and the family have asked that those that wish to honor her memory may do so by donating to the following organizations: Shriner's Hospital in Sacramento, Meridian Methodist Church, Fremont-Rideout Hospital Foundation in Yuba City, or the Sutter County Museum in Yuba City.

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Published in Appeal Democrat from Oct. 18 to Oct. 19, 2014
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