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Burdette Craig McClelland

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Burdette Craig McCLELLAND Burdette Craig McClelland, made her transition on October 4 at her home on Mercer Island after a long illness. She was born December 28, 1918, to Edmund James and Amy (Jacobson) Craig in Morristown, SD. In 1924 her family moved to the new city of Longview, WA where, as a freshman at R.A. Long High School, Burdette met her future husband, John M. McClelland Jr. During her junior and senior high school years, Burdette attended the Annie Wright Seminary in Tacoma where she had the honor of being elected May Queen. She graduated in 1936 and entered Stanford as a freshman the same year. She joined the Delta Gamma sorority and majored in the social sciences. Following her junior year, she and John were married at the Longview Community Church on June 24, 1939. They made their home in Longview where John joined his father, John M. McClelland Sr., publishing the Longview Daily News and Burdette was active in a number of civic activities. They were blessed with a daughter and a son, Genevieve and John, and their home was center for many extended family activities throughout the years. Burdette was a charming and accomplished hostess and helped create many fond memories for both family and friends. Burdette was a founding member and a president of the Longview Junior Service League. A gifted performer, she had major roles in three JSL follies productions directed by the Cargill Company to raise funds for charity. She played an active role in bringing a broad range of speakers to Longview through the Community Forum. For many years she was a member of the Round Robin Study Club and wrote numerous papers based on her travels and studies. The McClellands traveled throughout the world, and in 1977 were among the first westerners to enter China along with other members of the board of the Associated Press. In 1975, The Longview Publishing Company purchased several eastside weekly journals and began the creation of a daily newspaper to be known as the 'Journal American'. As a result, the McClellands began commuting to Bellevue during the week. Enamored of the Seattle area, they decided to move permanently and eventually settled in the Madison Park neighborhood. Burdette was active in founding the Bellevue Art Museum and was proud of her years on the board of the Seattle Repertory Theater and her work on Town Hall. She and her husband were dedicated supporters of ARCS, which supports science majors at the University of Washington, the Seattle Art Museum, the Henry Art Museum, Intiman and the Espy Foundation. She was a member of the Sunset Club and a social member of the Seattle Tennis Club and the Broadmore Country Club. She and her husband attended Epiphany Episcopal Church. Burdette was preceded in death by her parents and her sisters Genevieve Craig Barnhart and Helen Craig Smyth. She is survived by her husband at home and by her children Genevieve Lee (Henry) of Chelsea, VT, her son John M. McClelland III (Pauly) of Longview and by her grandchildren Mara McClelland of New York City, Ian McClelland of Longview, Christian Lee of San Francisco and Wyndham Lee of Chelsea, nieces Pamela Webster of Olympia and Melissa Morgan of Lake Bay, WA, and several great-great nieces and nephews as well as two great-granddaughters. Cremation has taken place, and a memorial service is pending. In lieu of flowers, donations of sympathy may be made to Epiphany Episcopal Church of Seattle, 1800 38th Ave E., 98122.
Published in The Seattle Times on Oct. 10, 2010
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