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SUE ELLEN HEFLIN (1955 - 2014)

Obituary
  • "So sad to hear about the passing of my dear friend..."
    - Linda Kraut
  • "My heart goes out to the family. Sue Ellen and I were..."
  • "Oh, Sue Ellen. Gary and I remember you fondly and send your..."
  • "Humble, caring and professional best describes Sue Ellen in..."
  • "I attended Fairhaven College in Bellingham with Sue Ellen. ..."
    - Beth Clark

Sue passed away on June 26, 2014 at Samish Island, Washington.

Sue was born January 13, 1955 at San Mateo, California.

She is survived by her mother, Jean, her brother, Bill, her nephew, Jason, niece, Laika and two grandnephews, Kajson and Kody.
She is also survived by a large group of cousins, Jana, Laura, Heather, Bruce, Ian, Katherine, Alex and Linn.

Sue attended elementary school in Portola Valley, California; high school at Woodside High, in Woodside, California and graduated from Cubberley High School in Palo Alto, California in June 1972. She also spent a term at the weaving school, Sor Trondelag Flykes Husflidskole at Trondheim, Norway. Sue received her Bachelor of Arts from Western Washington University in Bellingham in August, 1976. She also obtained a Masters in Public Administration of the Arts from the first class in Evergreen State University in Olympia. She also attended training at Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in 1988.

Sue was an avid gardener and loved her dogs. She was an accomplished guitarist and had a sweet singing voice. Sue was a master weaver and was well aware of all the techniques for dying wool and textiles.

One of Sue's first work experiences was teaching English in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In 1979-81 she was the Arts & Humanities Program Coordinator for the Thurston County Seniors Center, Olympia, Washington. In 1982 she served as an Administrative Intern with the Washington State Arts Commission. Sue was a Program Associate with Exhibit Touring Services, Olympia. During 1983-5 Sue was the Executive Director of the Alameda County Arts Commission in the East Bay area of California. For the next decade Sue served as the Arts Director for the Spokane Arts Commission, Spokane, Washington. From 1995-2004, she was the Executive Director of the Spokane Arts School which flourished under her direction. For the period 2004- 2012 she was the Executive Director of the Whatcom County Volunteer Center, Bellingham, Washington. Her last post was as Executive Director of the Lincoln Theater, Mount Vernon, Washington which she held until she was forced into retirement for health reasons. She helped bring the theater into the digital age.

Sue was always very active in community affairs. She was a member of the Board of Directors of Fair Electric Rates Now from 1978-82. She was a founding member of the Board of Trustees of the Network of Local Arts Agencies of Washington State from 1989-94. She was a founding member of the Woodstock Farm Conservancy Board and she served on the Samish Island Community Center board from 2010-13, serving as president in 2011 and 2012.

Sue's courage through her recent illness inspires us all. Donations to the Lincoln Theater in lieu of flowers are requested by the family although people are encouraged to bring bouquets of home grown flowers to decorate the Lincoln.

A memorial gathering will be held at the Lincoln Theater on First Street in Mount Vernon on July 3, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on July 1, 2014
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