Rhilda Fern (Bechtold) Marcelynas passed away peacefully in Buckley, Washington at age 96. She was the youngest of three daughters born to Ernest and Dora Jones of Spokane, Washington.
No family gathering was complete without a photograph of the three Jones sisters together. They all lived to very advanced ages, and passed away in their birth order. In 1944 she met her husband John Bechtold in Spokane, WA when he drove her mother home in a taxi from the grocery store. They moved to Tacoma to begin their life together and then eventually to Sumner in 1952, where they built the family house that she still owns. Like many women of her generation, she lived through home improvements and advances that greatly eased the burdens of raising a family with four children. This included installation of a forced air furnace. No more supplementing an old oil burner with the drafty wood-burning fireplace in the living room. Almost as good was a modern washing machine purchased after she fell and broke her arm In the pasture one night while helping Dad look for a missing cow and calf. Mom was an accomplished seamstress, sewing and mending many articles of clothing for the family on her Singer treadle sewing machine. The girls all learned to sew on that machine. Son John was often out in the woods with Dad running machinery and cutting down trees. When Mom baked, the wonderful aroma of homemade bread and cinnamon rolls filled the house. Our mother coped with surprises like one hundred pounds of smelt and another time an enormous crock of sauerkraut that Dad bartered for and brought home without advance warning. No cell service or texting in those days. After many years as a widow Mom found renewed happiness with her second husband Tony Marcelynas, attending the opera In Seattle and dancing at the Elks In Tacoma. When we saw them at their wedding reception we were astonished. Who knew Mom was such a talented ballroom dancer?
Mom was a gifted musician. For many years she played the organ and piano every Sunday for services at Sumner Presbyterian Church (now Faith Covenant) and filled in at other churches in the surrounding area. During local, state and national elections she also worked at voting precincts throughout the South Sound before Washington State implemented mail-in voting. She was preceded In death by her parents, sisters Frances Guenther and Audrey Russell, husbands John Bechtold and Anthony F. Marcelynas, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army, Retired and granddaughter Renee D. Smith. She Is survived by her children Joanne Bonine, Dianne Bechtold (Jeff Grider), John Bechtold (Jackee) and Patsy Bechtold (John Jackson), four grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.
The family wishes to express their appreciation for the care Mom received in her final years from Dr. Mythili Ramachandran, Bonney Lake Medical Center. We especially want to acknowledge the love and care given by Wendy and Jeff Mitchell and the staff of Foothills Adult Family Home in Buckley, where she lived almost six years. Mom was truly happy there and greatly enjoyed watching the birds at the feeders outside her window.
A gathering to celebrate her life will be held at a future date.