Laurel McQuary


Laurel McQuary
June 27, 1915 - Oct. 10, 2011

Laurel was the oldest of six children born to Jesse C. and Hattie (Gaines) Lynn. She was raised on a farm in Kettle Falls, Wash., by a schoolteacher mom and a farmer/ratchet setter dad in the family-owned lumber mill.

She graduated elementary school in Meyers Falls and high school in Colville. After completing high school, she took a job at the County Extension Office in Colville at the start of the wheat, corn and hog allotment. This later turned into a large government subsidy program for the farmers.

Enough money was saved at this job to allow her to attend WSC (later changed to WSU). She was fortunate to live with Gaines (the ones the wheat was named after) relatives in Pullman and graduated as a home economics teacher in 1939. Laurel got a teaching job in Colton that lasted for three years. Due to the uncertainty of World War II, she then took a more secure job in the State Extension Office in Pullman until 1947. At the end of WWII, free flying lessons were offered and she took her solo flight to receive her pilot's license.

She applied for and got the job as County Extension Agent in Columbia County just at fair time of 1947. She moved to Dayton and met her future husband while shopping for groceries at McQuarys' Grocery Store. Laurel helped Claude raise his twin sons and they had a daughter who joined the family. Laurel and Claude celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1998.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers; and two sisters (one sister died from diphtheria at the age of 6 years); her husband of 54 years, Claude McQuary; stepson and his wife, Robert R. and Janet M. McQuary. She is survived by her sister, Marion Wheeler; her daughter, Lynn Hutchens (John); step-son, Richard R. McQuary; two grandchildren; two great-granddaughters; two stepgrandchildren; three stepgreat-grandchildren.

At her request, there will be no funeral. A family gathering will take place at a later time.


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