Mary Ellen Sjoding, 89, of Hammond, died June 29, 2005 in Hammond after suffering from Alzheimer's for more than a decade.

Mrs. Sjoding was born Sept. 15, 1915, in Jamesport, Mo., one of ten children born to Richard and Jane Brown. She grew up in Nebraska, graduating from Elsie High School in 1932. She received a scholarship to attend Nebraska School of Agriculture in Curtis, Neb., where she began studies to be a teacher.

In 1933, she married Bertel (Bert) Sjoding in North Platte, Neb. He died in 1982. The couple moved to Salem in 1935, joining other family members who had already settled in the area.

Mrs. Sjoding was a sales associate for the J.C. Penny Company for over 20 years and remained active in Penny's retiree meetings and social events.

She was an active member of St. Mark Lutheran church for over 60 years.

Family members said she enjoyed working in her yard, and always looked forward to hosting backyard barbecues and family parties. She liked playing cards with friends, particularly bridge, and often went on trips in search of antiques for her home.

She is survived by a daughter, Roberta McCallister and her husband, Bob Eaton of Camas, Wash; three grandchildren and their spouses, Jay and Jodi McCallister of Scottsdale, Ariz., Todd and Rachelle McCallister of Kennewick, Wash.; Amy and Pat Crowley of Scottsdale; and seven great-grandchildren; and her devoted caregivers, Dave and Sandy Renfrow of Hammond.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by nine brothers and sisters, Chloe Fuhr, Myrtle Fussell, Retha Howard, and Alva, Don, Dale, Robert, Marvin and Douglas Brown, all of Salem.

A graveside service will be held at 11:30 a.m., Friday, at Restlawn Memory Gardens in Salem.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mark Lutheran church, 790 Marion St. N.E., Salem, OR 97301.

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