Astoria

April 14, 1920 — March 29, 2019

Yvonne Luchs McCann was born in Beaverton to Agnes (Kennedy) and Henry Luchs. Henry arrived as a young man from Switzerland, and settled in Oregon.

When Yvonne was a child the family briefly lived in Knappa, where her father was a logger, but mostly she grew up in Portland. Henry became a golf course groundskeeper, and later was a landscaper at the new Lloyd’s Center. The family grew to eight children.

Yvonne trained as a nurse during the war years, and married her sweetheart, Gene, in 1944. Gene flew on bombing missions out of England, and when the number of missions was met, plus a few more, his service time was fulfilled and he returned home.

The couple first lived in Portland, then Salem, then Bay City and in 1954 left Oregon with their six children — three boys and three girls — for Southern California, where Gene had a brother who wanted him to come join him.

About 10 years later the family moved again, this time to Northern California, and from there to the Bay Area, settling in San Leandro and Fremont until early retirements. Gene and Yvonne then returned to Oregon, minus all of the children, who stayed on in California.

Gene opened an automotive repair shop in Beaverton, with Yvonne as the office person. The three sons eventually joined the couple, and it was a family-run business. The shop still exists today, in Hillsboro, with one of the sons, Bob, running it.

Retiring again, the next move was to Nevada for a couple of years. Then back to Oregon, this time Astoria, in the early 1980s, to be near Gene’s sister, Sister Patricia McCann, who at that time was a caregiver for two elderly ladies and was a catalyst for the establishment of many senior services that exist in Astoria to this day. Sister Pat had also been a teacher at St Mary’s.

In the late 1980s or so, the two-story wooden house that all of them were living in was burned down by a firebug who was plaguing Astoria at the time. None of them recovered from that tremendous loss.

Sister Pat eventually went back to the mother house in ill health, and Gene and Yvonne moved to Svensen, where they became very active in volunteer work for both the Brownsmead and the Wickiup granges, and even once a year at the Olney Grange for their annual pit beef dinner fundraiser.

Yvonne, at the same time, volunteered at the senior lunch sponsored by NorthWest Senior and Disability Services at the Wickiup Grange every Wednesday, and at the food bank in Knappa. They were both semiactive in church activities.

In 2011, Gene died, and Yvonne moved to St. Helens to live with her daughter, Kathie. A few years later she moved back to Astoria, where she remained until 2018, when her health started deteriorating. Lack of openings for assisted care in Astoria saw her return to St. Helens and nearby towns.

As her health improved, she was pondering a return to Astoria, when she suddenly took a turn for the worse and died in hospice on March 29, due to complications of diabetes.

An avid follower of naturopathic remedies and the Atkins (carb-free) Diet for decades, she mostly did not take prescription drugs until the last year of her life.

She is survived by one remaining brother, Mike Luchs, of Portland; a foster brother, Lloyd Krause, of Beaverton; eight children, Jim, Carol, Joanie, Don, Kathie, Bob, Ron and Susen; several grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral mass is at St. Francis de Sales Mission, 867 Fifth St. in Hammond at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 18, with a reception afterwards at St. Mary, Star of the Sea auditorium at 14th Street and Grand Avenue in Astoria.

Inurnment of her ashes will be private, at the Willamette National Cemetery, where she will be joining her husband of 67 years.

Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to St. Mary, Star of the Sea, or the NorthWest Senior and Disability Services senior food program, or to the Astoria Senior Center, where Yvonne was a member.

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