Elene H. Parks Newby (also known as Gaye) passed away on Saturday, June 11, 2022. Elene was born on Aug. 18, 1934, to Melvin Sylvester and Olive Pearl (Crosson Robertshaw) Parks in the small town of …
Elene H. Parks Newby (also known as Gaye) passed away on Saturday, June 11, 2022. Elene was born on Aug. 18, 1934, to Melvin Sylvester and Olive Pearl (Crosson Robertshaw) Parks in the small town of Fife Lake in Saskatchewan, Canada. She was nicknamed Gaye because she was always so happy, and the nickname stayed with her all her life.
Elene attended a two-room school in Fife Lake through 10th grade, but moved to Vashon Island, Washington, with her sister’s family to attend 11th and 12th grades. She graduated from Vashon High School in 1952.
On Dec. 29, 1956, Elene married Glenn Langdon Newby, a friend of her brother, Ted, and they made their home near SeaTac Airport where Glenn worked. After living in south Seattle and Federal Way, in 1967 Elene and Glenn moved their family to Yelm, Washington, where they welcomed their fourth child a few months later.
Elene embraced the Yelm community and spent much of her energy supporting it. She was employed by the Yelm School District for 30 years, starting as a cashier in the middle/high school lunchroom and retired in 2003 as the secretary to the superintendent of the Yelm School District. In addition, Elene was a leader in the Prairie Wranglers 4-H Club for nearly 20 years, and participated in many fundraisers for Yelm Dollars for Scholars, Friends of the Yelm Library, American Legion Auxiliary and both Yelm and Rainier senior centers. She advocated for improvements for Yelm, which included suggesting and advocating for the children’s splash pad play area that is now in Yelm City Park.
Elene was preceded in death by her siblings, Helen Parks Loewen, Theodore Parks and baby brother Richard Parks; her husband, Glenn; and granddaughters Heather Skewis and Kendra Skewis. She is survived by her four children: Nancy Skewis (Dennis) of Tumwater, Daniel Newby (LaVon) of Gig Harbor, Janet Enlow (James) of Yelm, and Kenneth Newby (Colleen) of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Elene is survived by seven grandchildren: Stephanie Tice, Jeffrey Skewis, Nicole Newby, Jaedyn Harlan, Jessilyn Enlow, Ford Newby and Hudson Newby. She is also survived by four great-grandchildren: Jacob Skewis, Julie Skewis, Ezra Newby-Herschkowitz and Jamie Harlan.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. July 10, 2022 at the Yelm Community Center. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to buy books for Yelm elementary schools. Search “Elene Newby” at GoFundMe.com.