Elaine Katie (Launer) Grillo, 94, died peacefully surrounded by family in the early afternoon hours on Dec. 24, 2015 at Apple Springs assisted living in Omak, Washington. She was born December 1, 1921, to Les and Katie Launer in Republic, Washington. She was the sixth of seven children.
Elaine lived in Cape La Belle before moving to Omak in 1926 where her father worked for Biles Coleman Lumber Company, later moving back to the home in Aeneas Valley.
Elaine attended the Cape La Belle School and received a state certificate for completing the eight-grade.
On Oct. 29, 1938, she married Henry Albert Grillo. Their union brought three children: Thelma in 1940, Marvin in 1942, and Sherri in 1943.
They were married 55 years, until his death on Jan. 25, 1994.
In the early 1940’s they purchased a homestead from Henry’s father and ranched there until retirement in 1970.
In 1983 they moved to a home near Janice Bridge south of Tonasket.
Following retirement, Henry and Elaine purchased a commercial fishing boat and for the next seven summers, fished out of Westport, Wash. This was a pleasure, as all they really cared about was making expenses.
Elaine was a homemaker, school bus driver and the most wonderful mom and grandmother anyone could have ever have. She worked beside Henry in the fields, riding the hay binder, riding after cattle on the range, and feeding them in the winter.
Without patterns, Elaine made both her daughter’s wedding dresses, and sewed most all of the family’s clothing for all seasons and events. She also made many quilts, stuffed animals, snowmobile suits, etc.
She enjoyed spending time in the kitchen, making meals for family, hunters and anyone who stopped by at meal time. She enjoyed drying fruits, canning and making wine.
Henry and Elaine – playing guitar, accordion and organ- produced their own unique blend of county music. They played for dances in the area for many years, never calling themselves professionals, but performing in Frosty Creek, the Tonasket Eagles, the Tonasket Senior Citizen’s Center and other places.
Elaine served as secretary of the Tonasket Senior Citizens’ Center for many years. She was also a member of AARP and Stay Active and Independent for Life.
In 2010, she moved into North Valley Assisted Living in Tonasket after a fall on Christmas day. She lived there until the facility’s closure in 2013.
She then moved to Apple Springs where she resided until her death.
During this time, Elaine continued to be active by attending birthdays, weddings, holidays and parties- as family was the most special thing in her life.
She is survived by her son, Marvin (Gini) Grillo, of Tonasket; Sherri (Ted) Laurie, of Tonasket; son-in-law Stan Warwick of Spokane; 11 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and five great-great grandchildren with three more on the way.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Les and Kate Launer; husband, Henry Grillo; daughter, Thelma Warwick; and great-great granddaughter, Rayleigh Colbert .
A private family service is planned and interment will be at the Tonasket cemetery. Memorials can be made to the Tonasket Senior Citizens’ Center, P.O. Box 86, Tonasket, WA 98855.
The family wishes to express thanks to the staff of Apple Springs for the wonderful love and care she received while there. Also, special thanks to Frontier Hospice and Dr. Phylicia (Hancock) Lewis.
Bergh Funeral Service of Tonasket is entrusted with arrangements.