Surrounded by her family, Mary Ellen, 95, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother died peacefully on April 24, 2018. Born in Thornton, Washington February 11, 1923 to Frank and Florence Sherfey, Mary Ellen joined older brother Wayne in the family home. She was raised in Thornton, Farmington, and Tekoa. Graduating from Tekoa High School in June 1941, Mary Ellen enrolled in Kelsey-Baird, a private Business and Secretarial University, in Spokane. After graduation, during the war years, she moved to Seattle to work and live with a favorite cousin. She was Secretary to the President of Puget Sound Power and Light; she longed for peace and the return of brother Wayne from the South Pacific Theatre of War. She often talked about the celebration of VJ Day and VE Day in downtown Seattle. Mary Ellen corresponded with Winfred L. (Don) Tee, a Latah resident, during his service with the Army Air Corp in the European Theatre of War. Mary Ellen returned to Spokane where she landed a position as the Chief Travel Counselor at AAA, and (as luck would have it) a dating relationship with Don ensued. Mary Ellen and Don were married November 1946 at Manito Presbyterian Church in Spokane. They owned and managed a small grocery store in the (now) Hospital District in Spokane. One year later, son Ronald Gray was born and the small family moved to Latah to farm. Seven years later, they welcomed a daughter, Mary Beth and 2 ½ years later another daughter Sally Jane. Their family was complete.
Mary Ellen and Don raised their three children with love, laughter, encouragement, a love of learning, and a strong work ethic. The family worked together and played together. In fact, work was as important as play and they enjoyed many happy hours at their Lake Coeur d’ Alene home.
Mary Ellen was a life-long member of the Latah Country Bible Church. She enjoyed good conversation, gardening, travelling, golf, and preparing meals for her family. The Tee family home was the hub of morning activity in Latah, visitors willing to endure terrible coffee to enjoy fellowship with Mary Ellen and Don. Mary Ellen loved and adored Don and she devoted her life to his care when Alzheimer’s Disease claimed his memory.
Mary Ellen was preceded in death by her parents, brother, and husband. She is survived by her three children: Ron (Penney), Mary Beth (Greg), and Sally (Gary). Five Grandchildren: Stephanie, Jeff, Matthew, Lindsey, Katy and 13 Great Grandchildren.
A private graveside service will be held at a later date.