Evalyn Colvin McLean

Born Evalyn Amery Colvin in Seattle, July 24, 1906, Evalyn Colvin McLean, 95, passed away peacefully at her home overlooking Skagit Bay and Mount Baker on July 14, 2002.

Evalyn’s parents were prominent citizens in the Seattle area circa 1890-1920. Her father, O.D. Colvin, held executive positions in the early development of energy and industry in the Northwest. Her mother, Eva Victoria Amery, held a responsible office with the renowned Judge Hanford and was involved in the recording of statehood and constitutional documents for the State of Washington.

Evalyn’s early education was at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, 1918, then on to St. Nicolas (combined now with Lakewood School) where in 1923 she was a member of the first graduating class. Higher education included the University of Washington and the Sorbonne in Paris where in 1927 she witness the celebrated arrival of Charles Lindbergh upon his completion of the first trans-

Atlantic flight.

Married in 1931 to U.S. Naval Aviator, Gordon A. McLean, Evalyn began an exciting and challenging life of travel, sacrifice, and fulfillment. Dec. 7, 1941, found her courageously calming and comforting her two small children while Pearl Harbor could be seen exploding and burning under heavy attack. During the war, her husband Gordon participated in all the major battles in the Pacific while she raised her family as a single parent and volunteered her time to the Interceptor Command in Seattle.

At war’s end Evalyn set up the family household in Lima, Peru – in Spanish – where her exceptional hostess skills earned her the acclaim of luminaries within the Peruvian Navy and visiting U.S. VIP’s including Admiral “Bull” Halsey, General Jimmy Doolittle, and future U.S. Senator (and good friend), Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson.

Retirement in 1956 began as a search for the ideal location and culminated on Whidbey Island on Skagit Bay with a spectacular view of Mt. Baker. These years were happily filled with grandchildren, great-grandchildren and community support and development activities. Local involvement included the Garden Club, Island County Historical Society, Senior Services of Island County, Whidbey Island Hospital Foundation, YMCA, and the Island County Chapter of the American Red Cross. In the Seattle area it included the Sunset Club, the Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Arboretum, Junior League, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart and St. Nicolas Lakeside School. Her national involvement included Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation, Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, Amery Wisconsin Public Library, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and the U.S.S. Constitution Museum.

Evalyn, who was preceded in death by her husband, is survived by her son, Gordon McLean II; daughter, Evalyn Merivale-Austin; grandchildren, Gordon McLean III, Susan McLean/Lucitt, Nicole McLean, Elizabeth Short, Alexandra Langman, Bruce Merivale-Austin; and nine great-grandchildren. We all offer our special gratitude and affection to the ladies of Island Home Nursing who provided outstanding care over many years.

Throughout her life, Evalyn provided great love, courage, support and a unique sense of humor to her family and friends.

According to her wishes, a small private graveside service was held at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Oak Harbor, under the direction of Burley Funeral Chapel where she was lovingly laid to rest beside her husband of 57 years, Rear Admiral Gordon A. McLean, USN (Ret.)

She remains in our hearts forever.