Marian Adams McClanahan went home to be with her Lord and Savior the morning of April 15. She was born July 15, 1926 to Nonnie M. and Glenn L. Adams in Spokane WA. She graduated Lewis & Clark High School in Spokane with honors and attended the University of Washington, graduating with a BA in Music and Minors in Education and English Lit. She then completed a fifth year to attain her Standard General Teaching Certificate.
Marian began her teaching career as an elementary music teacher in Toppenish, WA. There she met her future husband Byron H. McClanahan. They married June 30, 1951. The couple taught in Toppenish and then Odessa before moving to the Okanogan in 1956.
Byron and Marian purchased a hay and apple ranch north of Riverside, which they operated until 1996. Marian taught elementary music in the Omak school district until 1968, with a few years off for the birth of their daughter, Stacy in 1962. She also taught private piano, voice and flute lessons until 1986. At one point, Marian taught two full days of private lessons in Brewster, another in Tonasket and had pupils in her home another afternoon each week. Marian took an active role helping on the farm, hauling fruit in to the shed during harvest and many other chores.
Marian’s faith was a central part of her life. She joined the First Presbyterian Church in Omak (now the Community Presbyterian Church) when they first moved to the valley and was active in many different roles including elder, deaconess, choir member and choir director. She founded and directed the handbell choir for many years. She was also active in Christian Women’s Club, serving in many different capacities including Coordinator to CWC groups in Oroville/Tonasket, Brewster/Pateros and Twisp/Winthrop.
Marian was also very patriotic. Family, God and Country were very important. She was active in the Republican party from 1964. She held many county offices in the party as well as serving as State Committee Woman. She was a Precinct Committee Officer most of that time until 2017. She helped found the Okanogan County Tea Party movement and worked with the Coalition for Property Rights and PUD Action Committee. She was awarded a trip to President Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration for being one of ten “Most Outstanding Volunteers” in the nation during the 1994 election cycle. She also ran for the WA State House of Representatives in the mid ‘80's.
Marian was an avid gardener. She particularly loved her roses and at one time had nearly 100 rooted hybrid T roses. Marian loved to share their beauty and provided roses to decorate the sanctuary of the church many times throughout the summer. She also prepared long stemmed roses for the winner of every class at the North Country Classic Open Horse show held at the Okanogan County Fair Grounds. It became known throughout the state as the show with the rose and drew competitors from all over the state.
Marian was an accomplished seamstress. Her work received many Grand Champions at the Okanogan County Fair. She made most of her and her daughter’s clothing including beautifully tailored jackets, Stacy’s horse showing outfits and even a pair or two of gloves.
Marian was not afraid to take on new challenges. Although she did not particularly care for animals, she learned to ride a horse and how to pull a horse trailer. She was a tireless “horse show mom” in the years her daughter Stacy participated in 4-H and open horse shows.
When Marian and Byron sold the ranch in Riverside, they built a new home in Omak. Marian laid all the tile in the home, did much of the wood finishing and all of the rock work at the entry way. She enjoyed landscaping and designing the yard, making clever use of the natural rock that was present on the lot.
Most recently Marian wrote and published four books under the pen name of Marian Adams, her maiden name. Two are collections of poetry. One is an interactive book for families with young children, which is a primer on our republican form of government in the US. Her most recent book is a memoire.
A love of learning and a passion to learn new things and share that knowledge was the central theme of Marian’s life. Marian enjoyed a variety of things, cooking, baking, travel, sewing, various crafts, wood finishing, drawing, painting, and reading. She wanted to challenge and inspire people to excel. She was a born teacher.
Marian was preceded in death by her parents, brother and husband Byron. She is survived by her daughter Stacy (Don) Storm of Riverside. A celebration of life will be held Tuesday, April 23 at 2:00 p.m. at the Community Presbyterian Church in Omak. In lieu of flowers, consider contributing to the Community Presbyterian Church of Omak or the Okanogan County Republican Central Committee.