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Merilyn Sue Yunker-Jones

October 7, 1932 ~ June 5, 2022 (age 89)

Obituary

Sue Yunker-Jones–also known as Mom, Grammie, and, according to her high school yearbook, “Stoneface”—leaves behind a legacy of music, rebellion, and sourdough waffles. Finding a perfectly-ripe fruit was a sacred act, and she was ejected at least once from a roadside fruit stand for this devotion. She was notoriously stubborn and never shy about speaking her mind, and still charmed nearly everyone she met. A truly inspirational force, Sue loved riveting nonfiction, cheeseburgers, secret winks, and new friends.

Sue entered the world in Bloomington, Indiana on October 7, 1932. During her teenage years, following the contagious dreams of her beloved father, Dr. Eber Teter, their family of five moved to Silverton, Oregon. She spent the rest of her life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, with a special fondness for the beaches of the Oregon Coast. Her grandchildren hold beautiful memories of running through the waves with her, full of smiles and laughter.

While pursuing a degree in music from University of Oregon she met her husband, Dick Yunker, with whom she had four children: Bill, John, Karen, and Paul. Dick and Sue loved the outdoors, and spent their summers hiking and backpacking with family and friends. This love of nature is carried on by her children and grandchildren, her adventurous spirit spreading effortlessly to all in her life. 

A masterful violinist and talented multi-instrumentalist, Sue led a multi-faceted career in music. She taught violin lessons out of her home, which she continued to do into her 70s. For a few years, she was a roving music teacher in Vancouver, Washington public schools. Dick became an Episcopal priest at the Church of the Good Shepherd and Sue their music director and organist. Throughout the years she participated in or directed choirs, chamber ensembles, and even stage musicals. Sue continued to play chamber music as long as she could, and even formed a trio with her neighbors at her retirement home.

Her enduring love for music is evident in her whole family, who can't go long while gathered together without someone bursting into song! Christmas Eve with her children and grandchildren always included gathering around the piano, drinking eggnog and singing carols—including her personal favorite, “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”

After Sue lost Dick to colon cancer in 1988, she continued to build friendships through music. Several years later, she met Tom Jones, and soon their relationship blossomed into romance. They got married in 1996 and traveled the world together, including England, France, Italy, Eastern Europe, and Kenya. Tom died in 2020 after more than 20 years of marriage.

She’s survived by her four children, Bill, John, Karen, and Paul; grandchildren Sarah, Michael, David, Cooper, Emma, and Matthew; and everyone else lucky enough to know their “Grammie Sue.”

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 17th at 3 pm at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the ACLU or The Nature Conservancy, two causes that were very near and dear to her.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Merilyn Sue Yunker-Jones, please visit our floral store.

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Services

Memorial Service
Saturday
September 17, 2022

3:00 PM
St. Mark's
1245 10th Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98102-4323
Guaranteed delivery before the Memorial Service begins

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