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Wendy G. McIlnay

March 12, 1969 - March 26, 2021

Wendy G. McIlnayWendy McIlnay sent her last love to us all on March 26th, 2021. Born March 12th, 1969, Wendy celebrated her 52nd birthday with her family just weeks before, and left this world unexpectedly and far too early for all of us. We mourn deeply her passing, remembering her giving spirit that we carry forward in her honor.

Wendy made a home wherever she was, residing primarily in Spokane, WA and Salem, OR in her adult life. Her life’s passion - her lifelong work with seniors -  took her all over the country, particularly along the west coast states, establishing and directing numerous communities over 25+ years. She was a maker at heart, spending her free time cooking, crafting, and crocheting - her hand-made gifts were always a part of our holidays together. Wendy loved traveling, shopping, and fashion - dressing up for a night out brought her great joy, and her radiant smile on such occasions was infectious. Most of all, Wendy’s love for her family knew no bounds. She loved us dearly, brought us together to share meals and make memories, and this is our most lasting gift from her. This foundational love she provided is her legacy, which lives on in us. She will be forever in our hearts, and we are so grateful for her life with us. Wendy is survived by her loving husband Lance McIlnay, her mother Renee Wendt, her brother Shawn Whitney, her children Matthew La Fon, Brittney Fraser, Corey McIlnay, and Brandon McIlnay, her beloved grandchildren, Thalia, Ariadne, Kayden, and Annabelle, and her grandchildren still to come.

A gathering will be held for Wendy at one of her favorite places, East Devils Lake State Park in Lincoln City, OR, Sunday April 25th at 12:00pm

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My mother is and was foundational to my life. I can't overestimate her presence in my life and the gifts she gave to me, just by being who she was, flaws and strengths and values - it all combined to make me who I am.  I am so proud of who she was, and so proud to be her daughter.  She fought hard to have a beautiful life and never gave up, and this is something I will always admire and hope to always emulate. I cannot overstate how much I will miss her in my daily life, she was a touchpoint for all of my joys and my sorrows, my confidant and my comfort.  I sent her pictures of my daughter almost everyday, and we talked about silly things like what's for dinner, and when we should go to Disneyland - and it is these daily gifts of her presence that I miss most.  Just the unimportant minutia of the day, like finding a new recipe or my daughter's latest new word.  I take some comfort in the idea that her spirit is with us, and she can be part of our lives every day, whenever she wants to come hang out.  Most importantly for this moment, I want to say thank you to my Mom for the life that I have today.  Without a doubt, every single thing of value in my life today I owe to her in some way.  When I was at my worst, she dragged me out of my routine and set me on the path I am currently walking, and without her efforts I would not have the years of recovery I have had.  I have a new husband, a daughter, a home, a good job, and my family, due to her stubborn insistence that I keep my head above water - she believed in the best for me at all times, unconditionally.  And it will be my great purpose in life to live up to that, to do justice to her love for me.  She loved me from the moment she met me, and often let me know that, and I will always love her too.  We love you, Mom.