Elva Scott moved to Twisp in 1994 to care for her aged mother and fell in love with the Methow Valley. Here, she found the community where she belonged and the true friends who filled her life with joy and meaning. Elva passed away peacefully on Sept. 14 at Harmony House in Brewster, four days before her 79th birthday. Thanks to the good folks at Jamie’s Place, Elva was able to remain in the valley close to her friends and family for the last few years. She was blessed to be taken care of so well.
Elva and her husband, Ed Dunkin, moved here from Oregon, but she was a fifth-generation California girl who was born and raised in Steinbeck country, where she brought up her four daughters. Elva loved to walk the beaches, explore the tide pools, and commune with the sea otters. Elva took her four girls camping in the wild Big Sur redwoods, where she had camped with her grandparents and parents when she was a little girl herself.
Elva held many jobs and worked hard to raise her daughters in challenging circumstances, but she always retained her sense of fun and mission of caring for others. When Elva worked at San Jose State University’s biology lab, she’d bring snakes, lizards, and baby birds home to her curious and fearless toddlers, teaching them early about gentleness and respect for the wonders of Mother Nature. Later, when her girls were pre-teens and teens, Elva ran the remedial education enrichment program at Pacific Grove High School.
Elva made many contributions to the local community. For many years she served as treasurer of the Methow Valley Senior Center Association and ran the Rummage Room there. She was an enthusiastic and dedicated worker who helped transform it from a little thrift shop to the happening place it is today. Before the valley had recycling, Elva rode her bike around cleaning up the countryside and gathering recyclables to take by the carload to Chelan. She loved attending the valley’s many arts and cultural events.
Elva was a lifelong learner who read constantly and was always adding to her large and varied library. She was a spiritual person who studied world philosophies, comparative religion and cultures, and metaphysics. Together with her “sisters and brothers of the heart,” Elva formed a meditation group that met weekly for fellowship, study and discussion of the members’ wide-ranging interests. Elva was a loving and compassionate person who graced the lives of her family and many friends.
Elva was preceded in death by her husband, Ed Dunkin; parents Phyllis Cross and Charles Scott; and her brother Norm Scott. She is survived by her brother Donald O. Scott and his wife Audree; her daughters Ronda Ruffridge (Rob), Julie Wambold (Robbie), Jeri Loper (Ron), and Tina Moore; her granddaughter Karissa Loper; and her five nieces and nephews. Friends wishing to honor Elva might consider a donation in her name to the Lookout Coalition, Jamie’s Place, The Methow Valley Senior Center, or other deserving organizations of your choice. A local celebration of Elva’s life will be announced in the future.