Elna May Akre

10/15/1945 — 05/13/2013

From West, Richland, WA, USA | Born in Idaho Falls, ID

Elna May Akre

Elna May Sorman Akre passed away peacefully on May 13th in West Richland. Her loving family surrounded her.

Elna May was the exceptional mother of five children, devoted grandmother of five grandkids and loving wife to her husband, Grover. Elna May EM to those who knew her was a radiant woman who guided her family through life's challenges and celebrated their achievements with heartfelt pride and a beautiful smile.

Elna May was born October 14th, 1946 in Idaho Falls, Idaho. She described an idyllic childhood as a true farm girl, riding her horse to school and spending long glorious days running free to explore the world around her.

In her early twenties, she moved to the Tri-Cities with her first husband and her daughter. After the birth of her second child, she proudly supported her family with her work as a secretary. She remarried and brought two families together providing immense love and stability for five children whom she adored unconditionally.

In the midst of raising five teenagers, Elna May returned to college to earn bachelors and masters degrees, specializing in Human Resources. She had exceptional careers at Energy Northwest, McCaw Cellular, Scott Paper and Fluor Hanford.

EM achieved considerable professional success, yet it's her compassion and generosity that resonate so deeply. She had a unique ability to listen intently and then advise gently. Her wisdom was quiet and strong. She shared it with grace and humility. Those who were lucky enough to be advised by EM will always remember the significance. It was her extra special gift.

Her wit was quick and contagious. Like her dad, she could tease with a good-natured wink and a slight giggle. Family Christmases were her hallmark in later years highlighted by a fun-filled gift exchange generating lots of laughter and competition. Those holidays became the annual celebration for the family that Elna May lovingly created.

Her children, and especially her grandchildren, will never forget her overwhelming kindness. She remembered each holiday, each birthday, and many days in between with gifts, cards, letters and poems. She painted special furniture, created treasure hunts and was always game for dress-up, Legos or a squirt gun fight with a grandchild.

In her retirement, EM doted on her grandkids and her incredible garden brimming with irises, perennials, raspberries and roses. Her lovely home was filled with beautiful art and antiqueswhich she refinished by hand. She also applied her talents making incredible quilts for family and for donations to local organizations. A lifelong lover of animals, EM volunteered for POPP Pet Overpopulation Prevention, Tri-Cities where she recently adopted two puppies named Sam and Lacey.

Elna May was preceded in death by her parents, Sven and Allene Sorman. She is survived by her brother Karl Sorman, her husband, Grover and their children and grandchildren:Michael and his wife Rita; Steven and his wife Terry, their children Kyle and Sara; Kaia-Lisa and her husband Gary and their sons Finn and Beckler; Carrie and her husband Marty and their son Orion; and her youngest son Eric.

In memory of Elna May, we encourage you to donate in her name to Pet Overpopulation Prevention POPP in the Tri-Cities: http://www.popptricities.org/

A celebration of Elna May's wonderful life will be held on May 18th at 2 PM at Memories at Sunset Event Center, 915 Bypass Highway, Richland, WA 99352.

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Elna May Akre

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  • Elna May was a joy to be around and a blessing to work with. Her smile was contagious. My prayers are with the family…so sorry for your loss.

    Shannon Bono
    November 4, 2014
    Kennewick, WA, USA
  • Lot of time spent and dinners at the Akre house growing up. So sad to hear. Heart goes out to Grover and family. Thanks for all the great memories of my childhood.

    Brad Bangerter
    November 4, 2014
    kennewick, WA, United, States
  • Elna May was a joy to be around and a blessing to work with. Her smile was contagious. My prayers are with the family…so sorry for your loss.

    Shannon Bono
    November 4, 2014
    Kennewick, WA, USA
  • Lot of time spent and dinners at the Akre house growing up. So sad to hear. Heart goes out to Grover and family. Thanks for all the great memories of my childhood.

    Brad Bangerter
    November 4, 2014
    kennewick, WA, United, States
  • Grover and family,

    I was saddened to read of EM death. She was a very dear person, always smiling and up-beat. I enjoyed working with her at the library book sales. My heartfelt condolence to each of you.

    Nancy Russell
    November 4, 2014
    Kennewick, WA, USA
  • I had the benefit of working with Elna May through some very exciting times at WPPSS how many companies get to lay off 10,000 or so workers in a matter of days?. EM seemed to always keep her sense of balance, humor and purpose. What a wonderful lady.

    Gary Petersen
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • To Grover and the Akre Family,

    My heartfelt condolences on the passing of EM. I was so saddened to hear this news. EM she loved that nickname and I worked together in Human Resources at WPPSS in Richland and again at McCaw Communications in Kirkland, and over a span of 30 years have remained friends. I will always remember EM as a woman who loved her family dearly; as a coworker who had great wisdom, insight, and compassion; and, a friend who was loyal, generous, caring and fun. I will miss her always. My love and prayers to Grover and all the family, and may your loving memories of EM bring you comfort. May EM rest in peace.

    Muriel
    November 4, 2014
    LaConner, WA
  • So Sorry to hear about Elma I knew her when I lived in Richland and worked for the Supply with Grover and Elma. To Grover and Family my deepest sympathy.

    Shirley Johnson
    November 4, 2014
    San, Antonio, TX, Bear