MaryLu Baetkey

September 16, 1948December 29, 2020

MaryLu Baetkey, a nearly lifelong resident of the Parkrose neighborhood of Portland, passed away peacefully in her home on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. MaryLu was born September 16, 1948 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Henry and Ada (Harpt) Baetkey. She had one brother. The family moved to Alexandria, VA and then settled permanently in Portland, OR, during which time they made many visits to Emmet, ID where they spent summers working on the family fruit orchard. MaryLu graduated from Parkrose High School in 1966. She then attended Portland State University (BS in Elementary Education) and Lewis & Clark College (MA in Education). MaryLu dedicated her entire career to the Parkrose School District, serving as a teacher across many grade levels and later in the administrative office as the Assistant to the Superintendent and the Project Supervisor for the new High School. As a teacher, she proudly served as a union representative. In her retirement, MaryLu served as a Parkrose School Board president and member.

MaryLu was a fixture in the Parkrose community. She was a devoted Oregon Ducks fan, joyful gardener, and talented baker. She was a loyal and dedicated cousin and aunt, with most of her travels consisting of family visits to California and Idaho. She was so proud of her Idaho roots and family orchard. She loved visiting her cousins and enjoying time with them along the Oregon coast. She delighted in spontaneous visits by friends and neighbors as she worked regularly in her beautiful garden, oftentimes offering good advice. MaryLu was a storyteller and character. She loved musicals, books, and talking politics. She was a giver. She enjoyed gathering special books or items thoughtfully considered and wrapping them beautifully to gift to others. MaryLu was a fierce and powerful force and she will always be remembered by all who knew and loved her.

MaryLu is survived by her nephew Lance Baetkey (Kerri) and his children (Caroline and Matthew) of Novato, CA. MaryLu’s children were the students and neighborhood kids in Parkrose and she kept in touch with so many of them years after she taught them. Later in life, she developed a close relationship and enjoyed many holidays and occasions with the Gardner family: Andrea, Travis (Andrea), William (Carolina), and Lynnea. She was preceded in death by her parents Henry and Ada Baetkey and her brother David.

A celebration of her life will be held during the summer. Contributions to a scholarship in her memory may be sent to Higher Education Coordinating Commission/OSAC, 3225 25th Street SE, Salem, OR 97302. You may write the check to HECC/OSAC and on the memo line: MaryLu Baetkey Fund 845.


MaryLu Baetkey

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Connie King Wilbanks

January 17, 2021

Marylu of the hearty laugh and a heart even bigger was my supervising teacher. In 1974, I was a student teacher in her kindergarten class at Prescott Elementary. She believed in each of her students, in her colleagues, and in me. Her zest for life and her faith in education live in each and all she touched. Rest In Peace

Jackie Vernholm

January 16, 2021

I went to Parkrose schools for 12 years and graduated with Marylu. I became pretty close with her over the last 5 years. She was a very good friend those 5 years. She was funny and I’m glad she stuck around long enough to see that Biden and Harris took the election all the way to win. I’m really going to miss her on Facebook. Marylu always had something to say. Rest in piece my dear friend.

Jackie Vernholm
Class of 1966

Jennifer Fergerson

January 15, 2021

I was completely shocked & then just heart broken 💔 of it. MaryLu was so kind to me all the years she came to the pharmacy. I enjoyed our talks & her sharing her family with me. I will miss you sweet lady

Trisha Lusher (frost)

January 12, 2021

I remember her from kindergarten. She was funny and loved all us kids. She was into belly dancing and even showed us kids one day in class. I remember her outfit (purple i think) finger clippers, and a big skirt that twirled. I loved it. So belly dance to your hearts content.

Parkrose Family

January 11, 2021

Candlelight Vigil for MaryLu Baetkey
Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Masks and social distancing required.
We will be handing out candles and ribbons from 3:30pm-4:00pm at the Parkrose School District Office located at 10636 NE Prescott Street. A table will be set up to safely distribute precut purple ribbons and candles (200 ordered) or bring your own. If you would like to personalize your purple ribbon, please consider bringing one from home that is already personalized.
We will tie the ribbons onto her fence.
We will leave the District Office at 4:00pm and walk to MaryLu’s home on 105th and Beech Street.
-Organized by friends of MaryLu
Contact for questions: or 503-408-2114

Bev Cordova

January 5, 2021

Marylu and I met while moving into my new apartment in Parkrose. She and my husband were delighted to discover they both taught for the district. We became friends and she proudly introduced us to the "cool spots" in the Parkrose neighborhood. Everywhere we went the locals knew her. As the years passed we kept in touch through the school district. When I began teaching at the high school 25 years ago, there was Marylu, welcoming me back. She was busy with the school board at that time, always wanting the best for Parkrose. I witnessed first hand the support she offered to the families, students and staff she worked with. In my last year with the district I would also benefit from her generosity of spirit. After experiencing poor health 1st semester, my return to the classroom was challenging. That's when Marylu came to me and asked how she could help. Her question moved me in many ways. She cared about me as a friend and fellow teacher. She knew that the daily struggle to teach during my recovery was exhausting. Even more important, she understood and respected my goal to complete the school year, in service to my students. Over the next four months Marylu volunteered in my classroom three times a week. She was, of course, wonderful with the students. She laughed and debated with them, making new friends in her beloved community. Through her efforts I was able to meet my goal and finish the school year. Marylu did what she knew best, modeling support and compassion for her community, a precious gift to the students. Thank you my friend, you will be missed.

Barbara Bradshaw

January 5, 2021

MaryLu was synonymous with Parkrose School District. She worked tirelessly to improve and uphold her high values for it. She was a beloved teacher! I find this difficult to comprehend.