Lena Madge Bodeen
May 18, 1951 – September 29, 2014
Lena Madge (Steen) Bodeen was born May 18, 1951. She died September 29, 2014.
Viewing will be held at Keith & Keith Funeral Home on Saturday, October 4, 2014 from 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 PM. A Memorial Service and Celebration of Life with dessert reception will be held Sunday, October 5, 2014, 2:00 PM, at Central Lutheran Church Yakima, Washington. Graveside burial service will be on Monday, October 6, 2015, 1:00 PM, at Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park, Seattle, Washington.
With family by her side, Lena left her earthly body entering into everlasting life and eternal joy through the abounding grace of her Lord Jesus. Lena was born to Edmund and Madge (Anderson) Steen in Seattle, Washington. She grew up in Seattle with her one older sister, Una Ann. She attended Roosevelt High School, graduating in 1969, and attended and graduated from Central Washington State College with a degree in education in 1973.
While at Central, Chuck Bodeen spotted Lena in psych class. He was instantly smitten, as were most people who met her. Chuck and Lena were married December 16, 1972 and took a honeymoon to Sun Valley, Idaho. The two settled in Yakima where they both began teaching careers. Lena taught 14 years in special education and then switched over to teaching third grade for 18 more years in the Yakima School District. She truly enjoyed working with people and had special gifts of teaching and helping students. Many of her best friends were those who taught alongside her.
She and Chuck had two daughters, Megan and Gretchen. Lena participated in many of her daughters’ activities and always supported her girls in whatever they did. Lena established countless family traditions: mother-daughter days, making lefse, decorating for and celebrating holidays, and creatively planning special gifts and family vacations. She always supported her husband at his marathon races and sat in the stands, cheering on his games while he played or coached baseball and softball. She was the backbone of the family.
Lena’s biggest hobbies were encouraging others and giving people something to smile about. Her passion was making people happy. After retiring from education she worked part-time testing students. She was a lifelong teacher. Her house and gardens were immaculate and always open for all to enjoy. Lena was a Master Gardener. When Lena laughed everyone laughed with her. She loved spending time talking with friends over coffee. She gave of herself in so many ways including volunteering with the Women’s Century Club. Lena was one of the most loving, caring, giving, generous and empathetic persons anyone could have met. Even her dogs thought so. She was a dog and people person.
Lena loved life. Whatever she was participating in, she made fun for all. Watching football was not Lena’s favorite pastime, but because others loved it she found ways to love it and make it fun for everyone. During the Super Bowl she created pools with squares for people to choose scores and win prizes. Of course while watching the game and rooting for her pollsters she planned snacks and foods and fun to enhance the day. She wanted to make every day a day for everyone to enjoy.
Some of her very favorite people were her six grandchildren. She invested her love and life into them. She planned family camping trips, vacations to the beach, and just a year ago surprised her grandchildren with a trip to Disneyland. Her grandkids called her Nana. She treated them to special birthday lunches, outings, wonderful stories, and always a warm hug.
While battling her Glioblastoma tumor she continued to love. She received the outpouring of love from friends and family who sat with her, provided dinners, prayers, and assistance. The love meant more than words can say.
Her life on earth ended so surprisingly, and seemingly way too early, however her imprint of joy, grace, and adventure lives on. Lena leaves this world a better place as a result of her presence. Lena gave and gave even in the end.
She was an organ donor. She gave her eyes so someone else could see.
Family, friends, fellow teachers and students benefitted from her influence. All who knew Lena will miss her deeply.
She is survived by her husband, Charles Bodeen; her daughters, Megan Johnson (Craig), and Gretchen Bodeen, both of Yakima; her six grandchildren, Julia (11), Nathan (9), Spencer (8), Brent (6), Henry (4), and Forest (2). She is survived by her sister, Una Schultz (Dennis) of Yakima; brother-in-law Jim Bodeen (Karen) of Yakima; sister-in-law Vonnie Johnson, (Craig) of Maple Valley, WA; and her much loved nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, her family ask donations be made in the memory of Lena to The Cottage in the Meadow or North Star Lodge Cancer Treatment Center.
Arrangements under the direction of Keith & Keith Funeral Home, Yakima, WA.
- Funeral Service Sunday, October 5, 2014
Lena Madge Bodeen
October 7, 2014
To Lena's Family,
I had the most wonderful privilege and opportunity to have Lena on my "Testing Team" the last four or so years. She was wonderful with all of our Preschool Students and a joy to work with. My team referred to her as their "Task Master" with the goal to get the work done and completed! :) She will be truly missed.
My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
Paula Hull (Yakima, WA)
October 4, 2014
Both Lena and Chuck are such nice neighbors and friends to us. She was always there with a ready smile. She will be greatly missed by Sue and I.
October 3, 2014
I was very sorry to hear of Lena's passing. We went through junior high and high school together. She was a good friend. Fortunately, we re-connected in the last few years. I enjoyed hearing her talk with pride of her wonderful family. She loved you all very much.
October 3, 2014
Chuck and girls: Our thoughts and prayers are with you