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Sue Ellen Buel
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Obituary for Sue Ellen Buel

Sue Ellen Buel, 96, passed away on May 7, 2017 at Sunset Hill Care Home in McMinnville, Oregon. She was born April 15, 1921 in the small Lane County community of Franklin, near Eugene, Oregon. While Sue was quite young, the family moved to Arizona where she attended school through junior high before returning to Oregon. Sue graduated from Junction City High School in 1938. She attended Oregon College of Education, now Western Oregon University, from which she ultimately earned both Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education.
Sue began a lifelong career in education in 1940 with her first teaching job at the elementary school in Dundee, Oregon. Two years later found her teaching sixth and seventh graders in Amity. In 1941 she married William Cutting and over the next eight years they had three children. William died in 1949. That same year she began teaching fifth and sixth grade at Memorial Grade School in McMinnville. Sue continued to teach at Memorial until 1961 when she moved to an English teaching job at McMinnville High School.
In 1951 she married Harold Buel, and she and the children moved to the family farm near Bellevue, west of McMinnville. It was there that Sue began her illustrious gardening career. Harold passed away in 1997, but Sue continued to live on the farm, maintaining her garden every year until moving to McMinnville in 2009.
In 1968 she embarked on a new phase as an educator and began teaching teachers as a teaching consultant at the Northwest Educational Laboratory in Portland. Over the following years Sue conducted teaching workshops and training sessions at colleges and professional education organizations throughout the United States and Canada and as far away as Australia and New Zealand. She is a past president of the Oregon Education Association, past president of the McMinnville Education Foundation, and former two term member of the McMinnville School Board. Her awards and honors in education, service to the community and to civic organizations are too numerous to list here. However, the honor of which Sue was most proud was that when a new elementary school was built in 2007, it was named Sue Buel Elementary School.
In addition to a life dedicated to public education, Sue loved reading, travel, gardening, volunteering, and involvement in the community.
Sue is survived by her children, Michael Cutting (Carmen) of Portland and Bend; Gregory Cutting, Beaverton; and Pamela Cutting, McMinnville; four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold Buel and by her first husband William Cutting; by her parents, George and Maude Richardson, Junction City; by brothers Jason Richardson, Junction City and Milton Richardson, Mesa, Arizona; and by sisters Ella Holloway, Eugene and Nellie Moore, St. George, Utah.
A Memorial for Sue will be held July 7th at 10:00am at Sue Buel Elementary School, McMinnville, Oregon.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to McMinnville Education Foundation or Willamette Valley Cancer Center.

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Previous Events

memorial service




10:00 AM
Sue Buel Elementary School

1985 SE Davis Street
McMinnville, Oregon 97128


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