Jeannette Effie DeYoung Mowe, 1925-2002, was the eldest child of Helen Fuller, whose family settled Fuller Hill in Satsop in 1883, and Sam DeYoung (born Sitze de Jong), a dutch immigrant dairy hand. A child of the Great Depression, Jeannette moved with the family in search of work and experienced brief periods of homelessness, ultimately settling on River Road outside Elma in 1939. Her father, Sam DeYoung, later founded a successful logging company and other businesses in Grays Harbor County.
Jeannette studied while working on the family dairy by posting French verb conjugations and periodic elements on the milk house wall. She graduated as valedictorian of the Elma High School class of 1942 at the age of 16. She attended Washington State College (now WSU) for one year, majoring in zoology and making the Dean’s List. Love and war intervened. She married Robert Mowe in 1943, and never returned to college.
This scholarship honors her sacrifice and intelligence. She raised four children as a logger’s wife in a shotgun house at the end of Hurd Road in Hunters Prairie. She grew enormous gardens, canned food, picked wild blackberries, and supplemented the family income as a telephone operator, bank teller and secretary, and, at the end of her working career, as the branch manager of the newly reopened Harbor Security Bank in Oakville.
She seldom spoke of her lost college opportunity. But there was never any doubt that her four children would graduate from college, and they all did.
It is the family’s sincere hope that the winner of this scholarship will prove again that a hardscrabble kid from a small town in Grays Harbor County is just as smart as anybody else. Maybe smarter.