Luane Wilson Waytenick – Former Mayor, City Councilor, and Monroe resident for 75 years passed away on Monday, December 5, 2022. Luane served our community as Monroe City Councilor, Mayor, Event Organizer, Volunteer, and Library Supporter. Luane was born in Hot Springs, South Dakota to Thomas and Thelma Wilson. Shortly after Luane was born the family moved to Coos Bay then settled in Monroe by 1940. After graduating from Monroe High School in 1956, Luane joined the U.S. Army and completed basic training at Fort McClellan, Alabama in 1957. Upon completing basic training, she reported to the U.S. Army Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey. There she met her future husband, Robert Waytenick, who was also serving in the Army. In the 1960s Luane was married and by the end of the decade had five children. During the 1970’s and early 1980’s she raised her family, provided childcare for many local kids, attended classes at LBCC, and in the 1990’s graduated from the University of Oregon and San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies.
In the early 1990s, Luane served as City Councilor then was elected as the City of Monroe’s first woman Mayor in 1996. She served a two-year term as Mayor. Her focus, as Mayor, was rebuilding Monroe’s aging infrastructure which included successfully securing a grant for the city’s new million-gallon water tank and a new Revitalization Master Plan with concepts and standards for commercial zoned areas, streetscapes, the City Park, recreational areas, plus creating walking tours and locating potential natural and historic resources. Luane was also a huge proponent of maintaining a positive working relationship between the City, Benton County, and “the ABC gang” (as she used to call all the government agencies that supported Monroe) along with many community members to strengthened the city’s planning and visioning process. In 1997 Cycle Oregon held its tenth annual event with a scheduled stop in Monroe. Luane and Dena Elliot organized this event with city and community support, which was a huge boost to Monroe’s local economy.
At the conclusion of her tenure as Mayor, Luane enjoyed spending time with her family, supporting the current and future Monroe Community Library, and the South Benton Food Pantry. She will always be remembered for being a surrogate mom to so many as well as a supportive neighbor, friend, and mentor. Luane is survived by four daughters and their spouses, one son and his spouse, 9 grandchildren, 4 step grandchildren. The family requests in lieu of flowers, any donations made in Luane’s memory go to the South Benton Food Pantry and the Monroe Community Library Legacy Fund.