Remembering Greg Riddle, 1954-2014; celebration of life Saturday

April 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 15 Comments

A celebration of life is planned next Saturday for Greg Riddle, 59. His fight against cancer made news here two months ago when his family’s home near Roxhill Elementary caught fire, forcing them to find somewhere else to live, which they did, thanks in part to suggestions from WSB’ers when Mr. Riddle’s daughter Kristine Elliott asked here for ideas and assistance. Now, she shares this remembrance of her dad:

Family and friends will gather Saturday, April 12th, at 11:30 a.m. at Boulevard Park Place Retirement Community, 2805 S. 125th St. in Burien, for a Celebration of Life.

William Gregory Riddle passed away March 27, 2014. Greg was born October 24, 1954, to William (Bill) Cecil & Flo (Sue) Riddle, the 6th of 7 children, in Redding, California. He met the love of his life, Eileen Turgeon, in 1978 and they were married in 1982. Together, they raised their 3 children.

He was a highly skilled carpenter who had a unique bond with animals and loved to fish for salmon in the Hoh, Sol Duc & Bogachiel Rivers in Forks, Washington. Greg also loved the outdoors and spending time with his family. Some of his happiest times were coaching Little League Baseball. He knew how to bring out the players’ full potential, taught them to play as a team, and how to win or lose with pride.

Greg is survived by his wife Eileen, daughter Kristine and son-in-law Ryan Elliott, son Trevor Riddle, daughter Catherine Riddle, and daughter Jessica Riddle; four grandchildren Luke, Reese, Blake, and Chase Elliott; brothers Derryl Riddle and Tim Riddle; sisters Pat Henk and Mary Riddle. He was preceded in death by his father Bill, mother Sue, brothers Chuck Riddle and Kenny Riddle.

You will always be loved and forever missed…

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Memorial service Monday for Morey Skaret, Fauntleroy storyteller

April 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 11 Comments

The memorial service for Fauntleroy legend Morest “Morey” Skaret, 100, is set for 10 am this Monday (April 7th) at Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW). As noted in his obituary, as published in The Seattle Times, Mr. Skaret had been a West Seattleite since childhood. He also served with the Seattle Police Department for more than 40 years; our photo at right is from 2012, when he was honored by the Seattle Police Relief Association. Mr. Skaret was known by many as a storyteller; some of his stories are on, like this one. Fauntleroy writer/editor/community advocate Judy Pickens edited Mr. Skaret’s book of life stories, “Morey’s Bench“; we asked her for a few words in his memory:

“Nothing reveals the grain of a life and the time of its living quite like personal stories. And to loved ones, friends, and neighbors, no one can tell a story better than Morey Skaret.”

I wrote those words in 2003, when Morey and I culminated publication of “Morey’s Bench,” a collection of his stories spanning his early years on a homestead in Alberta, through his settling in Fauntleroy in 1937, to his long retirement overlooking the ferry terminal. Throughout the process, I could never convince him that people would want to buy the book. When the dust settled, however, we had reprinted it three times to satisfy demand.

With Morey’s passing on March 27, loved ones, friends, and neighbors have those stories and many “Did I ever tell you about…” moments with him as fond memories. Those not fortunate enough to have a copy of the book may find a sampling of his stories at

If you have a story to share, Mr. Skaret’s online guestbook is here.

Memorial planned April 5th for Mary Jane Holtan, 1938-2014

March 28, 2014 at 6:59 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment

The family of West Seattleite Mary Jane Holtan shares this remembrance and announcement of her upcoming memorial:

Mary Jane Holtan, 75, passed away on March 20th, 2014.

A Memorial will be held on April 5th at 4 pm at Alki United Church of Christ, 6115 SW Hinds.

Mary was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, to Ralph and Alice Platt, on April 27, 1938. She went to school at Mt. Si High School in Snoqualmie.

She married Oryland (Bud) Holtan on May 7th, 1960. Mary is preceded in death by her husband, her parents Ralph and Alice Platt, and her two Brothers James Platt and David Platt.

She is survived by Dean Holtan (son), Sheila Holtan (daughter-in-law), Janice Platt (sister-in-law), and several nieces and nephews.

Donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Mary’s name online (here).

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Roadside memorial for Ruth N. Toliver, driver in Puget Ridge crash

March 23, 2014 at 3:49 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 5 Comments

Two weeks ago, we reported briefly on a driver who had crashed into a tree atop a greenbelt slope in the 4800 block of 21st SW on Puget Ridge. No major investigation followed; the car was soon towed, after its driver was taken to the hospital with what sounded, from emergency-radio communications, non-life-threatening injuries. But now a roadside memorial has appeared, on and beneath the tree hit that morning, and we thereby have learned the driver, 91-year-old Ruth Naomi Toliver, did not survive. Her name and photo are part of the memorial; we have found only a very brief obituary for Ms. Toliver (on a small Texas town’s paywalled news site), which says she was born November 8, 1922, in St. Louis, and died the day of the crash, March 9, at Harborview Medical Center. (The roadside memorial lists the same dates.) Public records show a Highland Park address for Ms. Toliver; the online obituary suggests memorial donations to (the former) Community Services for the Blind.

April 5th memorial service planned for Michael Hoffman

March 21, 2014 at 4:23 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 5 Comments

The date is now set for the memorial service honoring Michael Hoffman, the West Seattle business owner and community supporter gone too soon at just 47. Len Burton-Hardin of Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home says the memorial will be at noon Saturday, April 5th, at the Alki Masonic Center (40th/Edmunds). We also are told that donations in Mr. Hoffman’s memory can be made to Furry Faces Foundation and Pencil Me In For Kids, both of which recall him as an avid supporter. In addition to what we mentioned in our first report on his sudden death a week and a half ago – owning Liberty Bell Print and Design, and founding/organizing the annual West Seattle Car Show – he was part of many other community projects, as noted by some of the dozens of friends and colleagues who shared memories here.

Remembering Mary ‘Butch’ Gribble and her friendly face

March 14, 2014 at 5:53 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 3 Comments

You might only have known Mary “Butch” Gribble from Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor) or community benefits, but if you met her, you wouldn’t forget her. Her sister Sue Lindblom, Illusions proprietor, shares this remembrance:

Mary (Coghill) Gribble

It is with sadness we report the passing of the friendly face of Mary ‘Butch’ Gribble to many residents living in West Seattle. After 23 years, she retired in November 2013 from Illusions Hair Design and passed peacefully at home on March 4th.

She was born Mary Coghill in Montana but was raised in West Seattle with siblings David, Angus, Susan, and Bill. Her family lost Angus in 1994.

She always loved her Scottish heritage and loved playing by ear her piano, accordion and squeezebox. Her father had musical talent but unfortunately she was the only one that took up the ‘ear.’ She had always been a real caretaker to many in her life including family members and friends. She started her working career for many years at Sears. All remember her energy and sense of humor wherever she was. Many remember her face at one of the car washes or dinners held at the West Seattle Eagles for a Pencil Me In For Kids benefit.

She leaves behind her devoted husband and best friend Grant Gribble, sister Sue (Mike Lindblom), brothers Bill (Debbie) and Dave, many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great nephews, co-workers and past co-workers. There will be no services, as per her request. The family thanks all who have so kindly expressed their condolences.

Memorial planned this Saturday for Clara Robinson, 1913-2014

March 12, 2014 at 6:52 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

A memorial is planned at The Kenney this Saturday (March 15th) for Clara Robinson, who lived a full century (and then some). Here’s the remembrance to be shared with the community.

Clara was born in Rollage, Minnesota on June 12, 1913, baptized Clara Sylvia Thun. She graduated from Moorhead State Teachers College and began her first teaching position in a one-room school in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota.

She was a soft spoken but an adventurous woman. With her soon-to-be sister-in-law, Mary Robinson, she left from Minnesota in 1934 for Moose Pass, Alaska, with the goal of teaching school. Providence intervened and Clara fell in love with her childhood neighbor and friend Edwin David Robinson, who was mining in the area.

They were married on October 5, 1935 in Seward, Alaska, but not without incident. October weather in Alaska can be unpredictable, and a rainstorm had flooded the road to the railroad station. Determined to make it to their wedding celebration, Eddie, Clara, and the entire wedding party walked several miles to the train. They would arrive just in time to say, “I do,” and cut the cake. Their love and commitment to one another lasted almost 50 years, until Eddie died in 1984. They first became parents in 1936, and would eventually raise four children. She lived to celebrate and witness the birth of nine grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.

With membership at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church since 1961, both Clara and Ed were very involved with all aspects of the church. She sang in the Chancel Choir, taught Sunday School, was an active Koinonia member, and a Circle member. When the new floor was installed in the social hall, Clara scrubbed the entire floor on hands and knees to prepare the surface.

Clara passed on Sunday, March 9, 2014. She leaves to cherish her memories, three daughters, Verna, Edna, Julia; one son, David, 9 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

There will be a memorial at the Kenney Home on Saturday, March 15th, at 1:30 pm. In lieu of gifts or flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Mark’s Community Center, a learning center established for the purpose of teaching basic reading skills to at-risk youth. Their address is:

St. Mark’s Community Center
6020 Beacon Ave S.
Seattle, WA 98108

Inquiries may be made at 206-722-5165.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

West Seattle business owner, Junction Car Show founder Michael Hoffman dies at 47

March 11, 2014 at 5:48 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 43 Comments

At left, that’s Michael Hoffman, proprietor of Liberty Bell Print and Design and founder of the West Seattle Car Show. We’ve just learned that Mr. Hoffman died of a sudden illness last night at his Arbor Heights home; he was 47 years old. For 13 years, Mr. Hoffman owned what was founded in 1973 as Liberty Bell Printing, located in The Junction until moving it out of a storefront three years ago. Susan Melrose, director of the West Seattle Junction Association, shares this tribute:

The news of losing our friend and colleague Michael Hoffman will be received as a tragic loss for our community. Michael’s spirit of kindness, consideration, humor, and charity has touched so many people in so many ways. He has left a positive imprint on West Seattle that will be remembered. Here in The Junction, we will remember and honor Michael with the deep appreciation that he so genuinely deserves.

Mr. Hoffman founded the street-closing Junction Car Show in 2008 and continued to organize it annually; last year’s edition was the sixth annual show. No word yet on a memorial service; we’ll update with whatever we find out.

Memorial service next Saturday for Frank Novito, ‘larger-than-life’ lifelong West Seattleite

March 9, 2014 at 5:59 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 8 Comments

Shared by his family, here’s the “larger than life” life story of Frank Novito, whose memorial service is planned for next Saturday at Holy Rosary Church:

Frank Novito, a lifelong resident of West Seattle, died peacefully at Providence Mt. St. Vincent on March 7, 2014.

Frank was born to Joseph and Mary Novito, who had immigrated from Italy, and true to the American Dream, owned several successful dry-cleaning businesses in the West Seattle and Morgan Street Junctions. Frank attended Lafayette, James Madison, and West Seattle High School.

While still a student, Frank would ride his bike down to Alki to work at Lloyd’s Boathouse before school every morning, and then back up Fairmount Avenue to WSHS for his classes. He quickly became known among Lloyd’s customers for his fishing prowess out in Elliott Bay, and became a favorite of those who wanted to know where the “prime” fishing spots were. He had many stories to tell of near-misses with ferries in the dense fog.

After high school, Frank went to work as a riveter at Boeing, and just like in the movies, he met his bride-to-be, Helen Gembolis, who was his “bucker.” They married in 1944 and had three children, Wanda, Gail and Ralph, all who attended Holy Rosary School. He served in the Army until the war ended, when “Old Mr. Fiedler” took a shine to Frank and offered him a sales job at Gene Fiedler Chevrolet, where Frank sold cars for over 40 years, often ranking as the top salesman in the entire Pacific Northwest. Frank had enduring friendships with many return customers.

Click to read the rest of Memorial service next Saturday for Frank Novito, ‘larger-than-life’ lifelong West Seattleite…

Memorial set March 15th for Robert ‘Bob’ McCoy, 1933-2014

March 5, 2014 at 8:29 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | Comments Off

From the family of Robert “Bob” McCoy, who died this week at age 81:

Robert “Bob” McCoy passed away March 3, 2014, with his family by his side.

Bob was a resident of West Seattle for 50-plus years. He started his career at Forest Lawn Funeral Home in 1964 and retired in 1998. He was a member of the White Center Eagles.

Bob was born February 2, 1933, in Seattle, to Harold and Jessie McCoy. He was raised in Kent and attended Kent Meridian High School. He is survived by his wife Ilene of 60 years, daughter Debra and her husband Joe Ruskamp, daughter Linda and her husband Michael McGee, daughter Barbara, son John, and daughter Pam and her husband Cary Hood, 10 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and his brother Jack McCoy of Vancouver, Washington. He was preceded in death by his sister Helen and his brother Phillip.

Memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 15th, 1:00 pm at Yarington’s/White Center Funeral Home, 10708 16th Ave SW. Reception follows, 2:30-4:30 pm at the White Center Eagles, 10452 15th Ave SW.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Remembering Joan Mraz, 1935-2014: Southwest Seattle Historical Society co-founder

February 28, 2014 at 11:17 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 4 Comments

Joan Mraz “was the ultimate volunteer,” recalls Clay Eals, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which he says she co-founded as “the catalyst who crucially transformed founder Elliott Couden’s dream into a reality when we got our start 30 years ago, based at South Seattle Community College (13 years before we opened the Log House Museum).” Ms. Mraz died this week at 78, and a memorial gathering is planned March 9th. Here’s a remembrance shared by her family:

Joan Bailey Mraz, beloved mother, grandmother, sister and lifelong West Seattle resident, passed away peacefully on Feb. 24, 2014, at Providence Mount St. Vincent. She was the firstborn twin of Ruth and Glen Bailey on July 29, 1935.

She was senior-class president and graduated in the class of 1953 from West Seattle High School. Joan won an art scholarship to Seattle University, from which she graduated with a bachelor of arts. She went on to teach art and art history at South Seattle Community College and was co-founder and former president of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

Joan was a fighter. She received a kidney transplant in 1989, which lasted the rest of her life.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband Elemer Mraz in 1996 and son Steven Roger Mraz in 2008. She is survived by her twin sister Diane Tice of Seattle, daughter Kristina (Graham) van Etten of Sydney, Australia, son Oscar (Nicole Devine) Mraz of Seattle and Mark (Bridget) Mraz of Edmonds. Joan was a proud grandmother to Lauren, Jordan and Nathan van Etten of Sydney, Australia, Marguerite Devine-Mraz of Seattle and Lukas and Kellen Mraz of Edmonds. She will always be remembered for her smile, caring attitude, love and deep affection for others.

The family asks that remembrances may be made to Northwest Kidney Centers (PO Box 3035, Seattle, WA 98114) or Southwest Seattle Historical Society (Log House Museum, 3003 61st Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116).

A celebration of Joan’s life will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 9, 2014, at St Paul’s of Shorewood Lutheran Church, 11620 21st Ave S.W., Seattle, WA, 98146. Please sign Joan’s online guestbook at

The SWSHS website will have an extended obituary of Ms. Mraz sometime this weekend, and we’ll link to it here when it’s available. Meantime, anyone wishing to honor her through volunteer work with the SWSHS has an opportunity to do so almost immediately – the next volunteer-orientation session is 11 am-1 pm tomorrow (Saturday) at the LHM (61st/Stevens).

ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: The aforementioned SWSHS appreciation of Ms. Mraz is now published – see it here.

Remembering Ware Lantz, 1917-2014: Story of ‘a life well-lived’

February 28, 2014 at 1:16 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 7 Comments

A memorial service is planned in April for Richard Ware Lantz of Fauntleroy, gone after what his family describes as “a full life,” and you’ll likely agree after reading the remembrance they’re sharing:

Ware Lantz, 97, died at home in his sleep on February 16, 2014, following a short illness. He lived up to his teenage nickname “Gadget,” for he was forever inventing, dissecting, conducting studies, diagramming, exploring new technologies, going wherever his curiosity took him. He was a consummate storyteller, and loved to read.

Ware was born in 1917, in Kearney, Nebraska. His earliest years were on a dry wheat farm in eastern Colorado. At the beginning of the Dust Bowl, his family moved to Hoquiam, Washington, where he grew up working in his father’s auto service/repair business. He put himself through college during the Depression, and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in 1940.

Early in the Second World War, he went to work at the Seattle Pacific Shipyard. He was immediately smitten with his new draftsman (appropriate term at the time), Ruth Immel, and they married eight months later.

They moved to Boston when Ware took a position at the Radiation Lab at MIT, working on development of radar defense systems. After the war, they relocated to California for work with North American Aviation, and in 1949 they moved to Seattle, where he worked for Boeing. While at Boeing, Ware was a supervisor on the Bomarc and Minuteman missile systems. After 30 years, he retired and began a second career, building architectural models, and picture framing.

Click to read the rest of Remembering Ware Lantz, 1917-2014: Story of ‘a life well-lived’…

Memorial service Saturday for Cecil O. Hansel, 1934-2014

February 26, 2014 at 6:51 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 2 Comments

Family and friends will gather this Saturday to share memories of Cecil O. Hansel, a half-century-plus West Seattle resident who died last week at 79. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing now:

Cecil O. Hansel
April 21, 1934 – February 20, 2014

Cecil Oscar Hansel was born in New England, North Dakota on April 21, 1934, to Pete and Mary Hansel. He was soon joined by brother, Larry and sister, Joanne and later by Royal and Suzanne. Cecil graduated from Larimore High School in 1953, where he was an all around athlete, playing football, baseball, basketball and track. He was also active in drama, on the Annual Staff and President of the Lettermen’s Club. This is where he met the love of his life, Janice Morstad, a cheerleader and two years his junior.

After high school, Cecil was offered a scholarship to play football, but decided instead to enlist in the Army and was sent to Korea for a year. After leaving the military, he attended NDSU. Cecil and Janice eloped and were married on January 21, 1956.

They moved to Spokane, Washington, where Cecil attended a trade school while working at Ideal Concrete Company. Cecil and Janice’s family grew with the birth of sons Jeff, Greg and daughter, Mary Jo.

In 1963, the family moved to Seattle, Washington, and settled in West Seattle. Cecil began working at the Corps of Engineers. The family continued growing with the additions of sons, Mark and David.

Cecil played American Legion Baseball and enjoyed coaching little league football, basketball and baseball. He also enjoyed taking his family on vacations to Spirit Lake, Deer Lake, and other places, eventually retiring to Lake Trask to enjoy the fishing. He retired after 30 years at the Corps of Engineers as Chief of Photogrammetry. He enjoyed watching his kids and grandkids play sports, spending time with family and friends, and fishing.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Janice and his parents. He is survived by his sons, Jeff, Greg (Denise), Mark, and David (Diana), his daughter, Mary Jo Dunlap (Brian), his brothers Larry (Leah), and Royal, his sisters Joanne Hanson and Suzanne Green (Greg), his grandchildren Christina (Jonathan), Tom, Drew and Drake, four great-grandchildren, and also nephews and nieces.

A funeral will be held at Forest Lawn Funeral Home on Saturday, March 1st, at 1:00 pm. It is located at 6701 30th Ave SW.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Followup: Memorial service March 1st for alpinist Chad Kellogg

February 23, 2014 at 6:32 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

One week after news started circulating about the death of 42-year-old Chad Kellogg, the well-known alpinist and former West Seattleite hit by a falling rock while climbing in Argentina, memorial plans have been announced: 11 am next Saturday (March 1st) at the First Free Methodist Church on Queen Anne (3200 3rd Ave. W.), followed by a 1-5 pm reception at the Seattle Bouldering Project in the Central District (900 Poplar Place S.). Updates are promised on this page of a memorial website set up at; its moderators also invite those who knew Mr. Kellogg to send their photos and stories, and have already published more than a dozen, including some with breathtaking photos like these.

Memorial planned March 8th for Betty Lou Benson, 1923-2014

February 21, 2014 at 9:27 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 8 Comments

A memorial service is planned on March 8th for Betty Lou Benson, whose family shares this remembrance:

Betty Lou Benson died peacefully at age 90 on February 12, 2014 after a short illness. She was born August 20, 1923 in Denver, Colorado, and graduated from the University of Denver (DU) in Education. She moved to Tacoma in 1949 to teach elementary school and met her husband, Norman, in The Mountaineers. He had also moved from Starbuck, Minnesota to Seattle to work for Boeing.

They married in 1951 and enjoyed skiing, hiking, and folk dancing together. They made their home in West Seattle for over 50 years where she was a homemaker involved in her church, school PTA, Camp Fire, and Boy Scouts. Early on, they purchased a cabin on Vashon Island, which is still enjoyed by the family today. Betty was a door-to-door Avon Lady in her Admiral district neighborhood and worked part time at the Louise North dress shop in the West Seattle Junction. Later she was active in the West Seattle Garden Club, Federated Women’s Club, and her Kappa Delta Sorority Alumnae group. She was always generous with her time and talents.

She also collected countless donations for the Salvation Army Hickman House for victims of domestic violence and was named their Volunteer of the Decade in 1998. After her husband Norman passed away in 2002, she lived 11 years at the Kenney Home, a very special community of friends where she received kind, compassionate care. She was a wonderful mother with a positive, gracious spirit. She always enjoyed people and was a dear friend to many. She loved the ocean, beach walks, and especially trips to Hawaii. She leaves behind her children Janet (Mark) Thomasseau and Gary (Jane) Benson and grandchildren Allison Thomasseau and Matthew Benson.

Remembrances may be made to West Side Presbyterian Church – Youth Special Event Scholarships – or Salvation Army Hickman House at 1101 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm Saturday, March 8, 2014 at West Side Presbyterian Church, 3601 California Ave. SW. Share your memories at

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Memorial Saturday for Charles David Pierce, 1960-2014

February 19, 2014 at 5:04 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 23 Comments

A memorial service is planned this Saturday for Charles David Pierce, who died last week at age 54. Here’s the remembrance his loved ones are sharing:

Charles David Pierce died Tuesday, February 11, 2014. David resided at Providence Mount St. Vincent for the last thirteen years and died peacefully in his sleep.

For the last 36 years David has lived as a quadriplegic, as a result of a car accident at the age of 17. David graduated from Chief Sealth High School in 1980. David will be remembered for his strength of character, his sense of humor. and kind heart. David will be missed by all who knew him and cared for him.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 22, 2014, 9:30-12:00, at Providence Mount Saint Vincent Chapel, 3rd floor, 4831 35th Ave. SW.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Former West Seattleite Chad Kellogg killed in Patagonia rockfall

February 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 4 Comments

Famed climber and former West Seattle resident Chad Kellogg, 42, has died in Argentina after a rockfall in Patagonia. A WSB reader wrote to share the sad news as early reports surfaced such as this one at; tonight the news also has appeared at (WSB partner) and Mr. Kellogg lived in West Seattle seven years ago when a climbing mishap killed his 38-year-old wife Lara-Karena Kellogg (mentioned briefly on WSB in April 2007), whose family are longtime West Seattleites. The person who e-mailed us says Mr. Kellogg “should be recognized and remembered as a great man who accomplished incredible things, most notably — speed ascents, summiting peaks, defeating cancer, to name a few.” The Times story details many of those accomplishments; the Climbing report notes that “in recent years he had accomplished many superb ascents.” No word yet of memorial plans.

Remembering Robert Wilden Love, Sr., 1924-2014

February 11, 2014 at 6:17 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment

Family and friends gathered Friday to remember Bob Love. Here’s a look back at his life:

Robert (Bob) W. Love Sr., 89, of Seattle, passed away January 27th, peacefully in his sleep.

Those who knew Bob Love will fondly remember him as a very caring man with a “larger-than-life smile.” He had a great wit and constant sense of humor. He brought laughter wherever he went. As father and grandfather, he always had encouraging words for his family. If life got someone down, he was there with encouraging words and a smile. Out of a generous heart, he went out of his way to help people get through things.

Bob was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the youngest of 3 sons, born to Clarence William Love and Cora Erickson. He and his older brothers, Bill Love, and Lou Love, lived in Utah until approximately 1936 when the Loves moved to Seattle. He attended West Seattle High School. Soon after graduating, Bob was offered a spot in a Machinist Trade School program. God had led him to the work he was ‘cut out for,’ and he became passionate about it, and soon advanced into Foreman positions.

Click to read the rest of Remembering Robert Wilden Love, Sr., 1924-2014…

Celebration of life this Saturday afternoon for Larry Launceford

January 22, 2014 at 4:00 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 4 Comments

The family of Larry Launceford is sharing this remembrance with news of his celebration of life this Saturday:

Larry Launceford, 65, a lifetime resident of West Seattle, passed away on December 9, 2013 at his home. He was a graduate of Sealth High School, class of 1966, and Burnley School of Art, class of 1969.

Larry was a passionate, talented graphic artist, leaving behind an accomplished body of work. He was an avid billiards player, and reader. He is survived by his father, Earl, his siblings John and Judy, and his sons, Nicolas and Ian.

Memorial donations may be made to The Larry Launceford Memorial Scholarship at Sealth High School.

Larry’s celebration of life will be held from 1:00-4:00 on January 25th, 2014 at The Eagles Club of White Center.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Followup: Warren Lawless’s memorial set for next Saturday

January 18, 2014 at 4:01 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment

Memorial plans are now set for longtime West Seattle community advocate and entrepreneur E. Warren Lawless, who died last Monday at 95. When we reported on Mr. Lawless’s passing, we promised an update when the memorial details were announced; we have now received them from the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle, which honored him just last year for a half-century of service. The memorial is planned for 2-5 pm next Saturday (January 25th) at the West Seattle Golf Course clubhouse (4470 35th SW), with a program starting at 3 pm. Mr. Lawless’s family invites everyone “to bring their memories and share with all.” You can read more about Mr. Lawless’s storied life, in this remembrance published by the Western University of Health Sciences, for which he served as a board member for more than 30 years. (WSB photo from last month’s Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast)

Celebration of life January 25th for West Seattleite Sue Scharff

January 17, 2014 at 10:34 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 8 Comments

Family and friends will gather one week from tomorrow to celebrate the life of Sue Scharff, gone too soon at just 50, and they want to make sure everyone touched by her knows about the event:

Sue succumbed to ovarian cancer on December 16, 2013, at home, surrounded by family and friends. She was preceded in death by her mother Audrey Scharff and sister Beth Scharff. She is survived by her father Sam Scharff; son Jeremy Kim; granddaughter Miranda; ex-husband Kimin Kim; and nieces and nephews. Sue was a masseuse in West Seattle, where she lived for the past 9 years. She enjoyed many activities ranging from riding her motorcycle Thelma, walking along Alki, exploring Schmitz Park and Camp Long, but her heart belonged in Bridgeport, Washington, helping out at Rama Farms.

We will all miss Sue’s wonderful smile, her great life advice, her compassion for those of less advantage, and her big caring, giving heart. She was a wonderful Mother and Friend who could take any situation and find a peaceful solution. She selflessly volunteered her own body in research for ovarian cancer in the hopes of helping someone else.

We will hold a Celebration of Life for Sue at the West Seattle Eagles on Saturday, January 25th, at 1 pm. Come and enjoy time with friends and family as we share stories of the short but beautiful life Sue led.

Remembering Warren Lawless, longtime West Seattle entrepreneur and community advocate, 1918-2014

January 13, 2014 at 10:01 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 6 Comments

(2012 photo courtesy Karl Sutter)
West Seattle has lost a giant. Warren Lawless died early today at the age of 95, according to his friends and colleagues at the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle.

Less than two years ago, the club honored Mr. Lawless for his 50 years of service. In 2008, Mr. Lawless was recipient of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s Community Service Award.

In addition to being a community-service champion and volunteer, his resumé included decades in publishing, including as founder of the West Seattle directory known as the Banana Pages. He was a writer as well, with a column on in recent years. He also worked in the osteopathic profession for more than 30 years, including service as executive director of the Washington Osteopathic Medical Association and chairing the board of Western University of Health Sciences.

He continued a very active career in public service until the end; just a month ago, we photographed him as he volunteered during the annual Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast. He was a past president and most recently the club’s Secretary Emeritus.

We will have more later about Mr. Lawless’s life, including memorial information when it’s available.

ADDED TUESDAY AFTERNOON: A memorial service has been announced for Saturday, January 25th, at the West Seattle Golf Course, 2-6 pm.

Remembering Lucille Brisky Dodd, 1930-2013

January 7, 2014 at 8:26 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment

The family of the late Lucille Brisky Dodd is sharing this remembrance:

Lucille Brisky Dodd, 82, passed away on November 21, 2013, while recovering from hip surgery.

Lucille was born in Mount Vernon, WA on December 13, 1930, the youngest child (“Babe”) of John and Ella Lowman Brisky, and the sister of Maryl, Charlotte, and Billy. Beloved mother of Steve Dodd of Downers Grove, IL, John Dodd, Tom Dodd, Lynnea (Kirk) Manahan, and Donna Oslin, all of Seattle. Grandmother to Christy, Dani, Morgan, Emily, Cole, Clara, Tony, and Heather. Lucille was an independent and unique woman and will be greatly missed.

Special thanks to Admiral Heights Merrill Gardens and to the medical staff at Highline Hospital for their exceptional care and kindness. Remembrances may be made to the Humane Society or an animal charity of your choice.

As per her wishes, there will be no public service.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Remembering West Seattle native Joy J. McLean Newman

December 28, 2013 at 9:40 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 3 Comments

The family of the late Joy J. McLean Newman shares this remembrance:

Joy J. McLean Newman – wonderful Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Friend, West Seattle native – left us on December 18, 2013.

Joy started her working career as a mail messenger at Boeing, where she met the love of her life, Harry. Not long after their marriage, they moved to Diablo, where Harry worked as an operator for City Light. Upon their return to the greater Seattle area, Joy worked as a “taco bender” for Taco Time, a real estate agent, for the Postal Service, and as a COLA surveyor. She was a longtime Teamster, retiring from Laidlaw bus company as a driver for special-needs children. Joy loved the outdoors and bird watching.

Joy is survived by her husband of 58 years, Harry; children Carolyn (Kate), Alec (Margot), and Annette (Bill); sister Sylvia, brother Stuart, grandsons Maclean and Dan, granddaughters Julia and Lilli, step-granddaughters Sarah, Rachel, and Emily; nephews Nathan, Martin, and Charles. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of her favorite charities – CARE, Mercy Corps, or a charity of your choice.

Joy’s last message was one we could all use in our lives: Forgiveness.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Memorial planned December 30 for Richard Joseph Kord, 1926-2013

December 23, 2013 at 3:33 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment

A funeral Mass is planned one week from today – next Monday, December 30th – at Holy Rosary for Richard Joseph Kord, whose family shares this remembrance:

Richard “Dick” Kord passed away Saturday, December 14, 2013, at the age of 87. Born in Tacoma, he was 6 when his family settled in West Seattle permanently. Dick attended Holy Rosary and O’Dea High School, met his wife “Dottie” of 64 years, and enrolled in summer school to graduate early so he could sign up for service in the US Military Transport in the Pacific during the war, alongside his lifelong friend “Mick.” He then graduated from Seattle University while working at Sears part-time. This led to his 42-year beloved and dedicated career with Sears, where he established cherished friendships as well. Retirement allowed him more time to spend with his wife, family, friends, working on his home and pursuing his love for boating.

Click to read the rest of Memorial planned December 30 for Richard Joseph Kord, 1926-2013…

Memorial planned December 14th for Bob Youngs, 1930-2013

December 6, 2013 at 4:00 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

Family and friends will gather at Holy Family Church one week from tomorrow to remember Bob Youngs. Here’s the remembrance sent to us to share with you:

Robert (Bob) M. Youngs, Sr. passed away suddenly at home on November 21, 2013, at age 83.

He was born in Longview, Washington, on March 23, 1930, the third of six children born to Curtis and Ruth Youngs. While growing up, Bob and his family moved up and down the West Coast, living in Washington, Oregon, and California. While living in Aumsville, Oregon, during his high-school years, he met the love of his life, Rosalie Mack, and they married in 1950.

Shortly after marrying, Bob was drafted into the Army and served in the Korean War. After returning to his family, he attended Oregon State University and earned a degree in Electrical Engineering, while also working as a cabinet-maker. Bob and Rose moved to Seattle, where Bob spent the next 34 years at Seattle City Light, retiring as Chief Electrical Engineer. Together, Bob and Rose raised five children and recently celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary. They could often be seen walking hand-in-hand; their love still had the spark of newlyweds.

Bob was an avid outdoorsman, loved to spend time with his family and friends, and was a jack-of-all trades…if it was broken or in need of repair, he found a way to fix it. In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing, hunting, boating, skiing, hiking, gardening, as well as traveling near and far. His family and friends reaped the benefits of his woodworking skills, with built-in cabinetry, desks, staircases, fireplaces, and more. Bob helped guide years of youth serving as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 351. Bob was very involved with church activities and provided strong leadership to the Holy Family Knights of Columbus (PGK, FS). Bob also dedicated many hours to The Mountaineers Snoqualmie Lodge, helping create a wonderful family getaway. In all of his endeavors, Bob benefitted from many lasting friendships that have endured throughout the years.

Bob was a dedicated father, grandfather, and friend to many. He is survived by his wife Rose, their children, Rob (Brenda), Rich (Lisa), Rex, Ross (Suzanne), and Ruth (Dennis Lew), and their grandchildren, Derek Youngs (Brittnee), Ashley Youngs, Kelli Youngs, Tony, Devin, and Cameron Lew, and their great-grandsons, Carter Youngs, Tyler Lew, and Jordan Lew.

A Rosary will be held on Friday, December 13th, at 7:00 p.m. and a Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, December 14th at 10:00 a.m. with a reception following the service. Both events will be at Holy Family Church, 9622 20th Ave SW, Seattle. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob’s memory to Holy Family School Randy Terlicker Scholarship Fund.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Remembering Rusty Harper – Seafair Pirate, West Seattleite, ‘Southern Gentleman’ – 1957-2013

December 4, 2013 at 11:11 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 37 Comments

At the center of our photo from this past July is West Seattleite Rusty Harper, photographed as he led his fellow Seafair Pirates ashore at Alki Beach as this year’s “Captain Kidd.” Last weekend, Mr. Harper died at just 56 years old. His wife Bonnie shares this remembrance:

Rusty Harper
October 1957 – December 2013

Rusty Harper, of West Seattle, will be remembered most recently as Captain Kidd of the Seattle Seafair Pirates this year. He loved the camaraderie and being a part of the “historic tapestry of Seattle”. He got the biggest thrill at the start of every Torchlight Parade. Looking straight down 4th Avenue at the throngs of people waiting for the first cannon blast from the Moby Duck was his favorite moment each year. His Pirate friends became his brothers, and brothers help make a place a home. His motto was “Tempus Fugit.”

His friends knew him as a Southern Gentleman. He was born in a small town in Mississippi, but spent most of his youth in Mobile, Alabama. Although he and his wife of 20 years, Bonnie, lived in Seattle since 1995, Rusty retained his beautiful accent. After a career in real estate, Rusty went to culinary school, which brought him to Seattle. He worked in the food manufacturing industry for years, but most recently joined Sage Fly Fishing on Bainbridge Island.

Rusty was on a continuous journey to enrich his mind and soul. His search led him to convert to Catholicism in his early 30’s. He was a passionate reader of literature, history, sci-fi and horror. He wanted to finish War and Peace, but only made it through the difficult part that was written in French – he had so looked forward to reading the rest in English. He loved graphic novels and comics, too. He spent many hours with his nose buried in the Dark Knight series of Batman. He loved art and music. As a baby boomer, of course there was AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, but he developed a profound love of jazz and big band music, particularly Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Duke Ellington. Travel was a big part of Rusty’s life. In recent trips to Europe, he spent many happy hours exploring art and culture. Several petite Parisian ladies working in a tiny chocolate shop might remember the shock of seeing a big redhead in a trench coat burst through the doors declaring in French, “I am an American chocolatier – where is the metro?”.

Rusty was the only son of Patricia Harper, who lives in Mobile, and the late Russell Harper. Rusty is remembered by his wife and her big family of sisters, nieces, nephews, and their children who loved their Uncle Rusty. His “hey, ya’ll”, “Roll Tide!”, big grin, and hearty laugh will be profoundly missed. Tempus fugit. Vita brevis.

Mr. Harper’s memorial is this Saturday (December 7th), 2-4 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral (2656 42nd SW).

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