Gwendolyn Schwenzer clearly lived a full life over her 94 years. Even if you never met her, this remembrance shared by her family is proof:
Gwendolyn (Hill) Schwenzer
Beloved Mother, Nana, Great Nana and Great–Great Nana.
Gwen was born in Seattle on Dec 6, 1918, graduated West Seattle High School in 1937, married Herb (Fritz) Schwenzer when she was just 18, and had 4 kids throughout the years: Sharon, Diane, Fritz, and Vicki.
In 1944, Gwen went to work at Boeing as an original “Rosie the Riveter,” working on the B-29s as part of the World War II effort. She also worked at the Hideaway Tavern in White Center.
In 1979, Herb passed away, leaving a void in Gwen’s life, and that was when she joined the Eagles Clowns and became “Bubbles the Clown,” allowing her to make others happy with her great sense of humor.
Volunteering at Mount St. Vincent for 13 years earned her a warm welcome when it was time for her to move into the assisted-living area, where she is pictured on their brochure and passed away on May 8, 2013.
She will be missed by all who knew her.
That certainly will include the fellow “Rosies” with whom she was featured in this 2009 WSB story.
(Front row: Corinne Blair, Alec Patajo; second row: Casey Iwamoto, Emma Carey, Lauren Phillips; not pictured, Owen Yeasting)
More big success for the West Seattle Totems riflery team, reports coach Joe Matter:
The West Seattle Totems recently competed in the American Legion National Air Rifle Postal match, which was locally sponsored by the Vashon American Legion Post #159. The American Legion match has two elements, a team competition and an individual competition.
In the individual competition, a match was worth 600 points. Lauren Phillips shot a 584 to place in the top 30 of the competition and qualified for the second round of competition. Lauren then shot a 586 to finish 5th in the second round which qualified her for the final round of competition which will be hosted at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs this summer.
In the team competition, a match is worth 2400 points. The team of Lauren Phillips, Casey Iwamoto, Owen Yeasting, and Emma Carey shot a 2302 to finish 2nd in the first round of competition. Only the top ten teams were invited to the second round. In the second round, the team of Lauren, Emma, Corinne Blair and Alec Patajo shot a 2322 to capture the team national bronze medal.
The Vashon American Legion Post as well as the West Seattle Sportsmen’s Club have been supportive of organized youth rifle sports, helping to build leadership skills and scholarship opportunities for youth and young adults. Focus skills required for shooting well are enormous and this further supports academic focus. NCAA rifle scholarships are not earned without having good grades also. We congratulate Lauren Phillips on earning a rifle scholarship to The University of Nebraska, a CMP Scholarship, as well as additional academic scholarships. We know that her opportunities have just begun.
The team practices at the West Seattle Stadium and has members from the peninsula, north Seattle, Puyallup, Ellensburg and Vashon. This summer will include a trip to nationals in Anniston, Alabama, for 8 shooters. The team was thrilled to get one team invitation last year and is stoked to have two teams qualify this year. What an accomplishment for these kids.
The volunteer coaching staff includes Joe Matter, Kurt Oberloh and Alan Carey.
The Matson Navigation team on Harbor Island shares news of another community-service project. The photo and report are from Jackie, who has updated us in recent years on their efforts including storm-drain stencils on Alki and cleanup work in the Terminal 10 area:
This year we reached out to the Port with hopes of cleaning up the same Terminal 10 site, and this past Thursday we made that happen. We took advantage of the clear blue skies and sunny weather, and worked alongside Port employee George Blomberg to tidy up the area. We did heavy weeding (a portion of the weed pile is shown in the photo), and also planted several small trees in the area. It was really fulfilling to work to keep this site looking healthy and clean so the wildlife there could continue to enjoy it. And as always, it was a nice opportunity to enjoy the great weather Seattle has had, and spend some time with coworkers doing something good for the community and environment.
WSB is about good news like this in addition to 24/7 coverage of what you need to know about breaking news, community issues, transportation, development, schools, politics, etc. – so thanks to Jackie, and to everyone else who continues to share these kinds of reports!
Fourteen months ago, we introduced you to a West Seattle centenarian named Ina Mann, with whom we spoke along with three generations of her family, visiting her one day at Arbor Heights Adult Family Home (now a WSB sponsor). We just learned from Ms. Mann’s family that she has passed away. They are sharing this remembrance, along with photos (above, Ms. Mann on her 100th birthday with five of her seven granddaughters):
Alexandrina ‘Ina’ Mann * December 21, 1907 – April 19, 2013
Longtime West Seattle resident Ina Mann went to her her eternal home, with Jesus, on Friday, April 19, 2013, after a long life of 105 years. Ina was born outside London, England, to Albert and Louise Whitehead. She crossed the Atlantic on a ship at age 4 with her parents and 2 younger brothers, Walter and Albert. The family settled in West Seattle where her father built the family home on 46th and Findlay. She attended Jefferson Elementary, Madison Junior High, and West Seattle High School. After graduation, she worked for several years at Hostess Baking Company.
Her early memories of West Seattle included California Avenue as a dirt road with horses and visiting Luna Park on Alki as a young child. She met her husband, Huntley David Shaw Mann, Sr., while visiting the Swedish Club.
Ina never drove a car, loved gardening and working in her yard. She spent the last seven years under the loving care of Katie Gilliantte and Penny Nemoede and staff at Arbor Heights Adult Family Home.
Ina is survived by her son, Huntley Shaw Mann, Jr., his wife Marlene Hill Mann, 7 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren.
The family also shared this photo of Ms. Mann and her son, featured in our story last year:
That was taken in 1951.
7 years of work and public service culminate in Eagle Scout rank for 18-year-old West Seattleite Todd LehmanMay 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 14 Comments
(L to R: Joey Donahue, Brendan Good, Dylan Moorleghen, John Roach, Chad Lehman, Jason Getts, Todd Lehman)
Congratulations to 18-year-old Todd Lehman, the first member of West Seattle’s Troop 282 to earn his Eagle Scout rank – Scouting’s highest honor – this year. Part of that involved a project for Camp Long, explained by his dad Rick Lehman – who shared the photos and information – as involving “designing and constructing a staging area for one of the new ‘challenge courses,’ called ‘Pacific Crest.’ The project included installing 70 feet of cedar split-rail fencing, gravel walkway, log benches, and landscaping.” Here’s Todd, center, with his Eagle Board of Review, all also West Seattleites:
(L to R, Pete Hogan, mom Nancy Lehman, Mike Grueter, Todd Lehman, Dave Haines, dad Rick Lehman, Paul Von Brockhorst)
Dad Rick Lehman adds that Todd’s Eagle rank “represents over 7 years of scouting leadership, adventure, activities, achievement and community service. While in Troop 282, Todd compiled 82 nights of camping, hiked 147 miles, paddled by canoe 82 miles on the Bowron Provincial Park in Canada, earned 24 merit badges, and provided 115 hours of community service to West Seattle.” He also is a three-year letterman in varsity golf and baseball at Kennedy High School, where he is a senior and president of the Men’s Club; an active member of West Side Presbyterian Church; and plans to attend Washington State University starting this fall.
(Photo by @bpsnyder, via Twitter)
Two and a half days after the bicycle/truck crash that killed 54-year-old Lance David, about 100 people gathered this afternoon where it happened, at East Marginal Way and Hanford, in his honor. Many rode from his workplace, Expeditors International:
(This and subsequent photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Mr. David was on one of the five Bike-to-Work teams at Expeditors, according to Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections, who also observed: “Mr. David worked in the freight shipping industry. Just like the truck driver. I hope it will help the community understand that this is not ‘us’ vs. ‘them.’ It’s all ‘us.’ A bunch of people who work in jobs that are dependent on the port ride a bike to get to work. Bike riders depend on the port for jobs, and those companies have employees who ride bikes.” Many of those at this afternoon’s gathering signed a shirt with the company logo:
It was then put on the utility pole holding the ‘ghost bike’ placed at the crash site Wednesday night.
WS Bike Connections and WS Greenways are organizing a memorial ride from Seacrest on Tuesday (May 7, 5:30 pm, full details here). It’ll be some time before police put out a final report on the crash; their initial findings are included in our Thursday report, which also details some of the safety concerns at the scene and the discussion at Wednesday night’s monthly meeting of the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board.
Fifty years ago today, West Seattle native Jim Whittaker became the first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest. The clip above – shared on Whittaker’s Facebook page – includes an interview with him, and historical footage. And today, another West Seattle native announced new honors for the climber:
On the 50th anniversary of the summiting of Mt. Everest by the first American, King County Executive Dow Constantine today honored fellow West Seattle native and legendary climber Jim Whittaker by announcing the renaming of trails in Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park for Mr. Whittaker and his climbing partner, Sherpa Nawang Gombu.
“Jim Whittaker’s achievement 50 years ago today remains a triumph of perseverance and teamwork,” said Executive Constantine. “It is an honor to recognize both Mr. Whittaker and Mr. Gombu on their historic accomplishment, and I hope it moves us all to get out and experience our own hiking and climbing opportunities closer to home.”
West Seattle Elementary wants to make sure that everyone who knew teacher Heidi Hudeckova knows about the memorial for her at the school this Saturday. Counselor Laura Bermes tells WSB that Heidi died last month, just 50 years old, from a brain aneurysm, adding, “Heidi taught at West Seattle Elementary in the Developmental Preschool Program. Graduated students from that program populate local schools throughout West Seattle. We’re hoping to get the word out so that those who loved Teacher Heidi, and those whose lives she touched can share in this celebration.” Parent Ellen Bremen says of Ms. Hudeckova, “Heidi was an institution there; her years of experience and almost magical intuition of what makes a ‘higher needs’ child thrive changed countless children’s lives, as well as their parents.” The memorial, described as an informal potluck for sharing memories, is planned for 11 am-1 pm Saturday (May 4) at the school, 6860 34th SW.
Another local outpouring of support for Boston as its people continue to recover from last week’s bombings: Anna Cronin from Providence Mount St. Vincent shares the photo and this update on what they’re doing:
Many residents, staff and children participated in The Mount’s “Marathon for Boston” to celebrate the resilient Boston Community and to remember the victims and those injured in the terrible events that took place at the Boston Marathon last week. Our goal was to show Boston that for every one person wishing to inflict harm, there are many, many more who wish to do good. We mapped out a route and together walked a combined 70+ miles! That is nearly three full marathons. Our hope is to eventually walk 3,048 miles (the distance from Seattle to Boston) in the following weeks to continue to show our support for, and solidarity with Boston.
(Tonight’s group heading out, northbound on California)
Last Monday night, the shock of the Boston bombings was still fresh when Lori and Tim McConnell of West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) organized a group run as a way for people here to deal with that shock, and grief. Tonight – after a week in which so much has happened – they again invited local runners, this time to join a week-later nationwide “Run for Boston” tribute. The crowd that showed up spanned all ages and paces:
In that photo, they’re looking up at Tim, who didn’t get a group photo last Monday, but stepped outside their second-story store to make sure not to miss the overview this time:
Lori sported her keepsake shirt from running the Boston Marathon five years ago:
At least one other Seattle group ran tonight too, as well as others coast to coast.
Among the many events in this morning’s West Seattle Saturday roundup of calendar highlights, a work party at Dakota Place Park. Thanks to Meredith for sharing this photo of two young volunteers – Addie and Grayson, students from nearby Tilden School.
More than half a million classrooms around the country are reading about West Seattle’s seal pups and young Seal Sitters volunteers who help watch out for them. They’re the cover story of the Earth Day edition of Scholastic News, as Seal Sitters‘ Robin Lindsey reports on Blubberblog. As she points out, Seal Sitters is “one of the few marine-mammal stranding networks that encourage children to join …”; a third-grader volunteer named Noemi is shown in the Scholastic News story. Robin tells WSB, “Noemi and our kid Seal Sitters inspire us all!” (To find out how to volunteer – and how to reach Seal Sitters if you spot a marine mammal on a local beach – go here.)
Back on April 7th, we published Chief Sealth International High School football head coach Luther Carr III‘s call for pledges as his players prepared to participate in the MS Walk to help fight multiple sclerosis. Now that the big event is past, he wanted to share public words of thanks (and the team’s photo from MS Walk day):
Chief Sealth International Football would like to thank all of our community, family, and friends who assisted in our efforts to raise money for MS (multiple sclerosis). Along with thousands of others in the State of Washington we raised funds and walked on April 14, 2013, to find a cure for a world free of MS. At least 12,000 people in our Northwest community are living in chronic pain because of MS. Ridding the world of MS is a great cause, and our student-athletes learned a great lesson, giving back! Thank you again and Go Seahawks!!
According to the team’s page on the MS Walk site – where you can still make a donation – they raised more than four times their goal!
Congratulations to the five seniors shown in the photo shared by Marilyn Mears, who explains that they “were honored by AAUW (American Association of University Women) at the annual AAUW Scholars Recognition dessert reception … for their achievement in one of three STEM fields. High-achieving senior girls from eight Seattle high schools were honored. The keynote speaker was AAUW member Karen Troianello, Title IX pioneer. AAUW is a national organization of college graduates. AAUW’s mission is to advance equity for women and girls through advocay, education, and research.” From left in the photo are students Yessinia Rudy (West Seattle HS) – Technology; Sydney M. Sattler (Chief Sealth IHS) – Science; Janelle Maroney (Chief Sealth) – Math; Michiko Yoshino (West Seattle) – Math; and Kristin Lee (West Seattle) – Science.
11:52 AM: Just received from Eric Renn at West Seattle CrossFit:
Today, we are organizing a Team Red White and Blue “Response Run”. The run will be from the Statue of Liberty to Anchor Park and back, the typical 5k run on Alki … we will begin at 2 p.m. today and carry an American flag with us the entire way.
(Statue of Liberty Plaza is at 61st and Alki.)
3:57 PM: Scenes of the Response Run in the sunshine along Alki Beach:
(Photos by WSB’s Katie Meyer)
Preparing to hand off the flag, at Anchor Park:
Fixed flags around the state are all at half-staff today by decree of Governor Inslee.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:52 PM: From Lori McConnell at West Seattle Runner:
Wanted to let you know that we are hosting an impromptu group run tonight at 6 pm at West Seattle Runner as a way to honor our grief/deal with our grief about the Boston Marathon.
WSR is on the northwest corner of California/Charlestown.
(Photo courtesy Tim McConnell)
ADDED: Citywide media came out to cover the event – above, that’s Lori being interviewed. Here’s what KIRO TV wrote about the run.
(Screenshot from home page of new website)
If you attended West Seattle High School – the WSHS Alumni Association has news for you: A brand-new website! Jim Biava (Class of 1971) shares the announcement about what you’ll find there:
ATTENTION, WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI! You can now access our new website with our own Social Network. It’s awesome! Check out the site at (officially) www.wshsalumniassociation.org however you can get there a variety of ways, one being www.wshsaa.org. Check it out the site! There is too much to mention here but the main Menu tabs, full of information, include Scholarships, Reunions, Hall of Fame, Merchandise and other links to videos. The Alumni Chinook will be on there soon too including Archived Editions. Wow there’s a lot of great stuff and more being added!
A couple video slideshows will be added to the site after this year’s All School Reunion, which will premiere a show of Westside High’s History and how we are all connected through time and space. The video slideshow contains more than 600 photos from 1920 through 2012. Are you in any of them? Seriously, are you immortalized in the video? Check it out at this year’s All School Reunion on June 7th, starting at 5 pm at the school.
Who are those people in West Seattle High School’s Hall of Fame? Find out in a video slideshow about the members of the Hall of Fame presented in a way that you’ve never seen before also to be added to the site after its premiere at the ASR. There is even a cutting-edge Alumni Social Network within the site. I’ve talked with some who buy WSHS merchandise from for-profit sites pretending to be the West Seattle Alumni Association, thinking they are helping out our own. Now you can get your high-quality WSHS gear made by West Seattle Grads, made in West Seattle, for West Seattle. The proceeds benefit your Alumni Association.
I can go on and on but just go check it out for yourself and sign up for the Social Network – free and exclusive (password protected) for WSHS Alumni only. Go see who’s already a member. Check it out and then pass the word.
Family and friends are remembering David Franks, gone too soon at just 61. Here’s the tribute sent to us to share with you:
David A. Franks died unexpectedly March 29 of natural causes, one month short of his 62nd birthday. Though he lived in north Burien, he had lifelong ties to West Seattle. He grew up in the community, first in a house near the steel mill, then in the home his parents owned for more than 40 years on 42nd SW just south of Jefferson Square. Dave was in West Seattle every week, helping support the needs of his parents, and maintaining contact with friends and the families of two nieces who live here.
He was born April 30, 1951, in Seattle, graduated from West Seattle High School, and attended the University of Puget Sound. He had a career with the US Postal Service, where he rose from part-time mail handler to supervisor of the mail processing center at SeaTac Airport.
Dave was close to his large family, and had an extensive circle of friends, many dating to college days. A lifelong bachelor, Dave was a much-loved uncle to two generations of nieces and nephews, with whom he always was generous with time and gifts.
Arlene Hinderlie Wade (1943-2013) passed away on March 25 after a 13-year battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
Arlene grew up in Port Orchard. She was the 1963 Seafair Queen during the ‘Century 21′ Seattle World’s Fair.
As President of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society in the 1990s, Arlene led the campaign to create the Log House Museum. She insisted on telling the story of the American settlers alongside that the Duwamish people, whose cause she championed for two decades. She shaped “The Spirit Returns” exhibit at the new Log House in 2000, which was the first time the story of the Duwamish and the American settlers was told side by side under one roof.
Paul Dorpat decribed her in his Seattle Then and Now column:
Not only does 6-year-old Beckett Howard-Kuzma of Seaview play basketball, he loves to watch hoops – and has an extra incentive to be watching as the NCAA men’s tournament plays out with Final Four games today and the championship Monday. As reported last night by our partners at The Seattle Times, Beckett has such a keen eye for talent that his ESPN Tournament Challenge bracket is tied for #6 out of more than eight million entries! Beckett’s proud mom Kelly Howard contacted us to share the news with West Seattle neighbors. She says her son “actually has 3 brackets going. They are all in the top 1% of the ESPN bracket challenge. He did pick Florida Gulf Coast to advance to the 2nd round in his 2 other brackets (but not the bracket that is #6 overall).” And she says the kindergartener “loves math and numbers in general.” Plus basketball – he played this winter via the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) and even plays while visiting his grandparents in Arbor Heights, who put up a backyard hoop in his honor. You can see Beckett’s bracket here. What might he win besides bragging rights, you ask? All entries in the top 1 percent are entered in a drawing for a $10,000 Best Buy gift card.
5:57 PM UPDATE: Beckett’s pick for today’s first game was the winner – and he’s now tied for #4!
Though she has a new role on the world stage pending – a potential appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Japan – Caroline Kennedy is reported this morning to be planning to keep her date with West Seattle’s Sanislo Elementary. Sanislo librarian Craig Seasholes sends along formal word of Kennedy’s expected visit next Monday afternoon as part of National Library Week, for which she is honorary chair. Kennedy is coming to Seattle for a poetry event Monday night that isn’t in WS but will also feature Sanislo students (free but tickets required – get them here ASAP). During her visit to their school, she’s scheduled to meet with Poetry Club students. (2008 photo of Caroline Kennedy by Martyna Borkowski, via Wikimedia Commons)
Last Friday, we reported on a death at West Seattle Stadium the day before. Today, we know the man who died at the track was 44-year-old West Seattle resident Donald Markey; we have heard from his wife Leslie Markey, a native West Seattleite (who says old friends from WSHS/Madison/Alki would know her as Leslie Rhodes). She says her husband was in training for the upcoming physical exam to join the Seattle Police Department, and that she is thankful for SPD and Seattle Fire Department medics’ “beyond hope” efforts to save her husband’s life – “an unbelievable effort by our local fire and police.” Here is the remembrance she shared:
Donald Graham Markey, born March 8, 1969 died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 44 of a heart attack, on March 21, 2013. Son of Nancy Graham Markey (deceased) and John Cornelius Markey (deceased) of Charlotte, North Carolina. He is survived by his wife, Leslie C. Markey of Seattle; brother John Cornelius Markey, Jr. of Graham, North Carolina; Aunt and Uncle Steve and Cornelia Robinson of Charlotte, NC; and two beloved cats; Arnold and Abner.
Handsome, humorous, personable, and polite, Donald was smart, highly educated, motivated to be of service to others, and a man of faith. He was baptized a Christian in Anacortes in 2003. He was devoted to seeking a better understanding of God by exploring spirituality so that he could live in the sunlight of the spirit. He shared this journey with his wife. Donald’s relationship with Leslie began in 1999 and they then married in 2007 in Seattle, WA. He was blessed with a faith that worked, and it showed in the way he smiled, talked and loved.
(Photos courtesy Steph Brusig)
On the day the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments over whether to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, hundreds of people rallied in downtown Seattle at noontime today to show support for marriage equality. West Seattleites participating included lead organizer Marley Blonsky, seen below during a TV interview, and wife Whitney Young, shown at her left.
West Seattleite Sarah Toce, editor-in-chief of The Seattle Lesbian, was among the speakers:
You can listen to audio of today’s Supreme Court session by going here.
West Seattleite Marley Blonsky sends word of a big rally downtown tomorrow for which she is lead organizer – a rally supporting nationwide marriage equality, on the day the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments in two cases. It’s at noon tomorrow (Wednesday, March 27) outside the federal courthouse at 700 Stewart Street (map) – here’s the Facebook event page with full details. (P.S. If Marley’s name sounds familiar – we published the announcement of her wedding last September, and then photographed her and wife Whitney Young in the marriage-license line at the King County Courthouse during that historic December night/morning.)
If you didn’t stay up to watch national grocery-bagging champ Andrew Borracchini‘s appearance on “The Late Show With David Letterman” around 12:20 am, the video is now available courtesy of the CBS website (thanks to WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli for spotting it first!). The appearance was rumored to be a possibility ever since Andrew, who has worked at Metropolitan Market-Admiral (WSB sponsor) for more than three years, won the title at the National Grocers Association‘s Las Vegas convention last month (by the way, video from the championship is now online too).
SUNDAY NIGHT: Proud family, friends, and fans will have to wait one extra night to see national grocery-bagging champ Andrew Borracchini on “The Late Show with David Letterman” – there’s late word that the show schedule now has the Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) team member appearing Tuesday night (March 26th), *not* Monday as first announced. Still 11:35 pm, Channel 7.
MONDAY MORNING: The Metropolitan Market PR folks now say there’s word CBS made a mistake in that revised schedule and that Andrew will now be on TONIGHT, as previously announced.
WSB reader Marcia sent us the link to that poem video recently, with no explanation other than saying poet Austin Mansell‘s parents are friends of hers from West Seattle and she thought it was a “wonderful poem” worth sharing with WSB-land. After watching it, we knew she was right. There’s a twist, so we’re not including “spoilers”; after watching it, if you are interested in finding out more about the author/reader and why he wrote it, click here to read what he told us when we contacted him to find out more. (Turns out he too is a West Seattle native.)
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