Obituaries 551 results

October 15th set for gatherings in memory of Frances Smersh

Two and a half weeks after the family of artist and Junction entrepreneur Frances Smersh announced her death, the date is set for memorial gatherings. Here’s the announcement:

Funeral and Celebration of Life services for Frances Smersh will be held Friday, October 15.

Funeral Service begins at 11 am at St. Joseph Parish, 732 18th Ave E (Capitol Hill — parking entrance on 19th Ave E)
Celebration of Life begins at 3 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California Ave SW (West Seattle — parking entrance on SW Director St.)

Masks will be required at both venues. Guests over 12 years old must be fully vaccinated.

There will be light appetizers and a no-host bar at the memorial celebration beginning at 3p. To help us plan appropriately, RSVP is required for the Celebration of Life no later than September 30 to No RSVP is necessary for the Funeral Service at the church.

In the style of Frances (who always made very not-fancy yet fun arrangements for guests), we invite you to bring a small “bouquet” of whatever happens to be growing in your yard, even if it is just grasses and dandelions! We will be creating an impromptu garden altar at both the church and the hall. Volunteers will be on hand to place them.

We are allowing extra time to get from Capitol Hill to West Seattle in light of the bridge closure. If you arrive in West Seattle early please wait to enter the hall as we will need time to set up.

A livestream is planned – the link will be available soon on this website.

Remembering Irene W. McCoy, 1926-2021

Family and friends are remembering Irene W. McCoy and sharing this remembrance with the community:

It is with sadness that the family of Irene W. McCoy share news of Irene’s death on September 10, 2021 at the age of 94. As a long-time resident of Des Moines, WA and West Seattle, a teacher in the Seattle and Highline Public School Districts, and a faithful member of Tibbetts United Methodist Church, Irene was loved by all who knew her.

Born Irene W. Martin on December 25, 1926 in Liverpool, England, she grew up with three sisters and a brother. She enjoyed a happy childhood even though her pre-teen and teen years were greatly affected by World War II, including the consistent bombing of Liverpool and the rationing of food, gasoline and other common items.

Irene became an elementary school teacher and taught both in England and the USA. In 1955 she came to the USA as a participant in a one-year teacher exchange program sponsored by the Fulbright Teacher Exchange. She taught at Gatewood Elementary School in West Seattle. Two teachers from West Seattle met Irene in New York City to welcome her to America. One was Dean McCoy. In 1956 she returned to England, where she continued teaching; in 1957 she emigrated to the USA to marry Dean and thus began a happy marriage of 47 years.

Irene is survived by her daughters and son: Dr. Jennifer McCoy; Ellen Johanson; Clive McCoy; her granddaughter Rachel Johanson; as well as nieces, nephews and cousins in England and the USA.

A private graveside service for family members will be held at Mountain View Funeral Home and Memorial Park in Lakewood, WA and a Celebration of Life Service will be held at a date, yet to be determined, at Wesley Retirement Community in Des Moines, WA. Preceded in death by her beloved husband, parents and four siblings, Irene has lived a joyful and complete life. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that tribute gifts may be made to Wesley Community Foundation,, or Tibbetts United Methodist Church, in her memory.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

MEMORIAL: October 16th set for gathering to celebrate Adah Cruzen’s life

In June, family, friends, and community members mourned 96-year-old West Seattle philanthropist Adah June Cruzen. Now the date has been set for her memorial. According to trustee Sharon Siva, the gathering in memory of Ms. Cruzen is planned for 11 am Saturday, October 16th, at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW). A reception will follow, across the street at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW) until 3 pm. Masks will be required.

Remembering Dr. Paul K. Smits, 1941-2021

Family and friends are remembering Dr. Paul Smits and sharing this remembrance with the community:

Longtime West Seattle dentist, Paul Kari Smits, of Bellevue, passed away in Seattle on September 10th from complications of prostate cancer; he fought the disease courageously for ten years.

He was born in 1941 to Paul Aire Smits, DDS, and Ina Kari Smits and grew up in Aberdeen, WA.

He attended the University of Washington and graduated from the University of Washington School of Dentistry in 1966. He served in the U.S. Army at Fort Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, for two years and, while there, met his future wife, Joyce (Becker) Smits. He then served two years in the Army Reserve while establishing his private dental practice in West Seattle. Paul cared for his patients for over 45 years, becoming friends with many.

Paul loved spending time outdoors with Joyce and their three sons, especially on the ski slopes. An avid photographer, he documented everything from their travels in the U.S. and around the world, to his grandchildren’s sporting events and celebrations. He was quick to laugh and tell a story and will always be remembered for his warm, friendly personality and dedication to his family and patients.

Paul is loved and will be forever missed by Joyce, his wife for over 50 years; sons Tyler, Ryan, and Kyle, and their wives Lori, Christina, and Jessica; grandchildren Gavin, Audrey, Ella, and Lily, all of whom live in the Seattle area; sister Karen (Morgan Kari) of Woodland Hills, CA; brother- and sister-in-law René and Jan Robert of San Ramon, CA and their family; and his many friends.

His family would like to thank the doctors and many other Virginia Mason caregivers who provided medical care and compassion to Paul.

Donations in memory of Paul may be made to Zero Cancer at or a charity of your choice.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

Remembering Ragna E. Gardanar, 1944-2021

Family and friends are remembering “Snookie” Gardanar and sharing this remembrance with the community:

Ragna “Snookie” Eleanor Gardanar passed away on September 3rd, 2021, at the age of 77.

She was born on May 24th, 1944, at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle. She was the youngest of 2 kids. She is survived by her 3 kids Duane, Greg, and Karie; grandkids Kelsie, Bradley, Ava, Owen, and Benjamin; and great-grandchild Marcus.

Snookie went to school in West Seattle; Highland Park Elementary, Denny Junior High, Sealth High School, and South Seattle CC. Mom lived most of her life in West Seattle, then moved to Kent. She retired from Allied Solutions and DSHS as a clerical specialist. Mom’s favorite job was working for Bogle & Gates Law Firm in Seattle.

Mom loved music, spending time with family, watching Seahawk games, going to the ocean, walking on the beach and hanging out on the balcony feeding seagulls she always named Jonathon. Mom loved dogs, especially “Lady” and most all other poodles. She loved Bingo, Solitaire, and Rummy. Mom checked off a bucket-list item when she traveled to Memphis to visit Elvis Presley’s memorial – she loved that trip.

Snookie was a loving Mother and Grandmother to her children and grandchild, who will miss her dearly. “WE LOVE YOU, MOM & MAMA!!!”

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Online memorial planned next week for Howard Martin, 1944-2021

Howard Martin will be remembered with a virtual memorial on September 22nd. Here’s the remembrance his family is sharing with his community:

Howard Martin, 77, died on August 10, 2021 with his wife and daughter by his side, after living with the aftereffects of a stroke, including dementia, for 8 years.

Born in New York City, Howard moved many times before settling in Seattle, where he lived for the past 36 years. He studied Political Science at UCLA and received a MSW from USC. His work spanned teaching, counseling, acting, cab-driving, nonprofit management, political organizing, and retail until his retirement in 2013.

Howard moved to West Seattle in 1992, and embraced this community — especially his neighborhood, Blockwatch32 in the Luna Park/Avalon area. He served on the Delridge Neighborhood Development Association Board, worked for Neighborhood House in White Center, met up regularly with dog-park friends at Westcrest, and was among the first hires at the Home Depot on Delridge, where he worked preceding his stroke and eventual retirement. He participated in Providence Mt. St. Vincent’s Eldercare Program and enjoyed the attention and excellent care he received.

He is preceded in death by his parents Ruth and Peter, daughter Naomi, and stepfather Earl (longtime West Seattleite Earl Robinson). He is survived by wife Marcia, daughter Kata, brother Michael, and many family members and friends.

He will be remembered for his perennial wit, humor, and warmth, and by his online alias, HowieInSeattle. A virtual memorial will be held on 9/22 @ 3 pm — email for details.

Remembrances may be made to Delridge Neighborhood Development Association.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

Memorial on Monday for Matthew Bosisio, 1953-2021

A Funeral Mass is planned at 11 am Monday (September 13th) at Our Lady of Guadalupe for Matthew J. Bosisio. Here’s the remembrance his family is sharing:

Matthew John Bosisio, born January 29, 1953, passed away peacefully on September 5, 2021.

Matt was the middle child of Mariano and Celia “Stella” (D’Afflitto) Bosisio, who preceded him in death.

Matt is survived by his son Landon, daughter-in-law Stephanie, and grandson Bennett Bosisio. Matt is also survived by a brother, William Bosisio, a sister, Gladys Bosisio Mogensen, and two nieces.

Mr. Bosisio was born in Washington, DC, and moved at an early age with his family to Kansas City, Missouri, and, later, St. Joseph, Missouri. For his high school years, he moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin, and graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1971. In 1975, Matt entered the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1977 from Edwards AFB in California.

Following his discharge from the Air Force, Matt graduated with honors from the University of California-Santa Barbara with a degree in Journalism. While in college, he worked for the Daily Nexus and the Santa Barbara News-Press. He later obtained a master’s degree in Mass Communication from Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas.

Matt would work for newspapers as a journalist in Portland, Maine, Ruidoso, New Mexico, Roswell, New Mexico, Hays, Kansas, and Richmond, Missouri, and he was also employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Peoria, IL as a news writer. Mr. Bosisio owned his own newspaper in Albuquerque, New Mexico, The New Mexico Senior Digest.

Matt’s legacy is twofold. He was a father first – to Landon – and there’s no end to the pride he took in his son and his success and accomplishments. Matt instilled his supreme organizational, disciplinary, and extraordinary study skills into Landon.

Secondly, he was a magnificent teacher and associate professor of journalism at Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, Missouri, and Augusta State University, Augusta, Georgia. Matt put his heart and soul into teaching and was a loud voice in protecting our First Amendment rights, often dressing in character as a framer of the Constitution to teach these important points.

In retirement, Matt moved to Tacoma and later, Seattle, to be near Landon, Stephanie, and Bennett. While in the Pacific Northwest, he worked for L’Arche in Tacoma, living and caring for individuals with intellectual disabilities. He also worked for a time at the Downtown Emergency Service Center in Seattle and briefly for the Seattle Mariners.

Matt had a great sense of humor, was musically gifted with his accordion, and was a talented writer. His investigative journalism stories were succinctly and impeccably written. Matt loved being near the ocean, sailing, listening to classical music and was very proud of his Italian-Argentinian heritage. He enjoyed traveling and made stops in many countries including Italy, Argentina, England, Spain, Portugal, Cuba, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Palestine. He was a devoted Catholic and was a generous giver to charities and always helpful to those in need.

May the Peace, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and may the blessing of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with you, and remain with you, always.

Please share memories & condolences of Matt on the Tribute Wall at

Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle

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Celebration of Life for Jerry Brockey set for September 25th at South Seattle College

A year and a half after the passing of former South Seattle College president Jerry Brockey, the date is set for his Celebration of Life. The announcement is from one of his successors at the college, Dr. Jill Wakefield:

The Jerry M. Brockey Student Center sits at the center of South Seattle College’s campus, where students gather to connect with each other, and the cultural celebrations of a diverse community take place.  It is fittingly named after a man who shaped a college from a vision to reality, serving as the college’s president from 1977 – 1995. Jerry Brockey passed away in March 2020. A celebration of life is scheduled for Mr. Brockey on Saturday, September 25, at 2 p.m. in the Brockey Center.

Born in 1933 on a small farm in North Dakota, Jerry Brockey eventually landed in Seattle where he built his career in education as a teacher and coach at Seattle Public Schools.  He later joined the Seattle Community College district and was appointed president of South Seattle in 1977.

Brockey was known as a passionate and tough leader, with high expectations and a legendarily firm handshake.  Brockey led the college’s growth as a premier workforce education and college transfer destination. Former colleagues described Brockey as an “egalitarian … an effective president, and a natural leader,” a “welcoming executive that created a welcoming environment for students,” and a president who was “really good at bringing people together.”

West Seattle historian and journalist Clay Eals, in remarks shared with West Seattle Blog, said, “Jerry also was a highly visible connector between the college and the rest of West Seattle, no easy feat given the college’s geographical isolation.” Eals went on to say, “He was a true force for good, worthy of admiration.”

Jerry Brockey’s legacy is ever-present at South Seattle College through the Brockey Student Center and the Brockey Endowed Scholarship, which has helped many students find financial stability so they can focus on their studies.

For more information on the Brockey Celebration of Life, call 206-234-6752.

Mr. Brockey was 86; here’s the obituary published shortly after his death last year.

Remembering Frances Smersh, artist and Click! Design That Fits co-founder, 1967-2021

Six years after Click! Design That Fits co-founders John and Frances Smersh announced that Frances had been diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s, Frances has died. Here is the remembrance her family is sharing:

Frances Suzanne (Cousins) Smersh passed away on September 4th, 2021 at the age of 54, in Seattle. She died from complications of Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, which she was diagnosed with six and a half years prior. She is survived by her husband, John Francis Smersh of Seattle, and sister Natalie Cousins-Robledo (husband Ted Robledo, son Enzo) of Pasadena, CA.

Frances was born in the Greater Los Angeles area, where she lived with her mother, father, grandmother, and sister. After graduating from St. Joseph High School, she studied at Loyola Marymount University, earning her degree in Sociology in 1989. It was there at LMU that Frances met her partner for life, John. After college they lived in Venice Beach, CA for two years. They married in 1990 and moved to Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood in 1991, where she started her first business, Smersh Design Jewelry. The couple moved to West Seattle in 1994 and bought a home in the North Admiral neighborhood.

Living in West Seattle, Frances continued to explore the art of jewelry making, first designing and creating and then selling her pieces at art fairs before expanding to wholesale markets, eventually selling her work in hundreds of stores across the US and internationally. Her passion for art and design flourished over the years, leading her to expand and innovate her jewelry using unconventional materials like Concrete and Pearls, Cork, and Powder Coated Steel to make exquisite, wearable art.

In 2004, it was Frances’s creative spark that inspired Click! Design That Fits, a contemporary gift and accessory boutique co-created and curated by herself and husband, John. In 2010 they moved the store to the West Seattle Junction, where it continues to thrive today.

Following her successes in jewelry, Frances transitioned to creating visual art through painting and sketching, regularly showing as the featured artist at Click!. Her catalog of work is vast and diverse, and has garnered a great deal of attention within the Seattle art-loving community.

Above all else, Frances had an inspiring, uplifting, and giving soul and she always went out of her way to bring joy to the people around her. All who knew her were touched by her kindness and she will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Washington State chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Services will be held in late September. Updates will be made to the Caring Bridge journal as details are finalized.

The Smershes shared Frances’s journey with her community; five years after moving their shop (WSB’s longest-running sponsor) to The Junction, they shared the news of her diagnosis at just 48. They shared this update in 2018, and Frances was able to attend an exhibit of her work at Providence Mount St. Vincent in early 2020, just before the pandemic.

Remembering Erik Richardson, 1986-2021

Three weeks ago, we reported briefly on the death of a man in The Junction. Authorities never released his name. But commenters knew who he was, and now we have his obituary:

Erik Richardson, a West Seattle community member, died the morning of Monday, 8/9/2021. He was found alone near the Junction Starbucks. Fentanyl was the cause of death. He was 34.

Erik was born in Arizona. Like his time in West Seattle, his upbringing was rocky, including deaths of his two older brothers. Despite many terrors around him, Erik’s circumstances didn’t drown him. He made his way to the Pacific Northwest during his later 20’s in pursuit of Alaskan fishing employment, which he did for some time.

In West Seattle, Erik was known for his friendly demeanor with the people he’d cross. For a time, he sold Real Change newspapers at various spots in the community and worked at local establishments including Little Prague European Bakery and Kizuki Ramen. Some may also recall the parakeets he would have on his shoulder, particularly around Alki. Erik was always quick to offer a helping hand or greeting.

Those close to Erik are devastated by his death. Erik was a blessing while he was with us. He lived in the struggle of addiction, sometimes torpedoing the opportunities before him. Erik leaves behind a 16-year-old nephew (Damon) and 13-year-old son (Jayden) in Arizona, and a partner and newborn (John) here in West Seattle.

Any Erik stories in the comments below are very appreciated. Feel free to contribute any photos/videos to

Gifts in Erik’s honor can be given to:

MentorKids USA – With the help of this organization, Erik was blessed with a “big brother” mentor and friend named Jeff from some of his trying times as a teenager until present day. No matter how bleak things looked for Erik, Jeff has been there the last 23 years. Erik treasured this relationship.

Seattle Humane – in remembrance of Erik’s love for animals.

WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

It should also be noted that tomorrow is International Overdose Awareness Day, with an event planned in West Seattle.

Memorial service planned September 9th for Denice M. Kirkland, 1957-2021

Family and friends will gather September 9th to remember Denice M. Kirkland. Here’s the remembrance they are sharing with her community:

Denice Marie Kirkland (Drawdy) passed away June 3rd, 2021. She is now in the company of others who passed before her; her husband Darryl Kirkland, brothers Darryl Drawdy and Mark Drawdy.

Born in Seattle on 1-4-57 to Quincy and Luella Drawdy, she was the middle child, spending her whole life growing up with two older brothers and two younger brothers.

She would graduate from Chief Sealth High School in 1975 and later married Darryl Kirkland. Together, they had their son Curtis, born in 1983. Denice had a beautiful smile and a unique hearty laugh; She especially loved to celebrate birthdays. On holidays like Easter and Christmas, she kept a mile-long list of friends and relatives to which she sent traditional greeting cards each year. Almost every day, she copied scriptures from her many bibles and devotionals.

She wrote it all down more than once and knew it all very well. She loved Jesus and resembled him in many ways doing her best to follow his example. She was reasonably happy in this life without him and is now supremely happy with him forever in the next. She is survived by her son Curtis Kirkland and brothers Larry Drawdy and Jeffrey Drawdy. We all miss her very much.

On September 9th at 11 am, a memorial service and lunch will be held at the West Seattle Junction Church, located at 4157 California Ave. SW.

In her honor, donations can be made to the Senior Center of West Seattle at 4217 SW Oregon St., Seattle, WA 98116.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

Celebration of life next Saturday for Marian S. Nelson, 1930-2021

August 22, 2021 10:21 am
|    Comments Off on Celebration of life next Saturday for Marian S. Nelson, 1930-2021
 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

Family and friends will gather next Saturday to celebrate the life of Marian S. Nelson. They’re sharing this remembrance with her community:

Marian Sarah Nelson passed away peacefully on June 29, 2021, at the age of 90.

Born on August 13, 1930, to Andrew and Amanda Melby in Ashby, Minnesota, Marian was the youngest of three – her brothers, Howard and Warren, having predeceased her. In 1949 she married Gerald R. “Jerry” Nelson and they moved in 1958 to West Seattle, where they raised their family. They were married for 55 years until Jerry’s passing in 2004.

Marian was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother; her family meant everything to her. She was quick to laugh and to hug; had a wonderful green thumb and loved to travel. She was a passionate, and often lucky, participant of contests and sweepstakes; her winnings provided for many trips and experiences over the years.

Together Jerry and Marian had five children: Gordon Nelson (deceased), Kenneth (Pam) Nelson, Carol (Jim) Killoran, Jeffrey (Kim) Nelson, and Kay Nelson. Ten grandchildren: Tamara (David) Schaffert, Marie (Dan) Burke, David (Marci Dray) Killoran, Karen (Tom) Johnson, Timothy (Traci) Killoran, Jenny (Michael) Marier, Harmony (John) Sousa, Clayton Nelson, Felicia (Daniel) Nelson, John Paul (Kristina Bishop) Nelson. Twelve great-grandchildren: Whitney, Austin, Nathan, Tyler, Travis, Kaylee, Wylie, Cody, Avery, Zane, Zoe, Zander. And her nephews Joey Melby and Brian Melby.

A Celebration of life for family and friends will be held on August 28, 2021, from 12 pm-4 pm at the family home.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

Remembering Brick Ludington, 1948-2021

August 15, 2021 9:40 am
|    Comments Off on Remembering Brick Ludington, 1948-2021
 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news | West Seattle Outdoor Movies

The family of Brick Ludington is sharing this remembrance:

Brick (Harvey) Ludington was born in Seattle on March 26, 1948. He died January 14, 2021 in Carson City, Nevada.

He was a proud Vietnam Veteran! He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He loved to golf.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Jan, daughter Bridgett (Barry) sons Shane (Huong) and Harvey (Dana). Grandchildren Brittany, Bryce, Brandon, Janet, Harvey, and Alexander. Great-granddaughter StellaRose. Brother Ron (Denise) sister Bonnie (Rick), and many nieces and nephews.

Brick graduated from Chief Sealth High School in 1966.

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Remembering Wayne P. Wilson, 1944-2021

Family and friends are remembering Wayne Wilson and sharing this remembrance with his community:

Wayne Paul Wilson

Wayne was born July 4, 1944 in Seattle to Walter Edward Wilson and Catherine Anne Kennedy. His parents were at the local parade that day and needed the help of a police car to get to the hospital. Wayne always loved that his birthday was a guaranteed party. The youngest of four children, twins David J. Wilson and Dolores Syverson (Albert) and brother Walter E. Wilson, Jr.

He attended West Seattle Holy Rosary grade school and was a lifelong member of the church. Wayne went on to attend O’Dea High School, Class of ’62, where he became one of their school cheerleaders for games. After graduation, Wayne went to the UW, where he received his BA in Business Finance. He also joined the US Air Force Reserves, serving as an operating-room tech at hospitals. Later, Wayne received his Masters in Finance from Seattle U.

Wayne went to work for the Boeing Aerospace Company in 1968, working on several important projects; AWACS, The 747 aircraft, and many other programs throughout his 33 years with them.

Wayne married Nancy McDonald in Port Orchard, WA on March 23rd, 1968. They met while Nancy was mowing her family’s front lawn at the farm and Wayne was visiting her neighbor in June 1962. It was love at first sight. They were married 53 years. They bought a house in West Seattle and had three children together.

He is survived by wife Nancy and his children, Michael (Dr. Erin O’Connell Ph.D.), Mark, and Theresa Kim (Paul), along with four grandchildren, Kailey and Keira Wilson, Aidan and Isabel Kim. Also survived by brother Walter (Marianne) Wilson, brother-in-law Al Syverson, and many nieces and nephews.

Wayne was a kind, intelligent, funny man. He loved to talk and had kept several friends from his schools and neighborhood. He loved the Seahawks and never missed watching a game.

Wayne suffered a traumatic brain injury in December 1988. He spent over 2 years in recovery relearning how to do everything. The last 3 years of his life, the brain injury caught up with him, causing his dementia. He fought hard and never gave up. He will be missed by his family and all those who knew him.

Arrangements entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle. To share your fond memories of Wayne with his Family, please visit his Tribute Wall at

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

Remembering Kelly T. Garvey, 1948-2021

Family and friends are remembering Kelly T. Garvey, and sharing this remembrance with the community:

Kelly Thomas Garvey was born September 4, 1948 in Seattle to Irene and James Garvey. He was the youngest of 5 children. He attended Holy Rosary for elementary and graduated West Seattle High school in 1966.

Kelly went on to attend the University of Washington. He paused his college degree after one year to enlist in the US Army, where he served his country during the Vietnam War.

After his discharge he returned to the UW to finish up his Degree in Business.

Kelly met and fell in love with Joanne Silver and proposed 2 months later. They married March 18th 1972 and would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this coming March. They built several homes in Normandy Park and became very involved in the community. They have many wonderful memories with friends and family from the 43 years they lived there.

Early on, Kelly realized his passion for a career in real estate. An entrepreneur to the core, Kelly went to open various Windermere Real Estate offices from Burien to Tacoma, all which he owned and managed. He was highly respected and loved in the real estate industry for his extensive knowledge, mentorship, and his humor.

His passion and drive eventually led him to his love for Commercial properties and his biggest work accomplishment was developing and contracting large pieces of property in Thurston and Pierce County within the last 12 years.

Kelly & Joanne gave birth to two beautiful daughters…Jamie Dianne in October of 1976 and then Anne Elizabeth in December of 1981.

Kelly was the perfect “girl” dad. He was Jamie & Annie’s whole world from the time they were little until the time Kelly left this Earth.

Kelly was the proud Pa to 6 grandkids and he lit up every time he was around them. He had a special bond with every one of his grand children, Chase, Reese, Lane, Charley, Blakely and Presley.

8 years ago Kelly & Joanne moved from Normandy Park to Lakeland Hills and Kelly was blessed to live right down the street from both families, and saw his kids and grandkids several times a week. Although Kelly never got biological sons, he got the next best thing with Pete and Austin. Both sons looked up to Kelly as a father, mentor, but also a friend.

Kelly enjoyed fly fishing, Jeopardy, swimming, practical jokes, card games, but overall spending any minute he could with his beloved family. He spent the last 2 years building a home in Suncadia for his family to enjoy and make future memories. He was loved by all for his selflessness, sense of humor and being the most intentional and giving man. A true legacy.

Kelly was a devoted Christian who is now with his Heavenly Father.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

Remembering Lawrence Colman Pierce, 1936-2021

Family and friends are remembering Larry Pierce and sharing his story with the community:

Lawrence (“Larry”) Colman Pierce, devoted husband and father, passed away, surrounded by his loving family, at Virginia Mason Medical Center on Thursday, July 22, 2021, from cancer. He was 84.

Larry was born in Seattle on December 24, 1936, the son of the late Lawrence and Isabel (Colman) Pierce. He grew up in West Seattle and graduated from West Seattle High School in 1955 and Yale University in 1959. In 1961, he married his high school sweetheart, Robin E. Gaffner (1937-1985), also of West Seattle. After several years in the US Navy as a lieutenant junior grade, Larry attended Cornell University, earning an MPA in Public Administration and Finance. A Fulbright Scholarship took him to the University of the West Indies for two years to create a degree program in administration. He returned to Cornell for a Ph.D. in Government and then settled with Robin in Eugene, Oregon, where they had a son, Eric. At the University of Oregon, Larry worked as a professor of political science, department chair, assistant to the university president, and assistant to the chancellor of the University of Oregon system. After leaving Oregon, he spent several months as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford Brookes College, Oxford University.

Larry moved to Baton Rouge in 1990 to become dean of the College of Education at Louisiana State University. There, he met Donna L. Mealey, a literacy education professor, and they married in 1992. They moved to Seattle in 1996 to raise their daughters, Emma and Katie. From 1996 to 1999, Larry was a research professor in the Center for Reinventing Public Education in the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington before retiring to enjoy his young family. He built a house himself on Horsehead Bay in Gig Harbor and planted and tended a large garden there on beloved family property, the original site of Camp Colman before its relocation to Longbranch in 1966.

Larry served on the boards of Westside School and the White Center Food Bank, taking on the roles of president and treasurer at the food bank for several years. He also served on the board of the West Seattle Monogram Club and chaired the Scholarship Committee. Along with other community members, he was instrumental in bringing the International Baccalaureate program to Chief Sealth International High School and arranged for college admissions representatives from across the country to visit and inform students about schools beyond the Pacific Northwest. He served Fauntleroy Church United Church of Christ as moderator, worked on the finance ministry, helped lead a capital campaign, and was a devoted member of the choir’s tenor section.

Larry is survived by his loving wife of 28 years, Donna of Seattle; son Eric and daughter Katie of Seattle; daughter Emma of Cambridge, Massachusetts; twin sister Katharine Ramfield of Hood River; brother Dr. John Pierce and sister-in-law Leilia of Gig Harbor; and a large, dear extended family. Throughout his life, he enjoyed good books, choral music, national and world politics, and especially gardening. He loved to share cuttings with friends, grow starts for the church’s annual plant sale, and donate his garden’s fruit and vegetable largesse to the White Center Food Bank. We will miss his steadfastness, patience, integrity, quiet humor, devotion, kindness, love, buttermilk pancakes, berry pies, and professorial lectures at Thanksgiving dinners.

A memorial service will be held at Fauntleroy Church in West Seattle later in August. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes memorial donations to the White Center Food Bank and YMCA Camp Colman. Memories and condolences to the family may be written below in the comments.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

FOLLOWUP: Memorial plans for Charlestown 7-11’s Victor Henley

(Tributes on and beneath sign at Charlestown 7-11, photographed this morning)

On and beneath that sign outside the California/Charlestown 7-11, people continue to pay tribute to Victor Henley, who ran the store until his sudden death last Friday at age 50. A family member posted memorial information today in a comment on our previous report, and we’re spotlighting it here:

Dear friends and family: This Friday, July 30, 2021, at 11:00 am, we will hold an online prayer service for Victor. We hope that you will be able to attend via Zoom.

Following the prayer service, and, precisely at 12:00 noon, the immediate family will hold a special send-off as Victor will be aqua-cremated. Because we wish to share this special experience with you, we ask that wherever you are, to please keep Victor in your prayers precisely at noon, as we all send him off together on his next journey.

Please log on to Zoom between 11:00 am and 11:45 am. Meeting ID is 630 596 5334 Passcode is 073021

Community Celebration: Join us for the celebration of Victor’s life this Saturday, July 31, 2021 from 2 pm – 5 pm outside at our family 7-Eleven in West Seattle on 3801 California Ave SW, Seattle. We’ll share stories, eat good food, and raise our glasses high. We would love to see you there.

Sincerely, Mija, Audrey, Ashley, Alexis, Aliyah, Aubriana, Ava, and Ariyah

Please follow current covid safety protocols, stay aware, and mask when possible.

(Victor’s Tribute Wall)

Memorial service next month for Doris I. Prescott, 1927-2021

Family and friends will gather in August to remember Doris I. Prescott. Here’s what they are sharing with her community:

Doris Irene Prescott died peacefully at her West Seattle home on July 17th at the age of 93.

Doris was born in Seattle on July 29, 1927. In grade school she was a Girl Scout and later at Garfield High School, sang in the choir, participated in the school operetta, and played the piano in the orchestra. She was also on the Honor Roll. After graduation, Doris started working; among her employers were the Port of Embarkation, Prudential Insurance, and Sears at Christmas time. Doris also worked as a camera girl at the Silver Swan.

Doris, at age 16, met Chuck when he lived in Madison Park in Seattle. On their first date they went by ferry from Seattle to Kirkland to go bowling. They corresponded during World War II by “V Mail,” where the letter was photographed, and 3 pages were condensed into 1.

Doris and Chuck (1925–2019) were married in 1947 at University Lutheran Church.

Larry was born in 1948 and Doris quit working at that time. Linda was born in 1958. Doris was active in Camp Fire Girls for Linda and was a Cub Scouts Den Mother for Larry. In 1974 Doris started working at First Lutheran Church of West Seattle as the office administrator. She retired in 1988.

In 1954, Doris and Chuck found a house on Genesee Hill in West Seattle that would become their lifelong residence. Their second child, Linda (1958–2010), was born there.

Both Doris and Chuck participated in various service projects through their church and worked with the Golden Fellowship, where a monthly lunch was provided for seniors.

Doris is survived by her son Larry Prescott and her grandchildren Ryan Prescott, Jennifer Prescott, Larissa Williams, and Zach Foster.

A Memorial Service is scheduled for Saturday, August 14th, at 11:00 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in West Seattle, with a reception to follow at the church. Pastor Ron Marshall will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Doris’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to First Lutheran Church of West Seattle at 4105 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116. Also, condolences can be sent to

Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

California/Charlestown 7-11 customers’ outpouring in memory of Victor Henley

(Texted photo)

Both outside his California/Charlestown 7-11 and inside, memorials are growing for Victor Henley, who died suddenly on Friday.

(WSB photo)

Thanks to everybody who’s tipped us about this. Victor was much-loved by customers – one person who emailed us described him as “a human that could reach out and make you smile,” His page on the Emmick Family Funeral Home (WSB sponsor) website has a message from his family:

Victor’s celebration of life will be a public event and will take place in West Seattle, the community he loved very much. Our family appreciates the outpouring of kind words and memories of Victor that you have been sharing. The love you have shown is immeasurable; there are no words to describe how special you have made us feel.

Victor was 50 years old.

Remembering Dale Palella, 1937-2021

July 25, 2021 10:12 am
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

Family and friends are remembering Dale Palella and sharing this remembrance with the community:

Retaining his amazing inner strength and boundless sense of humor to the very end, Dale passed away peacefully, at home, with Sallie by his side, on July 18, 2021.

Dale was born in 1937 in Seattle to parents Pasquale and Mary. He graduated from Holy Rosary, Seattle Prep, and Seattle University.
He worked 30 years at Boeing (computing) and Emerald Downs (Mutuels). Dale took great pride in his Italian heritage and was an active member of the Italian Community.

Preceded in death by his parents, brother John, and son Anthony (muscular dystrophy). Survived by wife of 30 years, Sallie; former wife, Sharon Palella, mother of their children; son, Dominic (Lily), daughters; Pamela, Paula, and Deblyn (Julia), and granddaughter Michela.

In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Muscular Dystrophy Association, PO Box 97075, Washington DC. 20090.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

Memorial service next month for Marty Dirks, 1934-2021

Family and friends are remembering Marty Dirks, and sharing his life story with his community:

The extraordinary life of Martin (“Marty”) C. Dirks, family man, adventurer, and master storyteller who also made significant contributions to Seattle and King County infrastructure as a civil engineer, ended on July 16 in a Seattle hospital, surrounded by his loving family. He was 87.

Marty split his time between Seattle, where he was born on April 9, 1934, and Camano Island, where he was raised. Highlights of his teen years were chronicled in the Seattle Post Intelligencer by his father, Clarence, a sportswriter-turned “City-Bred Farmer” columnist. Clarence frequently wrote about his oldest son’s raising of award-winning Holsteins, rearing chickens and sheep, pitching hay, learning to drive a tractor, and of Marty’s numerous exploits with friends on the island.

Marty once listed 34 duties he had as a youth, from farm chores to working summers as a boatman at Camano fishing resorts to logging and, at age 16, spending one summer in a gold mining camp near Fairbanks before working as a cook in a forest fire fighting camp. He drove heavy equipment during the construction of the Hood Canal Bridge and other road projects and worked briefly as a commercial fisherman around Neah Bay. He had owned 13 vehicles, all in various states of repair, by the time he hit 18.

Following his 1952 graduation from Twin City High School in Stanwood, where he lettered in football, Marty attended Central Washington College in Ellensburg for a year before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. He attributed his years as an avid hunter to his excellence in marksmanship ratings while in boot camp. He finished top in his class in aviation radio repair school before his assignment to airfield duty in the Mohave desert. Sgt. Dirks later took part in the “Operation Teapot” nuclear bomb tests in Frenchman Flats, Nev.

After three years in the military, Marty earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Washington. He married his wife of 61 years, Ann K. Smith, on Oct. 16, 1959 in West Seattle. He landed his first professional engineering position with Western Electric in New Jersey, where their twin sons Greg and Brian were born, but then took a position with Boeing so they could return to their beloved home state of Washington, settling in West Seattle, where Ann was raised. The couple would have three more sons in Seattle over the next 11 years: John, Stephen, and Tom.

Marty left Boeing after a year to work at Metro Engineers, a consortium of consulting engineering firms deployed by King County Metro to address the badly polluted Lake Washington and other civic projects. That led to Marty’s long career as a principal officer (and eventually president) of the Seattle firm of Kramer, Chin and Mayo (KCM). At KCM Marty had strong leadership roles over the design of several noteworthy projects, including the original sewage treatment plant at West Point in Seattle and later its extensive upgrade, several fish hatcheries and wastewater treatment plants across Washington, Alaska and the United States, municipal sewage systems, lake restoration projects, and stormwater systems. Marty was KCM’s project manager for the Seattle Aquarium. One of his proudest professional moments was traveling with his teammates to Washington, D.C. to accept his professional association’s national Grand Conceptor Award for the aquarium’s innovative design. In 1974 KCM won a contract with China to design a prawn rearing operation, one of the first of its kind to be awarded after China-U.S. relations were normalized. Marty went to China on behalf of the company for a few weeks to oversee its initial construction, his first of several trips there for other jobs. He also made numerous project trips to Alaska and other parts of the globe. He is credited with bringing in much of the company’s work through his extensive relationships in his field.

Marty was known through his many professional and personal life circles as a trouble-shooter, artful negotiator, problem solver, and relationship builder. Marty was regarded as one of the region’s foremost experts in tunnels and sewer systems and his advice was sought even long after his retirement in 1995. He was a recipient of the Consulting Engineering Council of Washington’s Engineer of the Year award. Following his retirement Marty served on the boards of the Seattle Museum of History and Industry, the Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Alaska and the South Seattle Community College Foundation, as well as a dispute-resolution board for major public-works projects. He kept in close contact with many of his high school classmates in Stanwood, even hosting a few class reunions on his property.

More significant to Marty than his professional life was his family and outdoor life.

In the 1960s Marty built a small cabin on Camano Island where the family spent most summer weekends and vacation time and lived for a year while he remodeled an older home in West Seattle. In 1972 Marty won the statewide, summer-long Seattle Sporting Goods fishing derby by catching a 44-pound chinook salmon off Camano and took home a boat as first prize. Marty helped his sons with their paper routes, became deeply involved in their Boy Scout activities, and often took them salmon fishing and hunting.

Marty made annual fishing trips to British Columbia over the years and in the late 1990s began taking his sons along too until mostly hanging up his fishing rod eight years ago. Marty was known for his quick wit and humor and was generous with his time (and stories) with his family, many friends and neighbors. He served as a mentor to many young people, and nurtured professional mentorships. After learning to snow ski in his late 40s, he co-organized annual ski trips of family and friends to McCall, Idaho.

He and Ann, who died in early January, enjoyed a long and fulfilling retirement. When not traveling to points around the world, Marty and Ann spent time with family and friends in their West Seattle and Camano Island homes and volunteered for Ryther and other non-profits. When Ann became infirm, Marty became her primary caregiver for several years.

Besides his sons and their spouses (Nancy, Dee, Ellen and Suzy), Marty is survived by his brother Mike in Spokane, 10 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren, all of whom live in the greater Puget Sound region.

Arrangements are by the Emmick Family Funeral Home in West Seattle. A limited-capacity memorial service for Marty will be held at 11 a.m. on August 28 at the Fauntleroy United Church of Christ in West Seattle. The family is arranging for additional seating and online viewing at the Hall at Fauntleroy across the street, followed by a “Party for Marty” there. The service will also stream online – please send an email to for details. The family suggests donations in his name to Seattle Ryther or to the Stanwood-Camano Area Foundation, which has posted a special link at the top of its web page at

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Remembering Barbara G. Maurer, 1945-2021

July 22, 2021 9:00 am
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

Family and friends are remembering Barbara Glee Maurer and sharing this remembrance with her community:

Barbara Glee Maurer died on July 15, 2021, at the age of 76, in the comfort of her home overlooking Puget Sound, surrounded by friends and family. Her death was a culmination of a valiant battle against cancer.

Born on Whidbey Island to Dr. A.O. and Glee Brewer, Barbara spent her childhood exploring beaches, swimming in the ocean, and climbing azaleas near her home. At age 11, she was adopted by Roberta and James Lawrence, moved into their loving home in West Seattle, and joined in their many adventures across the Pacific Northwest and Mexico. She was a gifted harpist and practiced dance under the tutelage of an NYC ballerina.

Throughout her life, Barbara had a fierce passion for education. After attending both Whitman College, where she joined Kappa Kappa Gamma, and University of Idaho, she received her BA in Education, continuing on to the University of Washington for her M.Ed. She took her love for teaching to Gatewood Elementary, where she developed a program for high-achieving children of all backgrounds, which was nationally validated by the US Department of Education. She would continue these efforts at Highline Public Schools, expanding her gifted curriculum with colleague and friend Sue Wallace.

Outside of her career, Barbara served two terms as President of the Burien/White Center Rotary, having joined as soon as women were allowed. She also served as Assistant District Governor for Rotary District 5030. In 2018, she and husband Gerry launched and managed a Rotary International Foundation grant-funded water project in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh, India. Barbara was also active in the Fauntleroy YMCA and assisted in establishing the Pelly Place Greenbelt.

Barbara loved caring for her beautiful garden, often giving gifts of lavender, pickled beans, and other fruits of her labor. She also enjoyed sailing, skiing, cooking big family dinners, and entertaining at their West Seattle home.

Barbara is survived by husband P. Gerry Maurer, sons Karl Norsen (Michelle), Curtis Norsen (Betsy), step-daughters Kristina Montague (Tom), Serena Maurer (Sam), and grandchildren Tao, Tabby, Harper, Chapin, Max, Ella, and Millie; sister Marti Lawrence-Grant, brother Don McKay, nieces Cheryl Ramon and Mary Cross, and nephew Don McKay Jr.

We are so grateful for the loving care and support offered by Home Care Assistance caregivers, Kline Galland Hospice, and Aging Wisdom, as well as the nurses, doctors, and staff at Virginia Mason.

In lieu of flowers we welcome donations to Susan G. Komen.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

Celebration of Life this Saturday for Charlie Nickels, 1995-2021

Family and friends will gather Saturday to celebrate the life of Charlie Nickels. Here’s the announcement and remembrance they are sharing with the community:

Charles Peter Nickels (Charlie)
May 22, 1995 – January 22, 2021

Please join us in Celebrating Charlie’s life.

WHEN – Saturday, July 24, 11 am-2 pm

WHERE – The Lodge at Fall City Farms, 3636 Neal Road, Fall City, WA 98024

For more info, contact Pete Nickels at or text at 206-707-2016

Charlie was a son, a brother, a cousin, a new uncle, a nephew, and a friend to all that knew him. Most of his friends called him their best friend. He was beloved. Charlie was also a proud, recently enlisted National Guard recruit. We lost Charlie unexpectedly on January 22 and for a moment, our world stopped. Charlie was the youngest of three sons. As a child, he was the comedian, the too adorable to get into trouble boy who managed to charm everyone with his beautiful smile, big blue eyes, and loving nature. He grew into a young man with unlimited\ potential, impeccable character, and an unwavering moral compass, like his dad. He was the peacemaker, the joy bringer with a fantastic sense of humor, like his mom, which he would use in helping his brother Bobby on film projects, and to send hysterical and obscure texts to his friends and family. Charlie was relentlessly curious, like his brother Zack, and loved to ask questions on every topic. And was genuinely interested in others' points of view. He was kind and generous with his time. Many of his friends have a story of how Charlie helped them through a tough time. He was their rock. And they are shattered to have lost him.

We, his family, parents Pete and Laurie and brothers Bobby and Zack, will miss him every day for the rest of our lives. We will miss his daily texts that said “I love you,” his big hugs, his humor, his sense of fashion (he loved his shoes), his dance moves, his love of music, the Mariners, the Seahawks, watching movies, WSU, his ability to be a best friend to many, his smile, his intense dislike of vegetables, his questions, how he loved his family and his friends.

Most of all, we will miss the continuing impact he could have and would have made on the world. We also know that Charlie loved us so much and would want us not to feel pain or sadness. So, in time, we will find our path forward and try our best to honor him. We love you to the moon and back, Charlie.

(Originally published on February 14, 2021)

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to