Obituaries 524 results

Remembering Lorraine Ragghianti-Agostino, 1927-2021

Family and friends are remembering Lorraine Delores Ragghianti-Agostino and sharing this remembrance with her community:

Lorraine D. Agostino passed away on June 6, 2021, just 10 days shy of her 94th birthday.

Lorraine, lovingly known as “Ellie” or “Nana,” was born on June 16, 1927, to Jesse and Minnie Ebert. She was the heart and soul, the Matriarch, of the Ragghianti family and is survived by her sons Michael and Steve Ragghianti, their wives, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Ellie was a lifelong resident of West Seattle. She attended the old Cooper School from K-8 then on to West Seattle High School, where she graduated in 1946. She was class rep for class of 1946 for 32 years. In 1948 she married her high-school sweetheart Don Ragghianti after he returned from serving in the military. They were married for almost 29 years when Don tragically died in February of 1977.

Ellie was first and foremost a devoted wife and mother. Family and friends meant the world to her. Her most treasured memories were the family vacations to Orcas Island. Family dinners were tops on her list and everyone savored her ravioli, an old family recipe, as well as her amazing butterscotch bars. She was an amazing seamstress and worked in the alterations department at I. Magnin in downtown Seattle after graduating. She also made beautiful quilts, bestowing many a lovingly made quilt to her family. Ellie was gifted in calligraphy and made beautiful cards and was a scrapbooker extraordinaire, leaving us over 50 books to enjoy for many years to come.

Ellie worked part-time at Olympic Heights Pharmacy, then worked at the West Seattle J.C. Penney’s for many years until it closed in 1987. Ellie remarried in 1986 to Roy J. Agostino, who preceded her in death in 2002. Lorraine lived in the family home until 2016, when she moved to an apartment in Mount St Vincent, where she spent four happy and comfortable years. If words could describe Ellie, kind, resilient, humble, and down to earth come to mind. She will be missed by her family and the many friends she made in her long, beautiful life.

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Remembering Anne Marie Ushler, 1955-2021

Family and friends are remembering Anne Marie (Link) Ushler, and sharing this with the community:

It is with deep sadness we share that on June 8, Anne passed away from cancer.

Anne was born October 1, 1955 to Kathryn and Clarence Link. She spent her childhood in West Seattle, on Pigeon Point, attending FB Cooper elementary, Boren Junior High, and Chief Sealth High School. After marrying Kevin Ushler, she moved to Bothell, and also had a home in Palm Desert.

She had a long career in Human Resources for an inhalation-therapy company, retiring to spend extended time on their boat, Haven. Anne and Kevin traveled extensively – to Russia, Hong Kong, Europe – and loved visiting their daughter and her family in England.

We will miss Anne’s love, kindness, understanding, and truly wicked sense of humor. We will miss singing with her, dancing with her, and sharing wine at sunset in the cockpit. Fourth of July in Poulsbo will never quite be the same.

She is remembered by her husband Kevin, her children Kyle (Mika), Jennifer (Craig), and Lindsay (Justin), her grandchildren Isaac, Faith, Josiah, Jeffrey, and Summer, and her brother John Link (Stephanie) and her sister Linda Byers (Gary).

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Celebration of Life planned next month for John R. Harris, Jr., MD, 1960-2021

Family and friends will gather next month to remember “Reg” Harris, and are sharing this remembrance with his community:

John Reginald Harris, Jr., MD
1960 – 2021

Storyteller, musician, physician, photographer, collector, writer, lover of all things technical; husband, father, son, uncle, and friend were John Reginald Harris, Jr., MD. He made everyone felt listened to, genuinely interested in their story, and could take complicated subjects and explain in easily, comprehensible ways. He leaves behind a legacy worthy of a thousand men.

As an adult, he was known by his middle name, Reg; as a youth, he was little Reggie to his father’s big Reggie. He was born on February 25, 1960 in Richmond, Virginia to John Reginald Harris, Sr. and Catherine Hicks Harris, both of whom proceeded him in death. Reg was released from our world, peacefully, in Bellevue on Mother’s Day, May 9, 2021 under hospice care from the cruel disease of Younger Onset Alzheimer’s, which he had been battling for nearly a decade.

Reg graduated from Jefferson High School in Richmond, Virginia in 1978; graduated with a BS degree, Summa Cum Laude from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1981; graduated from Medical College of Virginia (part of Virginia Commonwealth) in Richmond, Virginia in 1985; University of Washington Residency, Seattle in 1988. He married the love of his life, Patricia DuBois Harris in 1997 in Wailea, Maui, Hawaii. Reg is also survived by his sons, Cade and Blake (both studying and living in Seattle); in-laws Clint and Elizabeth DuBois (Issaquah), Charlotte DuBois (Bremerton), and nephews Clay and Rowan DuBois; sister Judy B. Harris (Richmond, VA), numerous cousins, family, and friends; also preceded in death by his beloved Sheltie, Jean-Luc.

He finished first in his freshman class (awarded the Phi Beta Kappa, Alain Locke Award) in his BSMD program. After finishing Medical School (inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and awarded Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Merit Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, Leadership and Service) and matching at the University of Washington Residency program, his mother cried about him going as far away as possible from Richmond, Virginia. He loved Seattle and the West Coast. In 1988 he began working at Swedish Medical Center Emergency Department in Seattle. He was an ER doc working nights, and during the days he would work on his music and videos/movies. He started Omniscient Productions to work on his creative ideas in 1992 while still working at the ER. He and Patricia have lived in West Seattle since 1990.

Music was important. He sang in his church youth choir, and later joined Madrigals in high school. He was a DJ in high school and participated in the radio club. He created his own hyper-local neighborhood radio station using CB radios in which he played music, until his parents received a cease-and-desist notification from the FCC for an unauthorized station. He wrote and recorded his music. He played guitar, bass, and keyboard. He loved writing and singing his songs. He would serenade Patricia for hours.

Reg was a collector of numerous things. He loved collecting and using his fountain and ballpoint pens. Letters were written to Patricia using specific pens and nibs. He enjoyed collecting and wearing watches. He made a point of wearing a different watch when Cade and Blake were born, so that they could keep that specific watch. And ask about our DVD, CD, and vinyl record collections.

Photography became a passion as another way to tell stories. He enjoyed taking photos but as the perfectionist and procrastinator, it took time for him to share with those he loved. He was always learning new things, taught himself how to write computer code, and embraced technology. And there always were his stories. He created movies before iMovie and other platforms made it easy. He was an early adopter of Media 100 in the 1990s and was given the Vision Award. He wrote, produced, and created the video and materials to help people navigate personal finances: Beyond Savings. He wrote numerous magazine articles. His beloved Sheltie, Jean-Luc (he was a HUGE Sci-Fi fan) was the star of The Jean-Luc Chronicles series of movies.

Reg always had so many stories running through his head and expressed these through music, video, or print. He kept a journal of his ideas for stories with summaries for each. He often bounced one from another: Ben the Fire Engine for younger kids, The Strange and Exotic Tales of the Messy Pirates who visited after Christmas, Seven Minutes, His Story, The Medical Officer, and so many more. His memory will live on through his stories, photos, and music. We miss and love you always.

A Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, July 8th, at 2 pm at Holy Rosary Church in West Seattle. A Celebration of Life will be held at Good Society Brewery after Mass, approx. 3:15 pm.

Donations to Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease or your favorite animal charity in his name.

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

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Remembering Phyllis Harriage, 1939-2021

Family and friends are remembering Phyllis Harriage and sharing this with her community:

The family of Phyllis Joyce Harriage (Clark) is deeply saddened to announce her death at 81 years old from complications of Parkinson’s disease on June 14, 2021.

Phyllis was born to Leonard and Margaret Clark in West Seattle on September 15, 1939 and graduated from West Seattle High School in 1957. She raised three children with William R. Harriage during their eighteen-year marriage. Phyllis worked as a waitress at the SeaTac Marriott for nearly two decades. Kind, funny, and thoughtful, Phyllis lived her retirement years in the constant company of her beloved family and dogs. She lived in West Seattle until declining health prompted her to move in with family in Tacoma.

Phyllis was a devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She is survived by her daughter Holly (Kevin) and her children, Emelia, Audrey, Christina, and Gabrielle; her daughter Hayley (Steffan) and her children Crystal, Kaitlyn, and Allison; her son Kurt (Paulette) and his children Lauren, Sierra, Priscilla, Jesse, Laticia, and Lorenzo; six great-grandchildren; and her sister Patricia Schaber and her children, Steven and Richard (and his children and grandchildren).

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Tacoma Humane Society.

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

Remembering Gregory A. Cherin, 1958-2021

Family and friends are remembering Greg Cherin and sharing this with his community:

Gregory Arnoldo Cherin was born in Renton on November 7, 1958. He died on June 6, 2021, after dealing with long-term health issues. He left us suddenly and we are heartbroken. He is survived by his wife Janice, sons Andrew (Vanessa), grandchildren Kaylee and Caleb, Derek and Tyler. His sister Lela/DeeDee (Randy) Good. Half-brother Bob Cherin. In addition, there are so many more close relatives and friends that will cherish his loving memory.

Greg was a lifelong resident of West Seattle. He was the son of Eugene (Gene) and Marilyn (Jeannie) Cherin, attended Highland Park Elementary, Denny Middle School, and Chief Sealth High School. He graduated with a Business degree from the University of Washington in 1983.

He married Janice on September 11, 1982. Together they raised three wonderful and caring men, Andrew, Derek, and Tyler. Their lives were all enriched having been raised in a loving family. Greg worked for Boeing at the Plant 1, Plant 2, Renton, and also in Palmdale, California for 18 months and at the Tukwila plant. He was a purchaser/buyer and enjoyed the many friendships from that time.

Greg had a passion for baseball and basketball and relayed that passion to all three sons. Their participation in West Seattle sports fueled many games which he helped coach or was the head coach. Through these many activities he developed many lifelong friendships. He would often run into so many people on a trip to the store that you would think would take 30 minutes but last much longer (Janice says).

Greg also enjoyed fishing. He shared many fishing trips in Puget Sound with his cousin David and sons Andrew, Derek, and Tyler. He especially enjoyed fishing out by Blake Island for ling cod.

Relationships were important to him, and he would do anything he could to help others. He enjoyed family the most and was always checking in on family. He went to all family functions – or as many as he could – that lesson he leaves with us will always be important.

We always found ways to travel within the US, often due to a son’s baseball tournament – the memories from all of these trips are very special. Most recently we discovered Hawaii through Andrew and Vanessa. Greg loved Maui because of the beauty, ability to swim in the pools and the ocean, and just relax with family. We were able to go twice in the past 4 years! He and Janice also loved Leavenworth and enjoyed spending time with family and using it as a meeting place with other family members.

In 2017 the most wonderful event happened to Greg and Janice – they became grandparents to Kaylee, and Caleb in 2019. Being a grandfather or ‘Papa’ changed him in many ways – he melted with them both and would do anything for them. He took Kaylee on trips to see the snow in Snoqualmie Pass and to the Nike outlet in North Bend – of course for the good deals. Kaylee is inquisitive and fun; she loved her Papa and of course her Mimi and Uncles. Caleb is an energetic, fun-loving little boy, and watching both of their wonderful personalities develop has been fun to watch. We have had the wonderful pleasure of living close to this little family and seeing them often. They will greatly miss their Papa.

We are so grateful for the many of you who have already reached out and feel so very blessed and honored by your stories and thoughts. We are planning a memorial service to be held this summer. With COVID restrictions hopefully lessening, we are looking at options and will let you know soon.

Share memories of Greg on the Tribute Wall at

Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services of West Seattle

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Remembering Gloria M. Langen, 1929-2021

Family and friends are remembering Gloria M. Langen, and sharing this remembrance with her community:

Gloria Mary (Strattman) Langen, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away peacefully in the presence of her children on May 19, 2021.

Gloria was born in St Louis, Missouri on August 7, 1929 to George and Mary Strattman. In the early years of World War II, the family moved to Bremerton, WA when her father took a job as a machinist at the Bremerton Naval Shipyard. Gloria completed her grade school education at Our Lady Star of the Sea and then attended Bremerton High School where she met the love of her life, John “Harry” Langen. She graduated in 1948 and they were married at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church on September 9th, 1950. In 1953 Harry and Glo moved to West Seattle where they made their home, raising 6 children.

Marriage, family, and the Catholic Church were central to her life. As founding members of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Gloria and Harry were active in the parish throughout their many years and were recognized for their legacy with a seat of honor on the OLG 50th anniversary show car in the West Seattle Hi-Yu parade. As her children grew up and grandbabies began to arrive, Gloria embraced her role as a grandmother, always ready to play a game, work a puzzle, or read to the kids.

Gloria and Harry often spent their annual vacations camping with their extended family and friends. As members of the Westside Wheelers Square Dance Club, they traveled to square dance events throughout the Northwest and California. But her true passion was reading and it was a common sight to see her in her favorite chair, coffee cup at her side and a book in her hand. She shared that love of reading with her family and through her many years as the librarian at Guadalupe School. In 2001, her 30 years of service was commemorated with the naming of the school library “The Langen Library.”

In 2012 Gloria and Harry sold their longtime family home and moved to the Bridge Park Retirement Community in West Seattle, where she became a familiar face around the Activity Room, playing dominoes, bingo and her favorite card games.

Gloria was preceded in death by her grandson Joshua Waleryszak. She is survived by her husband John “Harry” Langen and children, Judy Waleryszak (Tom (d)), Mike (Alyson), Cathy Olson (Frank), Teresa Langen Earle (Ken), Margaret “Peggy” and James (Andrea), six grandchildren, Amanda, Elisa, Alexandra, Loretta, John, and Henry, and five great grandchildren.

Remembrances may be made to Our Lady of Guadalupe School Langen Library, 3401 SW Myrtle Street, Seattle, WA 98126. Or donate online at

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West Seattle philanthropist Adah Rhodes Cruzen dies at age 96

Just before the pandemic, in January 2020, friends and family threw a 95th-birthday party for Adah Rhodes Cruzen.

(January 2020 photo by Clay Eals)

She made it to 96 this past winter, but it wasn’t much of a time for parties. And now Ms. Cruzen is gone. Family and friends have been notified that she died today.

In her final years, Ms. Cruzen drew considerable local admiration for her generous support of local organizations and projects – perhaps most notably, the campaign to restore the murals created ~30 years ago in a civic project headed by her husband Earl Cruzen (who also made it to age 96 before dying four years ago).

(Earl and Adah Cruzen, 2013 photo by Clay Eals)

“He left me a bunch of zeroes,” she joked in 2018. And she made good use of them. Her donation that year kickstarted the project to restore and repair the murals. Also in 2018, she made news with gifts to the Senior Center of West Seattle and to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, along with funding a new “Welcome to West Seattle” sign at the southwest end of the West Seattle Bridge.

In 2019, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce honored her with the Westsider of the Year award. Longtime friend Clay Eals shared with us the script from that presentation, which noted that Ms. Cruzen had been a West Seattleite since she and first husband Bob moved here in the 1950s. After his death, she met second husband Willard Rhodes at Fauntleroy Church, and became friends with Earl’s then-wife Virginia Cruzen. Years aFter their respective spouses died, Adah and Earl married on his 80th birthday in 2000. After his death in 2017, she decided to carry out his wishes to continue to support their community, to which she shared Earl’s devotion. Eals recalls.a plaque that hung in Ms. Cruzen’s kitchen when she and Mr. Cruzen lived in a condo at Duwamish Head: “I wasn’t born in West Seattle, but I got here as fast as I could.”

Arrangements are being made through Evergreen-Washelli; we’ll let you know when there’s word of memorial plans.

Celebration of Life planned this summer for Brian R. Casey, 1939-2020

May 28, 2021 8:50 am
|    Comments Off on Celebration of Life planned this summer for Brian R. Casey, 1939-2020
 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

Family and friends will gather this summer to celebrate the life of Brian R. Casey. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing with the community:

Brian Richard Casey
June 9, 1939 ~ November 24, 2020

Brian Richard Casey of Seattle passed away in his sleep and at peace on Tuesday, November 24, 2020, two days before Thanksgiving, from natural causes at the age of 81. He is survived by his wife Peggy and their three children, Karen (Terry Burke), Chris (Lisa Casey), and Kelly (Dan Steen), as well as four grandchildren, Sean, Matthew, Bonnie, and Tyler.

Brian was born June 9, 1939, in Burns, Oregon, to Margaret and John Casey. They moved to Portland, Oregon, when Brian was four and lived there until he was married in 1963.

He attended Central Catholic high school, and went on to the University of Santa Clara and University of Oregon law school. He also became an Eagle Scout while in high school.

Brian practiced law for 10 years at his father’s law firm before going into sales while working with Lou Tice of Pacific Institute in Seattle. Peggy and Brian moved their three children to Seattle and gradually phased out of Pacific Institute in 1994. In November, 1994 with permission of Archbishop Thomas Murphy of the Archdiocese of Seattle, set up Good News Ministries of Seattle, a nonprofit charitable corporation for purposes of facilitating parish mission work throughout the country.

He wrote a book, ”Our Walk in His Footsteps,” and made recordings of his parish sessions. He also served on the board of regents for the University of Portland. Brian had been growing in his spiritual life for quite a few years when he began to feel the Lord calling him into full ministry.

There will be a Celebration of Life in Brian’s memory on Friday, July 16th at 11:30 a.m. It is located at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 7000 35th Avenue SW.

Then after the service, there will be a gathering at Christo’s on Alki, 2508 Alki Avenue SW. It starts at 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. We will serve pizza, salad, and drinks (2 tickets for 2 free drinks of beer/wine only). We will post the last-minute details of that special event and burial-site information as we get closer to that date.

Please join us to celebrate the life of Brian R. Casey.

To share your memories of Brian with his friends & family, please visit his Online Memorial:

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Remembering Scott A. MacDonald, 1963-2021

Family and friends are remembering Scott MacDonald and sharing this with his community:

Scott A. MacDonald
August 23, 1963 – April 19, 2021

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of a beloved husband, father, brother, and uncle, Scott MacDonald. Scott passed away surrounded by loving family on April 19th at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, following a brief but valiant fight with esophageal cancer.

Scott was born in Wenatchee to Raymond and Arlene MacDonald, graduating from WHS in 1981. He attended EWU in Cheney and then graduated from Clover Park Technical College in Tacoma, where he studied graphic design. He then went on to forge a career in the emerging tech industry.

Scott and his wife Kerri moved to West Seattle in 1996, where they made their home, raised son Brenden, and made many family memories on sailing and RV trips.

Scott loved music, especially progressive rock. He played piano and guitar. He also enjoyed learning languages and dialects; he spoke German and Punjabi and was teaching himself Swedish.

Strong, sentimental, smart, funny, generous, and loving are just a few of the adjectives that describe a very special man who will be greatly missed.

Scott is survived by his wife Kerri MacDonald of Seattle; sons Sean Gill-MacDonald, Tacoma, and Brenden Peterson, Seattle; brother John Kowsky, Coeur d’Alene, ID; and sisters Kathy Tift, Bellingham, and Gayle Sherrill, Leland, IL; along with numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Alan MacDonald, and sisters Lori Smiley and Joyce Collins.

A small family memorial will be held in the summer.

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Remembering Mary Ellen Finch, 1922-2021

Family and friends are remembering Mary Ellen Finch, and sharing this with her community:

Mary Ellen Finch
July 25, 1922 – April 18, 2021

Mary Ellen (Anderson) Finch, a long-time West Seattle resident, passed away peacefully on April 18, 2021, at the home of her daughter in Gig Harbor. She was born on July 25, 1922 in Spirit Lake, Idaho, to Mel and Veronica (Dolan) Anderson. Her family relocated to West Seattle in 1927, when her father took a job at Boeing, and she resided there until 2015, when she moved to Gig Harbor. On April 10, 1948, she married Robert (Bob) Finch at Holy Rosary Church and they were married for 42 years. He preceded her in death on October 5, 1990.

Mary Ellen was the first graduate of Holy Rosary High School, which was the class of 1940. She is believed to be the last surviving graduate of that initial class. She was the mother of six, Nana of ten, and GG of six. She was the last surviving Dolan cousin out of the thirty-four grandchildren of James Albert Dolan, her mother’s father.

For us, the six children of Mary Ellen and Bob, our childhood was a blast. But in hindsight, it must have seemed like an eternal foot race. Between laundry, meals, school uniforms, appointments, groceries, Sunday Mass and 101 other things for six kids, it had to be terribly wearing for our parents. We don’t know how they kept up their strength and positive attitudes nor why they didn’t put half of us up for adoption. But, from our viewpoint at the time, our childhood was magical. Each of us knew he or she was mom’s favorite.

Mary Ellen was an avid reader, and was a big fan of Jane Austin, John Grisham, and any and all biographies. She organized materials on the Finch family divers and family genealogy. She had a keen interest in history and how the families played into those larger stories, such as the maritime history of the PNW and Alaska, and also the first half-century of Boeing (her father, along with Bill Boeing, met Amelia Earhart at the 1929 Cleveland Air Show, where Boeing displayed its new aircraft, the 80-A passenger plane). She was also interested in World War II, as she, her relatives, and essentially her whole generation was involved and affected by it. She was also fascinated by the Indigenous Peoples of North America, especially those people of the Coastal Tribes from Washington state on through to Alaska.

In addition to history, Mary Ellen had a passion for reading and learning about Roman and Egyptian archaeology. She was pleased that she was born the same year as the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. Although she never traveled to Egypt, she was thrilled to see several Tut exhibits in Seattle over the years. In 1987, she had a cameo role in the TV film “Stamp of a Killer,” starring Jimmy Smits and Judith Light. At the age of 89 and again at age 91, she traveled to Saudi Arabia.

Family was important to mom. She enjoyed when everyone got together to celebrate her birthday. Bob always put the flag out on her special day and the tradition continued through her time in West Seattle. Mary Ellen and Bob instilled in their six children the importance of education, hard work, integrity, equality, justice, and service to others. They demonstrated to them a love of reading, love of family and love of country.

Mary Ellen is survived by her six children: Mary Ann Strickler, Olympia; Tim Finch, Sequim; Trish Hanson and husband Bill, Gig Harbor; John Finch, Grants Pass, OR; Suzann Finch and partner Tom McNeely, Bellingham; and Sandye (Alex) Finch and husband Abdullah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Grandchildren include Veronica Lannom, Scott Finch, Adam Finch, Monica Hanson, Daniel Hanson, Robbie (Ahmed) Khatib, and Fahad, Jumana, Abdul Wadood and Maria al-Subiany. Great-grandchildren include Averie, Henry, Emmett, Griffey, Georgia, and Remi. Her husband Bob, parents, and brothers Ed and Bill Anderson preceded her in death.

The family wants to thank the staff of MultiCare Home Health and Hospice, as well as our sister Trish, for giving our dear mother such wonderful care in her final months.

Mom’s favorite quote, which she wanted in her obituary, was from the lotus chalice found in Tut’s tomb: May your ka live, may you spend millions of years, you, who love Thebes, sitting with your face to the north wind, your eyes beholding happiness.

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Remembering Greggory S. Ratigan, 1976-2021

Family and friends are remembering Gregg Ratigan and sharing this remembrance with his community:

Greggory Scott Ratigan
July 22, 1976 – May 4, 2021

Gregg passed away peacefully at Swedish Hospital with his sister Kristina and cousin Jennifer by his side. Greggory Scott Ratigan was born in Seattle to parents Jeff and Karen Ratigan. He was raised in West Seattle with older brother Tim and younger sister Kristina. Gregg attended Holy Rosary Catholic School, John F. Kennedy High School, and the University of Washington, where he graduated with a degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice.

Gregg was a sweet, quiet, kind, caring, and compassionate person. He loved spending time at home with his family, holidays and celebrations with the Norbergs and Ratigans. Growing up, he loved playing soccer, baseball, football, and his favorite, basketball. Gregg cherished the lifelong friendships he made with kids in the neighborhood, Holy Rosary, Kennedy, and his many co-workers.

Gregg had a variety of jobs growing up, from delivering papers for the Seattle Times, Thriftway, and Pegasus Pizza. For the last 17 years he was a proud Union Longshoreman of ILWU Local 19.

Gregg will be deeply missed and always remembered by his brother Tim, sister Kristina, many uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. He is preceded in death by his parents Jeff and Karen.

A private funeral mass and burial will be held at a later date. Please share memories of Gregg on the obituary page and online guestbook at

If you wish, donations may be sent to Holy Rosary Catholic Church West Seattle or Children’s Hospital.

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

Remembering Frances A. Ratcliff, 1927-2021

Family and friends are remembering Frances Ratcliff and sharing this remembrance with the community:

Frances Ann Ratcliff, born May 7, 1927, in Libby, MT, passed away on May 6, 2021 in Seattle.

Fran was preceded in death by her parents Carl and Golden Carlson, her brothers John and Norman, as well as her loving husband, Willard (Bill) Ratcliff. Fran and Bill had four children: Cynthia Goodman (James), Peter Ratcliff, Philip Ratcliff, and James Ratcliff (Paula). She had six grandsons: Jason (Martina), Jimmy and Jarrod Goodman, Nathanial (Erin), Jeremy (Ashley), and Christopher (Raylynn) Ratcliff. Fran was blessed with seven great-grandchildren. Fran is also survived by her sisters Willis White and Karen Layne.

Fran worked for Pacific Northwest Bell in Seattle and volunteered at Bassett Army Community Hospital in Fort Wainwright, AK. During Bill’s military career, they lived in Germany, Japan, Hawaii, Virginia, Texas, Kansas, California, and retired in Washington State.

They enjoyed many years together cruising Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, and Canada. She had an infectious laugh and a smile that would light up a room. She enjoyed a Bud-Light while watching the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She will be missed but will always be in our hearts.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to her favorite charity, Sound Generations Meals on Wheels Program.

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

Remembering Gregory Curtin, 1949-2021

Family and friends are remembering Greg Curtin and sharing this remembrance with the community:

On Sunday, April 25th, 2021, Gregory Curtin, beloved father, grandfather, and friend, passed away at the age of 71 after a brief illness.

Greg was born on October 20th, 1949 in New Westminster, BC, Canada, to Clement and Gladys (Woodward) Curtin and emigrated to the United States in 1952. He spent his early life on Vashon Island and received an AA degree from South Seattle Community College after serving in the U.S. Air Force. He married Pamela Ryan in 1973 and they raised a son and daughter, Daniel and Buffy, in West Seattle.

Greg worked for General Construction Company for over 25 years and then Walsh Group until he “retired” in 2016. He loved building bridges up and down the West Coast and was especially proud of his work overseeing the pouring of the caissons on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. He was an incredibly hard worker, diligent, and meticulous at his craft. He enjoyed mentoring new engineers and cared deeply for his colleagues over his career.

Greg was a devoted friend and neighbor, and was often the go-to guy for advice when it came to DIY carpentry, electrical and drywall. He lived life in abundance, had a tool or joke for everything, and always had his notepad and pencil ready to scribble down notes and calculations that only he could understand.

Greg was a proud father to Daniel and Buffy and a doting grandfather to his seven grandchildren. Nothing made his eyes shine like talking about his family.

Greg was preceded in death by his father Clement, mother Gladys, and siblings Anne and Michael. He is survived by his son Daniel (Calista), daughter Buffy, grandchildren Lauren, Evan, Liv, Nathan, Winnie, Christian, Morgan, and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be postponed until we can all be together in person, just as Greg would have liked. In lieu of flowers or donations, please take time to tell those you love how much they mean to you and give them a Grandpa Greg hug whenever you can.

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

Remembering William P. Mulligan, M.D.

Family and friends are remembering William P. Mulligan, M.D., and sharing this with his community:

Bill and his two brothers, Jim and Don, were raised working on their father Bill Sr.’s modest 20-acre farm in Marysville, breeding chickens for sale during the Great Depression. He was skipped ahead in grade school, missing second grade, thus graduating Seattle Prep at the age of 16. His devout mother Ada wanted him to attend Seattle University. Never telling her that Seattle University had offered him a scholarship, he chose to attend the University of Washington instead. He barely made it to McGill University Medical School in Montreal, Canada, to start his first year, as he was stuck in Alaska working his summer job on Kodiak Island for the U of W Fisheries Department, rubbing elbows with grizzly bears, as he measured and weighed dead salmon after they spawned.

Graduating medical school, where he was elected to the medical honorary society AOA, he joined the US Navy as a Flight Surgeon and Ophthalmologist, retiring as a commander after 9 years. He then moved his family to West Seattle, where he practiced Ophthalmology and was an active member of the West Seattle medical community for 46 years, finally retiring in 2011 at the age of 81.

He and his wife were happily married for 62 years. Penny is a successful and prolific artist and sculptor, with personality and work ethic strong enough to match Bill’s. Together they raised 3 children – Bill Jr., a solar engineer; Tom, who followed in his father’s footsteps to take over his practice; Patty, who is a talented artist like her mother. Bill took his young family on many ski and backpacking vacations and it was almost always an adventure. He continued his passion for walking with daily trips to Lincoln Park with his Jack Russells.

Bill’s passions were birdwatching and travel. He and Penny traveled the world on bird-watching expeditions, visiting all seven continents. They had many memorable adventures, from climbing Mayan ruins in Guatemala, riding camels in Egypt, to crossing the South Ocean to Antarctica, to birdwatching in the jungles of Borneo and the Amazon. Also – volunteering to perform cataract surgery in Nigeria.

Bill was omnilegent, consuming enormous quantities of books, magazines, newspapers, and medical journals, his entire life. Bill lived a rich and full life and will be remembered by his wife Penny, his 3 children Bill Jr. (Kim), Tom (Suzie), and Patty, brother Don, and 6 grandchildren Hedy, Daniel, Anya, Cael, Xander, and Kylie. He will also be remembered by the patients he treated with expert care and compassion for many years.

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FOLLOWUP: For those wondering about memorial plans for Lou Magor

Almost two weeks have gone by since word that Lou Magor had died. Comments on our April 16th story included photos and memories from many whose lives he had touched and enriched, not only in his role running Kenyon Hall, but also as a performer and teacher. We promised to let you know when we heard of memorial plans, Here’s the first word we’ve received, from Pastor Paul Corner of Wallingford United Methodist Church, where Mr. Magor served as music director,

We at Wallingford United Methodist Church were discussing how best to remember Lou, and we thought his life was too big to try to do a comprehensive celebration of his life in a short amount of time that would include all the various communities which he was such a vital part of. (Tilden, Kindermusik, Kenyon Hall, Bach Choir, the Total Experience Gospel Choir, and others.) We also know that singing (and a lot of it) will need to be as part of that more complete celebration.

Because of COVID and the amount of planning that will be involved, that wider-focused celebration will need to wait a few months when it will be safe to gather in person and sing, but we are looking forward to working with those communities to that end. We do not have any date in mind as of yet, as that will need to be worked out with all these groups.

In the meantime, since Lou was our Music Director for 30 years, our church community has decided to have an online memorial service for him on Saturday, May 15, at 11 am that will focus more specifically on his life in our community. It will be on our church YouTube page, with a “coffee hour” to follow on Zoom. (This is the format we have been using for worship all through the pandemic.). As with our Sunday morning services, all are welcome to it.

The coalition with which Mr. Magor operated Kenyon Hall, Seattle Artists, has a tribute and biography on the hall’s website. Regarding the hall’s future, they note, “Even as we mourn the loss of a truly elegant musician who was our great friend, leader, and mentor, we dedicate ourselves to the task of moving forward as an organization with thoughtfulness, care, and joy. It will be difficult without him, but we will work especially hard to share his legacy and bring back as much joy as possible.”

Remembering Lou Magor, Kenyon Hall’s hero

Though his accomplishments are many, Lou Magor‘s West Seattle neighbors may know him best as the keeper of Kenyon Hall, the historic event venue at 7904 35th SW. Suddenly, the hall is without its hero, as Mr. Magor has died at age 75. His death was announced today by the pastor of Wallingford United Methodist Church, where he served as music director.

Mr. Magor shared his talents far and wide, also as longtime accompanist of the renowned Total Experience Gospel Choir, and as a Kindermusik teacher for the littlest visitors to Kenyon Hall, which started its life as the Olympic Heights Social Hall more than a century ago. In Mr. Magor’s years of managing the hall, it has not only showcased the circa-1929 “Mighty Wurlitzer” pipe organ that it houses, but has also seen performances by musicians and actors from unassuming community groups to superstar Eddie Vedder (who played two semi-secret shows there in 2008). The hall also hosted many fundraising galas for local nonprofits, especially those whose performances benefited from its excellent acoustics. More recently, Mr. Magor kept Kenyon Hall going through the pandemic shutdown by presenting a series of online events that also served as fundraisers for the nonprofit operation. Beyond his work, as the pastor’s announcement of Mr. Magor’s passing noted, he was known for his personality: “It is his warmth, laughter, friendship, and presence that we will perhaps miss the most.” We will update when we learn of memorial plans.

ADDED: Thanks to everyone sharing memories in comments. We also received this video link from Bob – it’s a TV-news report from 1989, when Mr. Magor coached a California crowd through a sing-along “Messiah”:

MONDAY: A tribute to Mr. Magor is now on the Kenyon Hall website.

Remembering Mildred ‘Millie’ Foxy Findlay, ~2006-2021

Most of the obituaries we publish are for people, but we have occasionally received and published remembrances in memory of pets (including our own last year). This is from Tony:

I don’t think people freely speak enough about the depth of grief we feel we lose a pet. The loss is profound because it’s not only a beloved family member who is with you day in and day out, but it’s a little life that we care for, and tend to, from start to finish. But, they take care of us too.

In 2008, Millie, a Border Collie mix, was found running wild on the side on Interstate 5 in Skagit County. She was rescued by Northwest Organization for Animal Help (NOAH) in Stanwood, after what was likely an exhausting game of chase. Somewhat emaciated but in otherwise good health, the estimated 2 year old pup was quickly adopted by her forever people and brought to live in Seattle.

In her younger years, Millie enjoyed chewing up shoes, running and hiking with her people, chasing balls without bringing them back, barking at every other dog she saw (only wanting a sniff), and running for hours on the beaches in northern Puget Sound.

Throughout her entire life, she had an affinity for eating the droppings of other animals, particularly cats and rabbits, and rolling in the smelliest things she could find (particularly dead fish), embedding the scent deep into her thick double coat. She was also well known for her “I do what I want” attitude and letting everyone know that with her distinctly unique, absolutely shrill bark. In her later years, she enjoyed casual walks with her people, lying at their feet, and taking naps in the Lamb’s Ear in the backyard garden.

Most of all, she was a deeply affectionate dog who showed nothing but selfless devotion and love to her people, serving as their rock from early adulthood to nearly middle age. She was fortunate enough to peacefully pass away with painless intervention, in the comfort of her own home in the embrace of her people, after nearly nine months of progressing degenerative myelopathy.

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Remembering Ralph L. Heitt, 1932-2021

Family and friends are remembering Ralph Heitt and sharing this with his community:

Ralph Leon Heitt
1932 – 2021

Ralph died January 21 (age 88) at Swedish Hospital, Cherry Hill, following a heart attack and stroke. His wife Betty was grateful to be at his side during his final hours and extends sincere thanks for the sensitive and excellent care Ralph received in the Swedish neuro and cardio units.

Ralph was born in Bonners Ferry, ID to Ralph and Edna (Walters) Heitt. He was preceded in death by his parents and former wives, Pat (son Greg) and Marie (daughters Sue, Pam, Betsy, Andrea, Annette). In addition to his loving wife Betty (Williams), he is survived by his devoted son Greg (wife Betsie and daughter Kathleen) of San Diego, CA; two brothers, Jerry (wife Mary) and Don of Tekoa, WA: and his loving extended family, Betty’s sister Margie and husband John, with sons Matt (wife Sarah, children Brooke and Ridge) of Naches, WA; and Steve (wife Erin, children Lucy and Katherine) of Durham, NH; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.

As an Episcopalian, Ralph was an active member, serving on vestries and/or acting as church handyman, also volunteering with a church thrift shop and making sandwiches with Northwest Harvest. In 2007, he and Betty joined other church volunteers to prepare damaged homes in New Orleans for reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina. Their current church family, St. Clements in the Mt. Baker neighborhood, has been very caring and supportive.

Ralph proudly served with the US Navy in the Seabees (CB – Construction Battalion), building construction projects at Subic Bay, Philippines. His Seabee training served him well in his lifetime career as a land surveyor and construction project inspector; working for Entranco Engineers and several cities in Washington. His work also took him to Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, and Oregon.

For many years Ralph enjoyed playing golf with a weekly foursome. At home he was an avid reader, enjoyed DIY projects in and around his home, crewed on sailboats out of Shilshole Bay Marina, skied in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Canada. In 1981, as an early celebration of his 50th birthday, he climbed Mt. Rainier with dear friend (and matchmaker) Ed Berschinski,. His love of the outdoors probably began with stream fishing in Idaho in his youth with his parents and brothers. He enjoyed camping, white-water rafting on Washington rivers, and hiking with family and friends, especially at Mt. Rainier, where he and Betty were married.

During their 40+ years together, Ralph and Betty enjoyed many travel adventures. These included: garden tours of England, Ireland, Scotland, France, and Italy; touring the canals of Venice; hot air ballooning over Cappadocia in Turkey; snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea off Costa Rica; snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef in Australia; shopping for cigars in Havana, Cuba; soaking in the Blue Lagoon and seeing the Aurora Borealis in Iceland; a trans-Atlantic cruise – South Hampton to New York on the Queen Mary 2; swimming with turtles in Hawaii; viewing exotic animals in New Zealand, Australia, and Tasmania.

Ralph loved holidays – putting up decorations for Easter, Halloween, and Christmas – to the delight of neighborhood children and the child in himself. He enjoyed parties with friends – whether casual, costumed, or formal – always a good sport – whether serious or silly. Ralph was a good man who treated people with warmth, respect, and sincere caring. He will long be remembered and loved by many as the guy with a great laugh, a warm smile, and a cheerful disposition.

Living in West Seattle for several decades was a great pleasure for Ralph. He enjoyed morning coffee at the Morgan Thriftway (with friends nicknamed the Seattle Seniles); he and Betty exercised and swam at the West Seattle YMCA and participated with Seattle Indivisible as citizen activists. They also volunteered with Seal Sitters to protect young Harbor Seals on Alki and other local beaches. A favorite activity together was monthly dancing at the Senior Center.

“I shall take you by the hand and we will dance for joy in heaven
with all the saints and angels who will rejoice at your coming.” – Margery Kempe

A memorial/celebration of Ralph’s life will be scheduled at a later date; post Covid. Memorial donations may be made in Ralph’s name to Northwest Harvest or Seal Sitters.

Share Memories and Photos of Ralph on the Tribute Page at
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

Remembering Paul Appenbrink, 1940-2021

Family and friends are remembering Paul Appenbrink, and sharing this with his community:

Paul E. Appenbrink made his final train ride to heaven on March 21, 2021.

Paul was born on August 26, 1940 in Moweaqua, Illinois. He graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Illinois, with a business degree in marketing in 1964. Prior to following his lifelong dream of working with the railroads, Paul was in sales and marketing for various shipping lines in the Midwest. In 1991 he started with AMTRAK in Chicago, becoming a conductor in 1993. His love of the Pacific Northwest drew him to Seattle in 1996, finding a position with AMTRAK as conductor. He retired from AMTRAK in 2008 but never really retired from his abiding love for all things “trains.”

Paul was a long-time, active member of the West Side Presbyterian Church in Seattle and was involved in two men’s Bible Studies. He volunteered at the West Seattle Food Bank. His many friends knew him as a great storyteller, having a story at the ready for any occasion.

He will be greatly missed by his ten nieces and nephews, John, Sally, Jessie Ann, Jac, Dave, Martha, Laurie, Jane, Linda, and Anita. He was preceded in death by his parents, infant brother, sisters Gloria and Edna, and brother Dave.

Memorials may be given to West Side Presbyterian Church in Seattle at 3601 California Avenue SW, Seattle, Washington, 98116 and the West Seattle Food Bank at 3419 SW Morgan St, Seattle, Washington 98126 or donor’s choice.

A private family service will be held at a later date.

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Remembering Ruth DeGabriele, 1920-2021

Family and friends are remembering Ruth DeGabriele, whose 100th birthday was noted here last year. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing now:

Ruth DeGabriele
June 13, 1920 – February 21, 2021

Ruth was born on a farm near Frankfort, Kansas, on June 13th, 1920. She grew up in a family of two sisters and 4 brothers. She was 17 years old when the “Dust Bowl” hit the plains and forced the family to sell the farm. They loaded up their truck with all of their belongings and headed west, first to California, where they worked the fields picking beets, cherries, and hops, and then apricots in Oregon, where they eventually settled.

After graduating from Woodburn High School in 1938, Ruth went to Portland to participate in a New Deal government program offering young women the chance to learn marketable skills, a dormitory in which to live, and help in job placements. She taught volleyball for a few months at a recreation center before being recommended for a position as a live-in nanny and housekeeper for a family with two young girls.

At age 20, she moved to Portland, living in the Washington Hotel, becoming the first woman bellhop of the city.

“They couldn’t get any boys, because of the war,” she recalled. “They were looking for boys, and I said, ‘I can do it.’ It was a fun job.” A year later, she moved to Seattle to work at Boeing’s Protection Plant Department, fingerprinting for the FBI and processing photo badges for the next 10 years. Occasionally, she was also asked to be a photo model for some of Boeing’s advertising and promotional pieces.

Al entered her life in 1946, when she lived in an apartment above the West Seattle grocery store he started with his twin brother. It was the IGA store located in N. Admiral, “Ray & Al’s Fine Foods.” They remained as West Seattleites for years and are survived by four children, 5 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Ruth found life-long friends at her church, Seattle First United Methodist Church, and remained a member for 74 years; she was the Wedding Hostess/Food Service Director. She orchestrated many large weekly dinners and coordinated over 500 weddings. She also directed the food services at Camp Indianola and later served on its Site Council Board.

She volunteered for many organizations, including Children’s Orthopedic Hospital, Chief Seattle Scouting Council, and Seattle’s Juvenile Court Diversion Program, counseling many young struggling teens. She also was a champion of voting rights and continually advocated for our civic duty. She said, “It’s a privilege to be in this country and be able to vote. So many people aren’t registered that really should be.”

She will be remembered for her smile, sense of style, and love of color – especially turquoise.

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Former Seattle School Board director Marty McLaren has died

Martha “Marty” McLaren, a past West Seattle/South Park representative on the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors, has died. Ms. McLaren, a Puget Ridge resident, was 76 years old. She was a longtime educator and community advocate, but her highest-profile role was that of board member. She won election in 2011 by unseating incumbent Steve Sundquist and then four years later was unseated herself by current board member Leslie Harris. We talked with Ms. McLaren after her election in 2011; she spoke of her teaching career following her involvement with advocacy as a PTA leader while her children were in school. More details on her life are in her obituary, which we’ve just received:

Marty McLaren (Martha Louise McLaren) lived from April 23, 1944, to March 13, 2021.

In Brooklyn, New York, Marty was born into the family of her mother, Marta B. McLaren, and US Naval officer William F. McLaren. She was the fourth of six children.

In early life, she lived on the east coast of the US, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the Mojave Desert, and San Diego, and moved to the Bangor Naval Base in Kitsap County at 14. When she was 17, the family moved to Seattle, where she lived most of her adult life. She was blessed with resources to graduate from the UW and had some interesting travels in her life, to Europe in 1967, to South America in 1969, and in 2002 to Ghana.

She was married for 17 years to Ted Kehl, and together they had four beautiful children — Catherine, Andrea, who died at 18 months, Lauren, and Samuel, who died in 2019 at 37. Motherhood and children became the most important and meaningful aspects of her life.

After her divorce, Marty earned a teaching credential. She taught preschool for several years, had an eye-opening 19-month stint at Family Services Homeless Children’s Network in the mid-’90s, and went on to teach middle- and high-school mathematics.

In 1994 she moved from the family home on Capitol Hill to the newly forming Puget Ridge Cohousing Association in West Seattle. Her cohousing community became an anchor and presence in Marty’s life. As the community grew and struggled to create itself, she also grew and found herself in fertile soil for developing and extending her interests and passions. Most important, she learned to cherish the opportunity to connect with others and understand them and herself more deeply.

She was moved to advocate strenuously for a return to “sane” math curricula in K12 schools, and her activism led to her running successfully for the Seattle School Board in 2011. She served on the board through 2015 with a deep commitment to students and to dismantling structural racism.

Marty loved to dance, to sing, to bicycle, and, in later years, to row crew. She was involved in various communities that fed her thirst for spiritual connection — including the Dances of Universal Peace, and the Somatic study of the Enneagram, and earlier, St Patrick’s and St Joseph’s parishes.

She dealt with cancer in 1987, 2013, 2018, and in late 2020, learning to join an attitude of acceptance with her passion to live authentically. She was blessed most abundantly with loving, caring friends and family, who held her with great tenderness to the end of her life.

She is survived by her daughters, her grandson Tracy, her brothers Jerome, William and Alfred, her sister Georgia, and her niece Scotti. Due to COVID restrictions, there will not be a formal commemoration.

Remembering Eugene Merritt, 1956-2021

Family and friends are remembering Eugene ‘Gene’ Merritt, and sharing this remembrance with his community:

Gene was born June 4th, 1956 in West Seattle, and he spent his life here. He was the first of five children born to Roy and Theda Merritt.

Every summer and fall, you could find Gene fishing for salmon and trout, or otherwise out bow-hunting or golfing – he loved being out in nature. Another one of his passions was making arrowheads out of obsidian and rock. He often gifted his wife Tery with fishing poles and golf clubs, to entice her to join him on his adventures. They also traveled the world together, visiting many countries. His favorite spot was Manual Antonio, Costa Rica.

Gene was known for his great sense of humor, infectious smile, vivid storytelling, and compassionate spirit. His endless humor and wit, and his kindness to everyone, will always be remembered. He was a fun-loving and faithful friend. His life’s motto appeared to be, “Rules were made for those who need them.” Gene definitely did not.

Gene graduated from West Seattle High School in 1974 and received his Associate Degree from Highline Community College. He retired from the Boeing Company in 2016 after working as a Machinist for 36 years.

Gene was preceded in death by his father, Leroy Merritt; mother, Theda Chapin Merritt; and stepson Kyle Sevier. Gene is survived by his wife of 25 years, Tery Webster Merritt; stepdaughter Patricia Hoolahan (Randy) and stepson Cody Sevier; grandchildren Camrin (Gwen), Samara (Aaron), Aly, Rhian, and William. Gene is also survived by his siblings Dana (Lisa) Merritt, Dan (Cheryl) Merritt, Debbie (Dan) Blagovich, and Paula (Mike) Merritt, and many nephews and nieces.

On February 22nd, 2021 at the age of 64, Gene succumbed to the effects of COVID-19 after enjoying a lifelong personal relationship with God. His life was a testimony to the love and grace of his heavenly Father. Gene passed away peacefully in his sleep at Harborview Hospital.

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Remembering Helene L. Young, 1938-2021

March 8, 2021 8:59 am
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

Family and friends are remembering Helene Young, and sharing this with her community:

Helene Louise Young
June 10, 1938 – February 25, 2021

Helene was born June 10th, 1938, to John and Louisa (nee Vandenbergh) Fisher, in Albany, New York. She attended public schools in Albany, and after graduation, worked in the law offices of John T. Garry. In August of 1958, Helene married Robert J. Rose of Stony Point, New York. Soon after, Helene and Bob moved to Seattle, where Bob began a long career with The Boeing Company. Helene and Bob were delighted with their family of “rosebuds” – Mary, Jennifer and Elizabeth. Helene was a room mother, a homemaker, and a kind and loving neighbor to many in West Seattle.

After 20 years, Helene and Bob’s marriage ended in divorce, and she later married The Rev. Don Young. She then added to her family, Don’s children – Richard, Timothy, Jason and Susan. Helene and Don enjoyed working together in Real Estate for several years, primarily in West Seattle. For years they enjoyed walking in Lincoln Park, sailing on Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, and their property on Guemes Island.

Feeling the call to return to ministry, Helene and Don moved to Tacoma to serve the Lakeview Congregational Church (United Church of Christ.) While living in Tacoma, Helene completed her Bachelor’s degree. Tired of the Northwest weather and ready for a change, they relocated to Sierra Vista, Arizona, where Helene earned a Master’s Degree. She taught Life Skills at Cochise College for several years and was also a substitute teacher in the Sierra Vista area. Following Don’s death, Helene moved back to Washington state to be near her children. Although her recent health limited her from enjoying many activities that she loved, she maintained a positive spirit all of her days. She never met a stranger, and will be missed by many, many people. Helene especially loved gardening, reading, church activities, and Democratic politics.

She was predeceased by her parents, her stepfather (Norman Wirz), her brother (John Fisher), her husband (Donald L. Young), and Don’s son (Richard.) She is survived by Mary Toal (Richard), Jennifer Arkills (Jim), Elizabeth Tuohy (Mike), Tim Young (Li), Jason Young (Toni), and Susan Young. She is also survived by grandchildren Kevin, Kelly, Brandon, Anna, Kate, Ryan, Matthew, Abigail, Hailey, Lane, Elliot, and Conner, and her extended family scattered around the country.

The family would like to extend their appreciation for the loving care Helene received her last months at the Springwell Adult Family Home in Renton, as well as the many services provided through Providence ElderPlace Northwest.

A memorial gathering will be scheduled for this summer, when the strawberries are in season. Memorial gifts may be directed to Providence ElderPlace Northwest, 4515 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Suite 100, Seattle, Washington 98108

You are invited to share memories and messages by visiting

Arrangements by Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle

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