Obituaries 360 results

Celebration of life September 9th for Shirley M. Morrison, 1923-2018

Family and friends will gather September 9th to celebrate the life of Shirley M. Morrison. Here’s the remembrance they are sharing with the community:

Shirley Mary Morrison 4/25/1923 – 7/26/2018

On July 26th, 2018, God gained the sweetest angel, preceded in death by the love of her life, Donald W. Morrison. Shirley graduated from WSHS in 1941, married Don in 1944, and together they had 3 children: Mary (Mike), Patricia (Scott), and Michael (Colleen). Mom, grandma, aunt, Nana, was the true matriarch of the family and loved to spend time with her 3 grandchildren: Kimberly (Dino), Aaron (Julie), and Paige, as well as her 3 great-grandchildren: Kirk, Addison, and Vanden.

After retiring from over 30 years of service with Sears and Roebuck Co. in 1989, Shirley was able to dedicate more time toward her passion for health and fitness. A true inspiration to all who knew her… she would spend most of her days walking the beach of Alki near her home, pumping iron at Harold’s Health Club, and preparing delicious, healthy meals for her family and friends.

Shirley had a smile that could light up any room. Not only was she beautiful, loving, and patient, but she had the best sense of humor! You could spend hours laughing, telling jokes, and talking with her about years gone by. She influenced so many lives with her kind and giving spirit. We will think of her living in the hearts she touched, because she was loved so much.

A celebration of Shirley’s life will be held Sunday, September 9th, at the Chelan Cafe in West Seattle from 3-6 PM. Please come help us celebrate Shirley’s beautiful life! Please share memories of Shirley on her guestbook at

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Remembering Mike Hawley, 1960-2018

The family of former West Seattleite Mike Hawley is sharing this remembrancce:

CW4 Michael Warren “Mike” Hawley (U.S. Army Ret.), a resident of Dothan, AL, passed away on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 from injuries sustained in a helicopter crash in Granger, TX. Funeral services were held this past Monday, August 27, with burial following at Meadowlawn Memorial Park in Enterprise, AL.

Mike was born August 14, 1960 in Seattle and spent the early part of his life in West Seattle. He was a 1978 graduate of West Seattle High School and attended South Seattle Community College and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Excelsior College and was currently working on a Masters Degree. Following school, he joined the U.S. Army 2nd Battalion Rangers, then later left and re-signed as a Warrant Officer and attended flight school. He served as a helicopter pilot for over 20 years prior to his retirement. Mike was enjoying his military retirement working as a part-time contract helicopter instructor pilot in Texas. He has resided in Dothan since 2006 and was an avid golfer, enjoyed fishing, and loved smoking a good cigar.

Mike’s career highlights as a pilot are as follows: B Co., 2nd Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 75th Infantry (Ranger), (SOCOM) Ft. Lewis, WA, Special Operations Infantryman; B Co, 1st Battalion, 160th SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment), Ft. Campbell, KY, AH-6J Special Operations Pilot;); 1-14th Aviation Training Battalion, Ft. Rucker, AL, Senior Instructor Pilot/Master Gunner OH58D(R); 1-17th Air Cavalry Squadron Fort Bragg, NC; 1st Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Standardization Instructor Pilot OH-58D(R); Blackwater Aviation, Baghdad, Iraq, Lead Pilot MD-530F; DynCorp, Kabul, Afghanistan (Special Mission Wing) Counter Narco-Terrorism Program, Standardization Instructor Pilot Russian Mi-17; Utility Aviation, Brunner Aerospace, Georgetown, TX, Senior Instructor Pilot MD-530F.

Survivors include his wife, Tonisha Hawley; his daughters, Audrey Hawley, Alexandria Hawley, and Heather Hawley; his in-laws, Harold and Mary Sconyers; sisters, Jackie (Bruce) Leland and Kathie (Jon) Hall; brother, Jeff Hawley; sister-in-law, Tangela (Kevin) Souders; brother-in-law, Jeff (Erica) Sconyers; nieces and nephews, Michael Maier, Rick Maier, Marilyn Souders, Maddie Souders, Maredith Sconyers, and Garrison Sconyers; grandchildren, Chelsea and Jesslyn; 3 great-nieces also survive. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Marjorie Hawley.

Mike will be greatly missed by his loving family and amazing friends. He had a true love for life and never met a stranger. Everyone who knew him loved his infectious laugh and sense of humor which led to his natural ability to make others laugh.

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Memorial planned September 2nd for Treva J. Koler, 1928-2018

Family and friends will gather next weekend to celebrate the life of Treva J. Koler, and are sharing this remembrance with the community:

Treva Jane Koler (nee McLaughlin) passed away peacefully due to cancer on August 14, 2018, surrounded by members of her family. Her memorial and Celebration of Life will be held 2 – 5 pm Sunday, September 2nd, at Evergreen Washelli.

Treva Jane was born in Laramie, Wyoming, March 4, 1928 to Joseph Henry McLaughlin (1904-1980) and Treva Wilma (Williams) Mclaughlin (1904-1988). She married Richard Kenneth Koler (1927-2000) of Casper, WY in 1948, and they raised their family in Eastern Washington and Seattle (since 1966). She was a bookkeeper 20 years for Dr. Laidig and spent 20 years of her retirement as a volunteer for the Discovery Shop in West Seattle. Her home was a gathering place for all. Many a dinner included kids from the neighborhood or school-chums. Treva was engaging and informed. She loved her travels to see her daughters in Sweden and Turkey, enjoyed singing in choirs, going to the theater, playing cards, telling stories, and doing puzzles. Her family and her spiritual life were very important to her.

Treva was a 15-year survivor of stomach cancer, but earlier this year there was evidence of a new cancer. She elected not to have any treatment as she was 90 years old and ready to move on. Family members, a couple of loving caregivers, and Providence Hospice visiting nurses provided 24-hour care during her last six weeks, so she was able to die peacefully in her own apartment. She was briefly present at the family reunion held the beginning of July to celebrate her 90th birthday. 37 members of her family gathered to honor her. It was amazing to witness her inner vitality as she struggled with cancer.

She is survived by her sister Margaret and husband Martin, all her 7 children and spouses — Don (Xiang-Yue), Larry (Cate), Debi (Tamer), Janece (Marv), Cheryl (Gunnar), Maurine (Suzanne), and Kathy (Andy) — 14 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great grandchildren, and 15 nieces and nephews.

She will be dearly missed by her friends from her church group, the Discovery Shop, her Cancer Survivor support group, and the residents of Bridge Park, the retirement center where she lived.

A memorial service and reception will be held September 2 at 2:00 p.m. at Evergreen Washelli, 11111 Aurora Ave. N. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Providence Hospice of Seattle Foundation, who were so instrumental in helping the family provide care.

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Remembering Donald C. Kelly, 1927-2018

August 14, 2018 8:05 pm
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

Family and friends are sharing this remembrance of 90-year-old Donald C. Kelly:

Donald Charles Kelly died peacefully in his sleep on August 8, 2018 at his daughter’s home in Ashland, Oregon. He was 16 days short of his 91st birthday.

Born in West Seattle on August 24, 1927 to George Leo Kelly and Hannah Margarite Oberg, Don and his sister Maxine spent their formative years growing up a stone’s throw from Alki Beach. Don always enjoyed the water, especially that of Puget Sound, and always seemed to have a boat, even sewing by hand the sails for his first sailboat.

He graduated from West Seattle High School in 1945 and enlisted in the Navy at the end of World War II, serving on a landing ship medium (LSM) in the Panama Canal, Mississippi River and Florida waters as an engine mechanic until his Honorable Discharge from active duty as Fireman, First Class, in 1946. He remained in the Navy Reserve until 1954.

After his discharge in 1946, Don studied mechanical engineering at Gonzaga and was always proud of his Bulldog connection. He took a job working at remote logging camps and later scavenged cut logs from Puget Sound beaches by tugboat.

His best friend, Fred Bell, introduced Don to Betty Jo Keelen, and they were married in 1951. There followed three sons and a daughter and the family lived in the South Puget Sound area while Don worked for an oil company before he started work in heavy equipment sales, specializing in conveyor systems for aggregate production, leading to his nickname “Rock Crusher” and the subsequent name of his heavy equipment consulting business. Don moved the family as his career evolved, living in Sherwood and Tigard in the Portland area. He later moved the family to Medford in 1975 when Empire Rubber needed him to run a branch office selling heavy conveyor equipment.

Betty and Don went their separate ways in 1979 and Don traveled the country plying his trade, living in places such as Connecticut, Kentucky, Alaska and California before settling in the Portland/ Vancouver area, buying and selling heavy equipment until his retirement in 2014. He moved to a retirement home in Ashland in 2015 to be close to family, and then moved in with his daughter and her husband the following year.

Don was an ebullient salesman and never allowed anyone he met to remain a stranger. He loved the outdoors, especially anywhere near the water, and once waterskied along the Inside Passage on his way back from Alaska. He enjoyed fishing and rafting, including his last trip down the Class IV rapids of the Klamath when he was 80. He relished his role as grandfather and would visit his grandchildren in Ashland often, treating them to annual words of wisdom every Christmas. He also made sure to bring a doggie treat for Jackson every time he visited.

He was preceded in death by his mother, father, and sister. He is survived by his four children, Donnie, Tim (of West Seattle), Lee (of West Seattle) and Joann (Brent); six grandchildren, Jasmine, Bonnie, Zachary, Marcus, Kiley, Adeline; one great-granddaughter, Amelia, and the Wallis clan of Twisp, Washington. A private graveside service will be held on his birthday at the National Cemetery in Eagle Point.

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Memorial next Sunday for Jim Theuer, 1957-2017

August 13, 2018 9:31 pm
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

One year after Jim Theuer‘s death, family and friends plan to gather to celebrate his life next Sunday. Here’s the announcement:

JIM (James) THEUER Memorial
Sun, Aug 19, 2018 2-3:30 pm
(lived Aug 4, 1957-Aug 17, 2017)

Jim Theuer died last year – Aug 17, 2017 – in Virginia, his home for 25+ years. Yes, the Jim with the unpronounceable last name who went to Alki Elem, Madison & West Seattle High. In Seattle, Jim worked at Quesnel’s (yes, on Beach Drive) and at UPS.

At some time in Virginia, Jim went by JT (no time wasted on his last name). In Virginia, Jim worked and did voiceovers at firm whose customer of note was Domino’s Pizza. Jim also did Rodney Dangerfield bits until you laughed/cried. In Virginia, Jim got married and had a son, John. Sadly, the marriage did not last, but Jim’s love for his son did, and Jim had primary custody of John, when John was 13.

Jim/JT is survived by his son, John, of Winchester, VA, and Jim’s mother and sisters, all in the Puget Sound area, and a host of nephews and nieces. Jim was a pro bowler for a short time, so come and remember him in his element. Mom Suzanne, sisters Diane, Sally & Janice and Jim’s son John will be there, set up on 4 lanes.

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Remembering Kevin J. Cota, 1964-2018

Kevin J. Cota‘s family is sharing this remembrance with the community:

Kevin Jerome Cota

Began his journey February 4th, 1964 – Changed Paths July 12th, 2018

Kevin was born in Las Vegas, NV but called West Seattle home for most of his childhood and adult life. He moved to Alki to start his story. Kevin loved his experiences with his friends from West Seattle and Alki Elementary. If you knew Kevin from school, then either you are a teacher who had to get on him for his homework or a friend who remembers him for his warmth and joy.

He was a pressman at the Seattle Times for over 20 years and had an unbreakable bond with his friends and colleagues. Kevin loved his job and loved his colleagues more. He was always there to lend a hand when anyone was down; it was his mission to win everyone over and at least try to make a connection. He organized events to raise money for any colleague suffering from illness. If you knew him, then you know what a big heart he had.

Kevin’s strength was not in his muscles but in how big his heart was for everyone. He chose to look at each day of his life as a gift and offered love and kindness when someone was feeling down. Throughout his own battle with cancer, Kevin was often worried about the wellbeing of others in his life and reached out to comfort them.

He lost his fight with cancer July 12th, 2018, surrounded by people who love him dearly.

He is survived by his husband Bruce, sister Theresa, countless extended family and friends (Ron, Daniel, Cathi, Val and Mark, Bonnie, thank you! and many others), and his true love, his mutt Murphy J.

Kevin blessed us all with his kind heart, his easy laugh, and his infectious joy for music, scary movies, and the simple pleasures of hanging out with his beloved people. He made us better. He made us kinder. Though our hearts are broken, the memories and love Kevin gave to us are ours to keep.

Kevin wanted to extend a heartfelt thanks to Dr. Peter Shalit and the Oncology care team at Virginia Mason; Dr. Aboulafia, Dr. Beiter, Dr. Yao, Social workers and ALL of the supporting team. Kevin had an amazing team who tried everything, were generous with their compassion, and, best of all, gave him more time with us.

We will all be touched by cancer at some point, so please consider any size donation to Cancer Pathways (Formerly Gilda’s Club) or Virginia Mason Oncology department. He lived longer as a result of their care and love.

We love you, Kevin!

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Memorial on Saturday for Ralph Svehaug, 1922-2018

A memorial is planned next Saturday for Ralph J. Svehaug, whose family is sharing this remembrance with the community:

Ralph J Svehaug was born in Portland, Oregon on January 6, 1922 to Norwegian immigrants Ole Svehaug and Pauline Vie. Ralph was raised in Norway with his younger brothers Henry and Oswald amongst their aunts, uncles and cousins. In October 1939 with the winds of war in Europe gaining strength, they booked passage back to the U.S. Just 6 months later in May 1940, Hitler’s troops invaded and occupied Norway. Ralph was just a few months shy of his 18th birthday when they returned to the U.S. and he enlisted in the Oregon National Guard and was sent to Camp Murray near Tacoma where he was called into the U.S. Army. When he indicated he was fluent in Norwegian and an expert skier who knew the difficult terrain in Norway, the Army sent him to New Guinea, where he served for three years.

While on leave in Melbourne, Australia he met his first wife, Kathleen, mother of sons Erik and Chris. Ralph built a log cabin in rural Oregon, attended Chiropractic college in Portland and later moved to Estacada, where he became the mayor for several years. Ralph and Kath moved to Seattle and Ralph established his chiropractic office on California Avenue in West Seattle where he practiced for over 40 years.

After Kathleen passed in 1995, Ralph re-connected with a dear friend from their years at Hope Lutheran Church, Marion Pommer, and married her in 1996. Ralph was an avid wood carver, Cribbage player and an excellent dancer. Ralph is survived by his sons Erik and Chris, his daughter-in-laws Patty and Cindy, his grandchildren Christopher, Analisa and Katy, and Marion’s children Maureen Meier and Bill Pommer, their children and many nephews and their families.

There will be a memorial of his life in the chapel of Providence Mt St Vincent on Saturday, July 28, at 12:30.

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Memorial service next Saturday for Robby Parkhurst, 1953-2018

Family and friends will gather next Saturday (July 14th) in memory of Robby Parkhurst. This is the remembrance being shared with the community:

Robert (Robby) Parkhurst passed away on June 23 following a stroke.

He was born on January 24, 1953 in Coupeville, WA, and was raised in Oak Harbor. Robby was a resident of West Seattle and had worked at Providence Mount St. Vincent for 21 years as the barista and manager of the gift shop.

Robby was a tremendous role model of kindness and love. He created a gathering space in the Gift Shop where all could come and enjoy a smile, a listening ear, a moment of support or to find that ideal gift. The daily crossword puzzle and classic rock music along with that perfect cup of coffee will be sorely missed. Robby had the most remarkable gift for making each person he greeted feel like they were his special friend and so many of them were.

Robby’s greatest joys outside of work were his many close friends and family. Robby was the kind of person who maintained long friendships while making room for new ones.

On Saturday, July 14, the many friends and family of Robby Parkhurst will gather for a Mass and memorial service at Providence Mount St. Vincent starting at 11 am.

On Sunday, July 15, Holy Family Church will also hold a resurrection Mass at 11 am for Robby.

Robby adopted his grandson Hunter when he was very young and has been a constant and loving presence in his life. In lieu of flowers please consider the fund set up for Hunter.

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Celebration of life planned July 15 for Sandra Kay Beaucage, 1943-2018

Family and friends will gather July 15th to celebrate the life of Sandy Beaucage. Here’s the remembrance being shared with the cmmunity:

Sandra Kay Beaucage passed away peacefully on the 8th of June, 2018, after a battle with liver cancer. Sandy was born in Washington, D.C., on April 13, 1943. She graduated in the class of 1961 from St. Petersburg High School in Florida, then married Robert (Beau) Beaucage shortly thereafter, thus becoming a Coast Guard wife. They had two children together, Michele and David.

Sandy was always involved in volunteer work wherever she lived. She led countless young Girl Scouts (who knew her as “Sunny”) at Camp Long in West Seattle, was a devoted volunteer for the West Seattle Garden Tour, and took pride in being an active, passionate director on the Duwamish Tribal Services board. She always showed her sincere love of people and nature through service.

Sandy is survived by Beau, her husband of 56 years; her daughter Michele Karnes and husband Michael; her son David Beaucage and wife Carda; her grandchildren, Lauryn Karnes, Kaitlyn Karnes, Justin Beaucage, and Shelby Beaucage; and her sisters Joan Slattery in Dunmanway, Ireland, and Elizabeth Borgins in Clinton, Connecticut.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Girl Scouts of Western Washington or the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center.

A celebration of life will be held on Sunday the 15th of July in the Vashon Room at The Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California Ave. SW, from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

She will be missed by many.

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Remembering Gertrude Manly, 1926-2018

The family of Gertrude E. Manly is sharing this remembrance with the community:

Gertrude Elaine Manly, beloved daughter of William and Mary Agnes Schneider, was called home June 27, 2018, at the age of 91, after a short illness. She is preceded in death by her parents, sister Mabel DiCaro (Carl), husband James, longtime companion Geoffrey Warren, and granddaughter Katie Chale.

Born in Ouray, Colorado, in the fall of 1926, she grew up in many places, including Ouray, the Philippine
Islands, and Southern California. As a military wife, Gertrude and family followed James’s Navy career, living in San Diego, Long Beach, Portland, OR. Bremerton, and Guam. Later she raised her family in Kansas and California before settling in West Seattle in the mid-’60s, working for Montgomery Ward, J.C. Penney, and Grange Insurance.

Gertrude enjoyed volunteering with the Boy and Girl Scouts, chaperoning high-school-band trips to Victoria, B.C., and watching parades in the summertime with her family. A real treat was seeing the Rose Parade in Pasadena with her son Bill and his wife Roberta, and a trip to England with her companion Geoffrey. One of her favorite activities was a good home BBQ with family.

Gertrude is survived by her sons Bill (Roberta), Dan (Becky,) daughters Dolly Chale (Jeff), Fran Coy (Karl), eight grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.

In lieu of a service, at Gertrude’s request, family and friends will gather for a celebration of life in her honor.

Memorial gifts are suggested to:
Vashon Island Fire & Rescue, P.O. Box 1150, Vashon Island, WA 98070
Vashon Island Community Care Center Foundation,
Medic One Foundation,

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PHOTOS: Celebrating Mark ‘Monk’ Hubbard’s life the way he lived it

Thanks to Tony Welch for photos from the Delridge Skatepark celebration of Mark “Monk” Hubbard‘s life.

Delridge and Roxhill were two of the many skateparks that Mr. Hubbard’s world-renowned West Seattle-headquartered Grindline has built. And as skating was a major part of his life, so it was for his memorial.

He was only 47 when he died earlier this month.

Those not in or near Delridge were urged to gather at their local skateparks on Friday so it would be a “global celebration” in his memory – and the Grindline Instagram feed features some of the other gatherings. At Delridge, the celebration rolled into the second evening of summer, with all ages participating:

Delridge Skatepark opened almost seven years ago.

P.S. As Tony mentioned in a comment, there is a GoFundMe crowdfunding page for Mark’s family.

Celebrations of life for Mark ‘Monk’ Hubbard next Friday

Last weekend brought the shocking news of West Seattle-based skatepark legend Mark “Monk” Hubbard‘s untimely death. This weekend, his family sends word of memorial plans:

In celebration of Mark “Monk” Hubbard, his friends and family want everyone around the world who’ve been impacted by Mark’s life and work to head to their local skatepark on Friday, June 22nd to skate, picnic and remember.

For those of you who can attend our local celebration, we will be at the Delridge Community Center & Skatepark 3-6 pm. Please bring your own blanket, food basket, and favorite stories.

Delridge is one of the many skateparks designed/built by Mark Hubbard’s firm Grindline. He was 47 years old.

Skatepark legend Mark ‘Monk’ Hubbard of Grindline, 1970-2018

The film embedded above tells the story of a West Seattle man who touched lives around the world, and lived his in a big way, and this weekend brought word he is gone too soon. Family, friends, and fans are mourning Mark “Monk” Hubbard, who founded and led renowned skatepark design/build company Grindline. The company announced his death on Instagram; Q13 quotes a friend as saying he died at the West Seattle home he shared with his wife and three children. Grindline designed and built the Delridge Skatepark; Mr. Hubbard got a big shoutout when its grand opening was celebrated at Delridge Day in 2011. The Roxhill Skatepark, built a year later, was also a Grindline project, and Mr. Hubbard’s company helped prep the adjacent site where Roxhill Playground was overhauled. That’s not the only example of his West Seattle community involvement – WSB archives include a shoutout for his concrete work paving the way for a new Snack Shack at the Pee-Wee baseball fields in Riverview last year. No word yet on a memorial; we’ll update if/when one is announced.

ADDED SATURDAY: His family sends word of the June 22nd (next Friday) celebration of Mr. Hubbard’s life at Delridge Skatepark, 3-6 pm.

Funeral Mass next Thursday for Gregory L. Bentler, 1974-2018

Family and friends will gather Thursday to remember Gregory L. Bentler, and are sharing this with the community:

Greg passed away peacefully at home on June 6th, 2018, after a two-year battle with a brain tumor. He was born in Seattle on July 20th, 1974 to Wayne and Mary Bentler, along with his twin sister Elizabeth, joining sisters Christine and Sharon. He grew up in Arbor Heights, where he met his best friend Dan Vornbrock in kindergarten. Greg attended Holy Family Elementary and then Kennedy High School. He began working at MacDonald-Miller his senior year and continued on with MacDonald-Miller, where he completed an apprenticeship in sheet metal.

In 2000 he married his love, Kristin Keller. They were blessed with three children, Annie, Julia, and William, and settled in West Seattle to raise their family.

Greg was a true outdoorsman who loved hunting, fishing, and all outdoor adventures. He enjoyed fishing for salmon and halibut in Alaska and off the Washington coast, as well as fishing for trout in the state’s many lakes. He also enjoyed exploring back country trails on a quad or snow mobile.

Greg was a true family man who spent many summers camping with his friends and family carrying on the traditions of his childhood and creating new ones with extended family and friends. He was a true believer in the motto “work hard, play hard,” and an excellent provider for his family. He enjoyed taking his family crabbing and fishing in Puget Sound, which was often followed by a stop at the marina for ice cream. Winters included taking the kids to the mountains for ski lessons, inner-tubing, and picking out the perfect Christmas tree.

Three years after graduating from Kennedy High School, Greg bought his first real estate investment, which led to a successful career as a general contractor with his lifelong friend Dan. Restoring and remodeling houses led to the formation of Brace Point Carpentry and a focus on new construction.Greg took great pride in having designed the house currently under construction for his family.

Greg led by example. He was solid, kind and generous with his time and knowledge. No matter what time the phone rang he was willing to help. He was the one you called upon, whether in an emergency or simply for advice. Greg had a kind heart and touched everyone who knew him.

A Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, June 14th at 1 pm at Holy Rosary Church, 4139 42nd Ave SW. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, a remembrance may be made to Cancer Care Alliance, Providence Hospice of Seattle, or Holy Rosary School.

Share Memories of Greg on the online guestbook at

Arrangements entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Services – West Seattle

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Memorial service June 16 for Erma Couden, 1915-2018

A memorial service is planned June 16 for Erma Martin Couden, whose family and friends are sharing this remembrance of her long and eventful life:

Erma Martin Couden, an exemplar of love and peace, the matriarch of an extensive family, a former public-school teacher and librarian and a longtime activist in church and civic affairs, died May 24, 2018, at Horizon House in Seattle. She was 103.

In addition to her own accomplishments, Erma devoted herself, with her husband, Elliott N. Couden, to family matters and to the advocacy of civil rights and local heritage preservation, all grounded in the pursuit of caring human connections.

“I like to know people,” she reflected in 2010. “Love is basic in our lives and being positive. I think that is what I want people to do, is to find the positives.”

Erma Fannie Martin was born Jan. 13, 1915, in the town of Irondale, near the Missouri Ozarks, to William Henry Martin, stationmaster for Missouri Pacific Railroad, part-owner of the town bank and co-owner of a gas and oil distributorship, and his wife, Lulu Vahrenkamp Martin, homemaker and daughter of the town baker.

Fittingly, given Erma’s lifelong values, one of her ancestors was William Paca, a signer of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Lulu made sure that Erma and her younger sister, Alma, received post-secondary educations at Lindenwood College for Women (now Lindenwood University) in St. Charles, northwest of St. Louis, and both became teachers.

Erma received a bachelor’s degree in English literature and her teaching certificate from Lindenwood, a course of study that included a year at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

In the summer of 1936, Erma met her future husband on a blind date. He was handicraft director for the Greater St. Louis Boy Scout Council’s summer camp in Irondale. With his guitar, Elliott serenaded Erma with “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie,” and a lifelong relationship was born.

Erma taught high-school English and advised the yearbook in Irondale before joining Elliott in Seattle. The two were married July 24, 1940, at First Methodist Church, Seattle’s oldest church.

They became deeply involved with Moral Re-Armament (MRA), an international moral and spiritual movement with “four absolutes”: honesty, purity, unselfishness and love.

In 1941, Erma and Elliott moved to the south end of West Seattle, between White Center and Arbor Heights, where Elliott sold real estate in the Fairchild Addition. They had a son in 1942 and daughters in 1943 and 1946 and joined Fauntleroy Church in 1948.

Erma became credentialed to teach in Washington and starting in 1951 was a third-grade teacher and later the librarian at West Seattle’s E.C. Hughes Elementary School.

It was a busy life. After school hours and on Saturdays, Erma worked as bookkeeper and manager of Elliott’s real-estate and insurance office in White Center. She also cooked dinners and made many of her children’s clothes.

Erma was a Sunday school teacher, Girl Scout leader, Job’s Daughters adviser and summer-camp cook. She served on YMCA and church boards and Seattle Public Schools advisory committees. She and Elliott ran dances and senior activities at Chief Sealth High School and advised the Fauntleroy Church youth group.

Challenges, including personal threats and financial pressures, came to the Coudens because of Elliott’s leadership roles with the Church Council of Greater Seattle and Seattle Human Rights Commission to support open housing in the 1960s. At one point, Erma returned to teaching after Elliott’s real-estate business plummeted as a result of his activism. She retired in 1975.

Erma also provided behind-the-scenes help to Elliott when he founded the Southwest Seattle Historical Society in 1984 and while he served the organization over the next 20 years until his death at age 93. He often credited Erma’s love, support and encouragement for his success.

The Coudens lived in Fauntleroy/Westwood, Admiral, and Alki, settling in later years near Morgan Junction. They supported South Seattle Community College, took time to get to know their grandchildren and great-grandchildren and traveled to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Canada and nearly every U.S. state.

Erma moved to Horizon House in February 2012, making new friends and becoming known for her capacity to smile, love and reach out to newcomers.

Besides Elliott, she was predeceased by sister Alma Rice (2014). She is survived by son William M. Couden (Judith), of Vallejo, Calif., granddaughter Nancy Williams of Poulsbo, great-grandchildren Luke, Sam and Abbie, and grandsons Rich Couden of Bothell, and Ron Couden of Seattle; daughter Virginia C. Stimpson, of Seattle, grandson Steven of Seattle, granddaughter Jennifer (Scott) Soule of Port Angeles, and great-grandchildren Maria, Kenny and Michael; and daughter Barbara Couden-Ochs (Steffen), of Boquete, Panama.

The memorial service for Erma will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 16, 2018, at Horizon House, 900 University St., Seattle.

Remembrances to Fauntleroy Church, UCC, 9140 California Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98136-2598 and Southwest Seattle Historical Society, 3003 61st Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98116-2810.

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Remembering Sue Rhoads, 1949-2018

June 1, 2018 7:29 pm
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

Family and friends are remembering Sue Rhoads, and sharing this with the community:

Betty Sue MacWatters Rhoads passed in peace and surrounded by love on May 21, 2018. We’re sure she has been embraced with joy by those who preceded her into Heaven, especially her beloved husband, Harold, her mother, Betty Rinaldo MacWatters, and sister, Colleen.

Sue was born on January 2, 1949 at St. Cabrini’s Hospital. She was a proud third-generation West Seattleite, graduating from Chief Sealth High School in 1967, marrying Harold at Hillcrest Presbyterian, and raising her own family in her treasured little home near the Junction.

Sue was a survivor. A gentle yet strong woman of uncompromising faith. She believed in the power of love and the healing virtue of forgiveness. Through her years of illness and pain, she never failed to be a light shining warmth and compassion to her family and friends, guiding them through their own life’s challenges.

Sue was a sunny optimist, a quiet comedienne and a stealth prankster. During difficult times, she chose to laugh rather than cry and refused sadness at her door, but welcomed good cheer and humor. Always, friend or stranger, had a seat at her table and the only requirement was kindness and conversation.

She is survived by her loving children, Rhonda and Ryan (Kyra), and six grandchildren, Eleza, Andrea, Ethan, Owen, Liam, and Gabriel. As well as sisters, Linda (Will) and Kathy, and numerous nieces and nephews. Her life was her family. Our joy was her presence. We are learning to move forward without her light. It is still dark though.

A private service was planned this week, with a community memorial to follow this summer. Her family would like to extend their gratitude to the Surprenant and Hesse families for their love and support. Our mother cherished your friendship.

“Dear friend, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God … because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8.

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Memorial service June 14th for Judy Buls, 1940-2018

A memorial service is planned June 14th for Judith Ann Buls (Christoffersen). Here’s the remembrance being shared with the community:

Judy passed away May 15, 2018 after a long illness.

Judy is survived by her daughter Marni Walter of Billings, her brother Jon (Joan) Christoffersen of Seattle, two grandchildren Jessika Furr of San Diego and Alexander Walter of Fort Bliss, TX, and two great-grandchildren Maegann Lowe (9) and Scyondrei Williams (18 mo).

Judy was born in 1940 in Coeur D’Alene to Arne and Mary Lou Christoffersen. She graduated from West Seattle High School in 1959 and attended Washington State University. She was a flight attendant with Western and Horizon Airlines and worked for an oil company in Anchorage for many years. She returned to West Seattle in the 1980s where she cared for her mother until her death in 1992.

Judy loved her family and friends with her entire soul and lived life to her fullest. She loved shopping (boy, did she!), food, and traveling. She was a “foodie” before foodie was a word, and would make others ‘try a bite’ to expand their horizons. She traveled as much as possible. When she couldn’t travel any longer, she lived vicariously through the travel stories of others.

She will be greatly missed in our hearts.

A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 2 p.m. in the Chapel at Providence Mount St. Vincent, 4831 35th Ave SW. Contributions to Providence Mount St. Vincent may be made in lieu of flowers.

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Memorial service June 2nd for Olive Wise Spannaus, 1916-2018

A memorial service is planned June 2nd for Olive Wise Spannaus, whose family is sharing this remembrance with the community:

January 23, 1916, St. Louis, Missouri – May 10, 2018, Seattle, Washington

Longtime West Seattle resident Olive Wise Spannaus — child of God, friend, mentor, mother, grandmother, and greatgrandmother, community volunteer, human rights activist, women’s movement pioneer, longtime member of Hope Lutheran Church, recipient of the Carrie Chapman Catt award of the League of Women Voters Seattle-King County, hymnwriter, and line dancer (beginning at age 80) — died peacefully May 10 at her home for the past five years, Providence Mount St. Vincent.

Olive was predeceased by her beloved husband of 67 years, the Rev. Ruben Spannaus, her three siblings, and one grandchild. She is survived by her four children and their spouses: Boots Winterstein and husband Paul of West Seattle; Edward and Nancy Spannaus of Lovettsville, VA; Timothy Spannaus and Collette Pariseau of Lathrup Village, MI; and Fredric Spannaus and Connie Requarth of Decatur, IL; nine grandchildren; 13 grandchildren; and a host of loving nieces, nephews, and their families.

A memorial service to which all are welcome will be held 12:30 pm Saturday, June 2, at the Pigott Chapel, Providence Mount St. Vincent.

Olive supported many worthwhile causes (just ask her postman!). Memorials may be made to: Education Fund, League of Women Voters Seattle-King County; Mary’s Place; Lutheran Community Services Northwest; Compass Housing Alliance; Hope Lutheran Church organ fund; Providence Mount St. Vincent Foundation; or an organization of your choice.

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GRATITUDE: The Mandt family’s ‘massive thank you’

From Jenny and Gordy Mandt:

A massive thank you to our wonderful West Seattle community! Ian Mandt’s Celebration of Life on Saturday, May 5th at the Hall at Fauntleroy was attended by over 520 people of all ages and walks of life! The Mandt family and relatives were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support. We had a clothing station where friends could take some of his clothes. All the remainder was donated to Denny Middle School. There were also stations to write or draw art, look at photo albums and a power point of pictures and videos of Ian’s life. The event couldn’t have happened without the many volunteers who showed up to help plus the incredible support from Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering at the Hall. If you were unable to attend and would still like to donate, you can do so to the West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA, The Vera Project, or Youthcare Orion Center in memory of Ian.

Many thanks, Jenny and Gordy Mandt

Remembering Robert J. Ross, Jr., 1955-2018

Family and friends are remembering Robert J. Ross, Jr., and sharing this with the community:

Robert J. Ross Jr. 2/05/1955 – 4/01/2018

Beloved son, brother and uncle.

Rob graduated from West Seattle High School in 1973 and worked for several years before attending college. He graduated with a double major from the University of Washington. Rob worked with at-risk youth in Seattle at SEAMAR. An avid snow skier, bicyclist, soccer and baseball player in his younger years, Rob had lots of friends. Later in life he liked his solitude, but still attended Mariners games as well as local high-school games. He lived in and around West Seattle all of his life, coining himself “The Mayor of Alki.” Rob was a funny, kind, sensitive man who will be missed by all who knew him.

Rob was preceded in death by his father Robert J Ross. He is survived by his mother Frances Ross, sisters Kris Peterson and Megan Ross, niece Brynne Kelly (Pat), and nephew Sean Donovan. A celebration of life will be held in his honor this summer. Friends and family will be notified of date, place and time. RIP Robbie. We miss you.

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Memorial planned April 15 for Donald E. Charles, 1957-2018

Family and friends will gather one week from tomorrow to remember Don Charles. Here’s the remembrance his family is sharing with the community:

Donald Edward Charles, 2/26/1957-4/2/2018

Beloved son, husband, father, and Papa.

Don was a Navy Veteran who worked at various shipyards around Puget Sound and spent many years coaching youth sports.

Survived by his wife Lisa of 40 years, his parents Don and Marilyn, sisters Debra and Diana, and various aunts and uncles. Don had 5 children, DJ (Tara), Michelle (Mason), Kaitlin (Justin), Brentt, and Tumua. He also had 4 beautiful grandchildren, Kaleena, Mason, Kaeson, and Kailayah.

Don had an open-door policy and welcomed everyone in his home. He lived his life his way and will be greatly missed.

His memorial service will be held at The Cove in Normandy Park on April 15th @ 2 pm.

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Celebration of Life gathering planned May 5th for Ian Mandt, 1993-2018

A Celebration of Life is planned May 5th for 24-year-old Ian Z. Mandt, who died last week. His family is sharing this remembrance:

Ian Zachary Mandt
First day on earth, April 2, 1993
First day in heaven, March 24, 2018

Ian Zachary Mandt of West Seattle died on March 24, 2018, just shy of his 25th birthday.

Ian stuffed a lifetime of experiences into a short span of time. He loved to dance and sing, was an active and locally well-known skateboarder, and an artist and passionate letterer. Ian was playful and lived with a joyful heart, especially in his work with children at the West Seattle/ Fauntleroy, and Meredith Matthews East Madison YMCAs. Kids looked up to Ian because he understood them and inspired them with his positive personality and unique world view. Ian was sensitive, open, and generous with his time and creative energy, with his trademark huge smile for all who knew him.

Ian attended Arbor Heights Elementary and Pathfinder schools in West Seattle and graduated from Nova High School. In addition to the YMCA, he had worked in various skate shops, Carhart, and also for the Seattle Mariners. In his work with children and adults alike Ian was known as a “millennial whisperer,” one who seamlessly connected his generation with those that came before him and after.

Ian leaves behind his beloved parents Jenny and Gordy Mandt of West Seattle; his grandmother Judy and stepgrandfather, Hugh Bishop of Marblehead, MA; his uncle Robert, aunt Bo, and children Ryder, Clara, and Robyn in Altadena, CA; aunt Kristi Mandt of Normandy Park, and Leanne and Ben Ng and children Ben and Nicole of Juneau; and uncle Bill Mandt and Kathleen of Tacoma. He also leaves his many loving cousins Rachel and Cadence Tillman of Portland, OR; Jim, Kat and Mimi Tillman of Seattle, and many more from around the country; extended family, and a huge circle of friends from his various adventures and endeavors. We all love you, Ian. Your memory will continue to light up our lives.

An open house celebration is planned for Saturday, May 5th, 3-7 pm at the Hall at Fauntleroy at 9131 California Ave SW. Gifts that support the work Ian most loved would be greatly appreciated. Please consider sending a gift in Ian’s memory to one of these non-profit organizations: Orion Center, Vera Project, or West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA

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Memorial service tomorrow for Richard A. Browne, 1948-2018

Family and friends will gather tomorrow to remember Richard A. Browne. Here’s the remembrance being shared with the community:

Richard A. Browne (Sept. 15, 1948 – Feb. 5, 2018) passed away after a long illness, leaving his wife of 43 years, JoAnn; his son, Adam (Erin); two granddaughters, Kailey and Brianna; his brother, Wayne (Char); as well as nieces and nephews.

Richard enlisted in the Air Force after high school and served in Vietnam. He loved fishing, woodworking and modeling, crafting many beautiful items over the years. He found the most joy raising his son and spending time with his grand girls, who he dearly loved.

Many thanks to the doctors and nurses at the Seattle VA Hospital and Providence Hospice for his care over the years.

Services at Tahoma National Cemetery on March 13, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. with a gathering after at Alliance Bible Church near the cemetery. Arrangements by People’s Memorial Co-op.

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