West Seattle, Washington
Family and friends have said goodbye to Sue Harris and are sharing this remembrance with the community:
Susan Kay Harris, age 71, died peacefully at home on May 23rd. She is survived by her children Sean (Courtney Harris-Campf), Colleen, Becky (RJ Masters), Marianne (Pat McGah), and CJ (Morgann Harris), six grandchildren, and her siblings Rita Meyers and Chuck Pepka. She was preceded in death by her loving husband Joseph, her parents Ruth and Ray Pepka, and her sister Rose Ann Hallett.
Sue was born in Kokomo, Indiana and moved with her family as an infant to Seattle. Raised in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, Sue attended St. Paul Catholic School, Forest Ridge, and Seattle University. Pepe, as she was known to her camp friends, loved her summers working at CYO camps, and it was there that she met Joe.
After they were married in 1973, Sue and Joe moved to West Seattle to begin their family together. Sue remained a staple in the neighborhood, all the way until the end of her life. Sue loved that her house, “the big blue house,” was a place that everyone was welcomed, where people would gather together, and kids could often be heard playing on the third floor. Sue and her neighbor, long-time friend Teresa Brown, would always comment that between the two of them they collectively raised their nine kids.
Sue worked at Holy Rosary School for over 25 years as the school librarian. Sue loved Holy Rosary. She loved the people at Holy Rosary. She would always rave about the amazing teachers and staff she got to work with and how proud she was of all the school does. Everyone could count on Sue to have a good book recommendation and some M and M’s to share when they visited her in the library.
In the last three years, Sue was an absolute trooper as she dealt with stage 4 breast cancer and the intense pain that came with it. She was always someone who loved life, and she continued to love her life even through the chemo and treatments. During which, she took her whole family to Hawaii, traveled to Portugal for a cruise, continued to coach basketball at Holy Rosary, watched Survivor every week, and maintained a decades-long love of the Mariners (especially Edgar!).
Sue was a constant caregiver and loved to be a host to whomever walked through her door, even in her final days. She was happiest when talking to neighbors, students, life-long and new friends near and far, and above all, spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.
The celebration of her life will be held at Holy Rosary Church at a later date once it is safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fr. Mallahan Endowment Fund at Holy Rosary School, a fund that Joe and Sue helped to create, or to Camp Gallagher or the Kaplan Cancer Research Fund.
Please share memories of Sue and condolences with her family at www.emmickfunerals.com/obituary/Susan-Harris.
Arrangements entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services of West Seattle
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
Family and friends are remembering Jacob R. Warbis, gone at 38, and sharing this remembrance with the community:
In Memory of Jacob Richard Warbis, son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, and best friend
June 22, 1981-May 3, 2020
Jacob was born and raised in Coos Bay, Oregon, where he loved working on fast cars, playing musical instruments, and his pets.
After graduating from Marshfield High School in 1999, he continued his passion with cars, and later apprenticed to be a heavy equipment operator and truck driver for the family business, Warbis Excavating. Known by all as a “gentle giant,” Jake was beloved by many. An incredible storyteller, karaoke singer, athlete, master of a chainsaw, dirtbike, and mechanic. He was always willing to help any friend in need, an incredible listener, and could make friends laugh until they cried! He was a hard worker, and loyal to the core. He loved deeply and gave of himself entirely. He was hard to not notice with his 6’4” body covered in tribal tattoos, and a shaved head – but his sparkling blue eyes and beaming smile couldn’t hide his kind soul.
He moved up from Oregon nearly two years ago with his beloved dog, Max. Jake continued to pursue a career in trucking until the opportunity to train to be a chef arose via Fare Start in Seattle. He excelled and finished the three-month program at the top of his class. He worked many extra hours at the homeless shelter downtown and felt giving back helped him heal. He was given the nickname “Jacoby” so it stood out on the line when his teammates were shouting orders. He was hired to work as a line cook at two local West Seattle restaurants and was quickly rising up the ranks. The family will forever remember him hosting 12 people for Thanksgiving this year, where he planned every single dish – and was filled with love and pride for his new path.
He is gone much too soon. His heart was simply too big for this world. He is survived by his mother, Sannie Warbis (Seattle); father, Jerry Warbis (Coos Bay, OR); sister, Nicole Klein (Seattle); and nephews Jason and Andrew Klein (Seattle). In lieu of flowers, Jake would have loved for his memory to be attached to helping the homeless. Either by donating directly to the Fare Start program, or your own time or donation to your local food bank or shelter. There are no words for how much he will be missed. Please share your favorite memories about him on this site, and what made him special and unforgettable, so we all can someday heal.
Arrangements entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Services – West Seattle
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Opening this afternoon’s media briefing about mask-wearing, King County Executive Dow Constantine expressed condolences for those lost to COVID-19 – saying a West Seattle music legend was among them, Donn Weaver. Mr. Weaver, 87, was a longtime music teacher – including 12 years at West Seattle High School – and spent 19 years as leader of the West Seattle Big Band. The band’s current leader, Jim Edwards, says, “Donn made music a passion for many here in West Seattle,” Jim included. “For the West Seattle Big Band, in his 19 years as musical director, he set the foundation for what has become a highly respected group that continues to give back to the community the joy and the love of music. And we in turn continue to share that with the student musicians at all the schools we collaborate with. His passion for music, and his love of teaching, have made all of us better people because of it. He will be missed.” We featured Mr. Weaver in 2015, when he was honored with the West Seattle Grand Parade‘s Orville Rummel Trophy. We hope to have a longer tribute to him soon.
Family and friends are remembering Margaret Ball, and sharing this remembrance with her community:
Margaret Ball passed away Saturday, April 18, 2020, at the age of 88. She was home and surrounded by her devoted husband of 62 years and their five daughters.
Margaret was born August 31, 1931, to Winifred and Patrick Carroll in a small village in Wales named Ystradgynlais. As a young girl, Margaret was raised in London, England, along with her four sisters and one brother. Her family survived the Blitz in London during WWII by spending many nights in bomb shelters underground.
After the war, Margaret continued her education and graduated from St. Mary’s of the Angels. As a young woman, Margaret began working in the Royal Theater in London as well as Marks and Spencer department store. Margaret’s dream was to come to America. She arrived in New York City on the Queen Mary in Decembeer of 1955 and continued to her final destination. Port Orchard, where she had a pen pal.
Shortly after arriving in Port Orchard, Margaret met the love of her life, Dick Ball. Dick and Margaret would marry and go on to have five daughters and make their home on Gatewood Hill in West Seattle. Margaret worked at Rainier Bank in the West Seattle Junction, where she made many friends in the Junction community. One of her proudest accomplishments was becoming a US citizen in May of 1970.
Margaret loved her family most and enjoyed many camping trips down the Oregon Coast and ALL the family get-togethers, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. and a GOOD CUP of TEA!! Margaret is survived by her beloved husband Dick and their five daughters, Barbara, Lydia (Bruce), Carroll, Mary, Rose; thirteen grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren. She will be deeply missed by all.
Margaret will be laid to rest at Holyrood Catholic Cemetery in Shoreline. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Please sign Margarets online Guest Book at www.Legacy.com
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
Family and friends are remembering Lissa Stephens, and sharing this remembrance with her community:
On April 19, 2020, Lissa Stephens passed away unexpectedly in her home at the age of 62.
She was born on February 1, 1958 and raised in Burien by her parents Norm and Nancy Kendig. Lissa graduated from Highline High School in 1976 and married her junior high school sweetheart, Bill Stephens, on June 14, 1980. Lissa and Bill made their home in West Seattle for over 40 years, sharing their home with many beloved cats.
After high school, Lissa pursued a career in the insurance field and then found a passion for the construction industry, where she worked on many big projects in the Seattle area, both as an Administrative Assistant and in Project Management.
Lissa cared very deeply for her family, friends, neighbors, and most of all, the children and godchildren in her life. Her generous spirit and compassion consistently made her the first to offer to help a friend, care for a family member, or assist a neighbor.
She was a world traveler, describing Paris as her “favorite place on Earth.” When in Seattle, you would find Lissa enjoying her arts and crafts, especially the jewelry she made and gave away for birthdays and holidays. Her favorite pastimes included being in a local book club and enjoying the camaraderie with those in her Fauntleroy YMCA Pilates class. She never missed an opportunity to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Sounders.
Lissa was predeceased by her father, Norm. She is survived by her mother, Nancy, her brothers John and Paul, her nephew, Jeramy, her niece, Katelyn, as well as several cousins and extended family members.
Lissa’s amazing laugh and her infectious smile will be missed by all who knew her. A “Celebration of Life” will be planned when friends and family are able to gather after the Stay at Home/Stay Safe order has been lifted.
Family and friends are remembering Leon Harman. (Along with the remembrance below, they’re also sharing his memories of growing up in West Seattle.)
Leon Harman, 96, died peacefully in the early morning of April 3rd after a short illness at his Adult Family Home in Olympia, Washington. He and his wife, Elaine, had moved to Olympia after a very full life in West Seattle.
Leon was born and raised in West Seattle. His father, Arthur, was a builder and built his first home at 5042 47th SW, where Leon was born. Soon after his father built another home at 4324 SW Myrtle St, where Leon was raised along with his two brothers Elmer and Arnold and sister Bernice.
His early schooling started at Gatewood Elementary school, then to Madison Middle, and on to West Seattle High. He had some early jobs in Alaska as a teen, then enlisted into the Navy near the end of WW II. Taking advantage of the GI Bill, he studied at the University Of Washington and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He soon landed a job at Seattle City Light, where he worked for 30 years. He took early retirement and continued onto a very full life of skiing, sailing, tennis, gardening, and lots of traveling around the world with his wife Elaine. Forty years of Elder Hostel traveling took them to Japan, Soviet Union, Europe, Mexico, Hawaii, and all around the US.
Leon had an exciting early life following his older brothers around. For a nickel he could hitch a ride in the back rumble seat of his brother Elmer’s car to snow ski at Paradise on Mount Rainier. Following in their father’s carpentry skills, Leon helped older brother Arnold build wooden sailboats in the back yard at Willow Street, then hauled them down to Fauntleroy Cove on primitive trailers to launch them next to the Fauntleroy Ferry dock. Using salvaged planks off the beach, they would back the trailer to the water’s edge and launch. This started a lifelong love of many sailboats, leading to yearly trips with the family every summer to the San Juan Islands and other ports throughout the Salish Sea.
Leon and his brother Elmer were instrumental in keeping the Henderson street end open for boats early on, working with the Seattle Engineering Department to keep the access open and allowing dinghy boats to be tied to the edge of the ferry dock. Later in life, Leon would help the Fauntleroy Community Association in planning and maintenance of the present Cove Park. There is even an aluminum casting of Leon’s hand in the artwork at the top of the park. His is the hand with the arthritic small finger.
Leon was an active member in the Snoqualmie Mountaineers. In the early days he volunteered his family time to help build the Lodge at Snoqualmie with many other volunteers. This led to an active skiing life with his family. He was Chairman of the lodge for a few years. He skied well into his 80’s.
Leon loved tennis. One of his early dates was with his future wife of 62 years, Elaine, who he invited down to the Lowman Beach Tennis Court. He had met Elaine working at the Bakery that was located where the Thriftway is now at the Morgan Junction. They were soon to be married. Two children followed, Vicki and then Mark. Dad’s love of tennis led him to be instrumental in talking the city into building the tennis courts on Fauntleroy Avenue below what is now the Solstice Park. This has led to a large group of tennis players who regularly still play to this day. There is even a Leon’s Bench at the tennis courts that celebrates his active participation. Leon’s regular routine was swimming at the YMCA, followed by coffee and political conversation with the regulars at Thriftway, home for breakfast, then hop on his bike down to a rousing tennis match with his friends. Dad kept this up into his middle 80’s.
Leon and Elaine spent 50 years living in their custom-built home near the top of Tillicum Rd in Fauntleroy until the day it became too difficult to take care of. They sold the house and then moved on to Bridge Park Senior Living in High Point until just before Christmas of 2019, when Dad’s health started to decline. Leon loved riding his electric scooter across the street to the bee hives at the new High Point Commons Park to read his books on American history. Elaine continues to live in the Adult Family Home in Olympia where she enjoys walking the gardens around the home and sitting with a good book in her lap.
Leon is survived by his wife Elaine; daughter Vicki in Sandpoint, Idaho; and son Mark, living across the
Sound near Shelton. He has 2 granddaughters, one grandson, and 3 great-grandchildren.
We hope to have a Leon Harman Memorial Tennis Match this summer when conditions hopefully improve. Leon’s one unfulfilled wish that he hoped to stay alive for was to see Trump leave office and Elizabeth Warren replace him.
We miss you, Poppa.
Family and friends are remembering Tom Kintner, and sharing this remembrance with the community:
Thomas Charles Kintner
7/9/1946 – 4/6/2020
Thomas C. Kintner passed away at his home in Seattle on April 6, 2020, at the age of 73. He was a loving
husband, father, granddad, brother, uncle, and friend.
He was born on July 9, 1946 in Seattle to Dr. William C. Kintner and Dorothy “Jane” Kintner (Hilton). He was a lifelong resident of Seattle, initially growing up in West Seattle, then moving to Burien. He graduated from Glacier High School in 1965 and joined the US Air Force Reserves. He was a master at building, repairing, restoring, and painting old cars and motorcycles. He worked for various body shops and became a qualified machinist and welder. He switched gears and entered the music industry as a sound man, meeting and working with a few famous musicians, one of them being BB King, who he remembers sitting and talking with for a couple of hours. He was an accomplished finish carpenter, metal refinisher, and worked on projects during the building of Safeco Field. He loved to tinker and was incredible talented at building anything.
Tom made friends everywhere he went and had a lifelong following like a “Pied Piper.” His friends often gathered in his garage to watch him work on his cars, build motorcycles, craft something out of wood, metal, or plastic or just listen to rock or country music that blared as he worked. Tom was a jovial, happy person all his life. He enjoyed family reunions, vacations at Birch Bay and Hawaii (especially his and Carolyn’s 22-mile hike of the Kalalau Trail on the island of Kauai), restoring his 1955 Chevy Handyman Station Wagon, 1966 Chevy 300 Deluxe, and remodeling his house. Tom was a member of the International Kart Federation and raced for 10 years, winning many races nationally and internationally, including NW Division Champion in 1979. He loved to race karts and a catamaran sailboat with his friends and brother Peter. Tom also loved to golf.
His generosity to those less fortunate was one of his finest qualities and he will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He is survived by his wife Carolyn; daughters Julie, and Marni; grandchildren Asheley and Evan; and his brother Jim (Marylynn). He is pre-deceased by his parents, Dr. William C and Jane Kintner, and his older brother, Peter.
A memorial will be held at a later date, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For further inquiries, contact
firstname.lastname@example.org. To share memories of Tom, please visit: www.EmmickFunerals.com/obituary/Thomas-Kintner
Family and friends are remembering Irene Anna Olson, 76, and sharing this remembrance with her community:
Irene Anna Olson passed away at her home in Seattle on April 14, 2020, from bile duct cancer.
She was born in Tukums, Latvia, on February 24, 1944, to Irene and Nikolajs Beleiciks. Her maternal grandparents were Aleksandra Michailovsky of Riga and Michael Dulimow, a Cossack officer from Kargalskaya. Her family fled Latvia while she was still an infant, and she grew up in a displaced-persons camp in the British sector of Germany. In 1950, she immigrated to the United States with her mother and two brothers. They settled in a housing project in White Center and were joined by her great-aunt Irene Michailovsky. Fluent in four languages (Latvian, Russian, German, and English), she attended Evergreen High School, where she was the valedictorian of her class despite spending six months in a tuberculosis sanatorium her junior year.
She went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from the University of Washington in 1967. After college, she taught Russian and German at Renton High School. A skilled pianist, singer, and dancer, Irene enjoyed performing with the Trejdeksnitis Latvian dance group. In 1968, she moved to Germany, where she taught in Frankfurt and worked as a translator. Her adventures in Europe included bicycling to Greece and visiting the Soviet Union. In 1971, she returned to Seattle and married Wallace S. Olson. They lived in a cottage on the beach near the Fauntleroy ferry terminal and enjoyed watching the sunset over the Olympic Mountains. Irene attended graduate school in Germanics while Wally worked as a printer for the Boeing Company. They later had three children and moved to a house near Madison Middle School. Irene was an active member of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral and the Seattle Latvian community for over sixty years, including serving as director of the Seattle Latvian School. Later in life, she sang for the Vashon Island Chorale.
In 1993, after her husband passed, Irene began a new career in elementary education while raising three children as a single parent. She accepted a position as librarian at Hazel Valley Elementary and doggedly pursued professional development. In 2000, she joined the Renton School District, serving for five years as Vice Principal of Bryn Mawr Elementary and twelve years as Principal of Tiffany Park Elementary before retiring in 2017. Under her leadership, Tiffany Park became one of the top-performing schools in the district. She was a regional leader in implementing positive behavioral interventions and support systems. Irene was particularly proud to work in a school with many immigrant families, since she fondly remembered the generosity of her own teachers when she first arrived in Seattle as a refugee.
Irene was an inspiration for countless friends, fellow educators, neighbors, and students. Her enthusiasm, loving heart, and sense of humor will be sorely missed. She is survived by two brothers, Igor Beleiciks of Seattle and George Beleiciks of Vancouver, Wash.; one daughter, Sonja Olson Feuerborn of Seattle; two sons, Alex Olson of Bowling Green, Ky., and Max Olson of Seattle; three grandchildren, Ocean, Skaista, and Igor; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She will be buried at Evergreen-Washelli Cemetery in Seattle.
Donations in her memory may be made to the Seattle Latvian School or the Renton Regional Community Foundation’s Irene Olson Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship will provide $500 of college support for aspiring teachers. Any junior or senior attending a high school in the Renton School District will be eligible to apply. If you are interested in giving, click here and enter the name of the fund (Irene Olson Memorial Scholarship) where it asks for that information. Donations to the Seattle Latvian School can be sent by check to Seattle Latvian School, 2336 N 58th Street, Seattle, WA 98103.
Friends and family are remembering Dave Robertson, who passed away last week at 70:
David E Robertson passed away peacefully on Thursday April 9th in Las Vegas Nevada, after a short fight with Pancreatic Cancer. Dave was born on July 16, 1949 to Earnest and Violet Robertson in Procter, Minnesota. Dave grew up in the greater Minneapolis area and enlisted into the Air Force soon after high school. After his service, Dave and Margaret (his previous wife) settled into life, raising his daughter in Minneapolis.
Throughout his life he had a few career changes, first he was a successful hair salon operator, then moved on to medical billing, telecommunications, and finally a small business owner. Dave and his former partner Paul Binder moved from Minnesota to Washington DC, then to the Pacific Northwest, where they settled in West Seattle. In 2005, their longing for getting out of the corporate office started PB&J Textiles, where Dave worked full time until his retirement October 2019.
Dave served 6 years as a Board Director for the West Seattle Senior Center, 2 years as Board President. During that time, Dave was very instrumental in navigating the Senior Center through difficult times. For those that attended a “Rainbow Bingo” at the Senior Center, Dave was famously known as the “Jello Shot Man.” On Bingo Day he would get up early to make Jello shots, then return later in the day to help out and sell those Jello shots to the attendees.
In recent years, Dave found a love playing Santa during the holidays. Dave juggled several gigs taking pictures with countless families, their children, and pets as the happy Santa.
Dave leaves behind his daughter and son in-law (CheFawn & Brian Holland) in Las Vegas; 3 grandchildren, Mya (Donato White), Nick, and Keana; 1 great-grandson, Nathan Alexander White; 2 step-grandchildren; and his beloved 2 dogs, Pete & Lillie.
At this time there will be no memorial service until after the COVID-19 virus passes.
Two passings of note, lest they be lost among this time of so much other news:
JERRY BROCKEY: You may only know him as the namesake of the Brockey Center at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), but his backstory goes much further. Mr. Brockey died in Tucson a week ago, at age 86; here’s his obituary. West Seattle historian/journalist Clay Eals pointd it out to us and noted:
For 18 years, he was the president and face of South Seattle (then-Community) College and had a lot to do with increasing the college’s stature to the point where it was called “Paycheck College” because when you graduated from its vocational programs (aircraft, automotive, bakery, beautician, etc.) you were nearly guaranteed to walk into a job. (When I worked there part-time in 1991-1993 teaching journalism and advising the student paper, I had a key fob from SSCC in the shape of a paycheck.)
Jerry also was a highly visible connector between the college and the rest of West Seattle, no easy feat given the college’s geographical isolation. An example, of course, was the handshake agreement he made with Elliott Couden, founder of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, in guaranteeing our organization meeting space and a mailing address during our fledgling days in the dozen years prior to our acquisition, renovation and opening of the museum on Alki in 1997. Speaking of handshakes, the legions who knew Jerry would agree with my assessment that there was no one in this world with a stronger handshake than Jerry.
For various reasons, I spoke with him by phone a few times in the past 10 years or so, and from Arizona he maintained his same bold, welcoming personality. He was a true force for good, worthy of admiration.
BILL RIEFLIN: When we heard about the recent death of this high-profile rock ‘n’ roll musician at age 59, we were not aware he was a West Seattle resident. Thanks to Dan Mullins for enlightening us, noting, “He was a truly amazing musician.” So say many in tribute. One of many obituaries published in memory of Mr. Rieflin is this one from Rolling Stone. His wife, acclaimed artist Francesca Sundsten, died just half a year earlier.
Here’s the remembrance being shared for Ginny Sundberg, who lived in West Seattle for many years:
Virginia May (Freeman) Sundberg, 94 beautiful years old, went peacefully home into the presence of God on March 11, 2020 at her home in Regency on Whidbey (Assisted Living Facility) in Oak Harbor, Washington.
Virginia (Ginny) was born in Mount Vernon, Washington, on October 16, 1925 to Edward Maurice Freeman and Stella Marguerite (Jenkins) Freeman. Her early years were spent in Mount Vernon, where she attended Ridgeway Grade School and later graduated from Mount Vernon High School.
After high school, Ginny moved to Seattle, where she attended Wilson’s Modern Business College, and went to work for Seattle Transit. During this time she worked as a maid/housekeeper to earn her room and board. At a point in her life Ginny considered absolutely critical, she moved into the home of a fellow transit worker, Sylvia (Berg) Severiede.
The Bergs attended the Norwegian Danish Methodist Episcopal Church (Central Methodist) at Boren and Stewart in Seattle. On her very first Sunday attending church with the Bergs, Ginny met Roy Sundberg, another pivotal event in her life. Virginia gave her life to Christ at a Youth For Christ meeting in Anacortes in 1945 where she played the piano for the trio Roy sang in. This lifelong commitment to Jesus shaped Virginia’s entire life. Roy and Virginia were married on October 18th, 1946 and they spent the next 67 years together, raising their family and enjoying God’s many blessings. Ginny thoroughly enjoyed and thrived being a stay-at-home mom. Her life was centered on her home, family, and church.
Ginny (Virginia) was preceded in death by her loving husband Roy. She is survived by her son Gary Sundberg (Kerry Heavey) of Bend, Oregon; son Terry Sundberg (Kathy Olund) of Winlock, Washington; and daughter
Merrie Burley (Mark Burley) of Coupeville, Washington. She enjoyed and treasured every one of her 7 grandchildren and their spouses, as well as her 15 great-grandchildren and her large extended family.
Services will be held for Virginia on Monday, March 16th, 2020 at 1 p.m. at Wallin Funeral Home in Oak Harbor with a reception to follow. Her family is so very grateful for the loving care “Miss Ginny” received from her Regency on Whidbey (Assisted Living Facility) “family” and the exceptional terminal care provided by Hospice of Island County, as well as her care at Whidbey Health. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Funeral arrangements made through Wallin Funeral Home.
A full-honors memorial service is planned at 1 pm March 26th at West Side Presbyterian Church for Seattle Fire Lt. Jay G. Wheeler, whose last assignment was at North Admiral’s Station 29. That’s according to , according to the obituary published for Lt. Wheeler. His recent passing was noted on the SFD Firelines website as follows:
On Tuesday, March 4, 2020, members of the Seattle Fire Department family were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of one of their own, Lieutenant Jay Garth Wheeler, after a long and difficult battle with an illness.
Jay faced his battle with great courage and without complaint, surrounded by his wife, children, parents and so many others who loved and cared deeply for him. Many from his fire department family spent time with Jay and his family during his last days.
Lt. Wheeler was committed to the Seattle community. He first served as an officer with the Seattle Police Department at the South Precinct in 1989 before joining the Seattle Fire Department in April, 1997. Throughout his fire service career, he served on Ladders 5, 7, 9 and 11 and Engines 36 and 38. On June 28, 2017, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and was working on Engine 29 in West Seattle. He also volunteered as a scuba diver for the Seattle Aquarium.
Here are two small examples of Jay’s exemplary service:
On August 19, 1998, while off-duty, then-Firefighter Wheeler was the first on the scene of a rollover motor vehicle accident. After ensuring the safety of bystanders, he stabilized the rolled over car, coordinating ropes to anchor points on the uphill side. He then initiated emergency medical care to the single patient trapped inside the care until the arrival of SFD units. In the words of then-Capt. Michael E. Walsh, he “acted in the finest of Seattle Fire Department tradition.”
In 2006, while serving in the Fire Alarm Center, Firefighter Wheeler received a letter of commendation for directing the delivery of a baby by the first-time father over the phone. His steady-handed questions and sure responses put both parents at ease and allowed them to focus on things that needed to be done. The baby was found wrapped in a towel as instructed when Engine 39 and the medics arrived a few minutes later. In their thank you letter, the parents acknowledged Jay’s efforts and “all the life-savers at Seattle’s 911. You helped bring a precious gift of life into our lives. We will be forever grateful.”
In a letter to all SFD members, Fire Chief Harold D. Scoggins commended Lt. Wheeler for his contributions to public service and as a long-time valued member of the Seattle Fire Department.
Lt. Wheeler’s obituary says he was 57 years old and adds, “The cause of death was pancreatic cancer, a hazard linked to many years of exposure to fire fighting.”
March 16th is when family and friends will gather to celebrate the life of Morgan Herzog, The Beer Junction‘s founder, whose passing was reported here last month. Here’s the remembrance his family is sharing with the community:
Morgan Herzog died peacefully at his West Seattle home on January 30, 2020 from Multiple Myeloma.
Born on May 29, 1981, Morgan was the youngest son of Rick and Diane Herzog. He attended King’s Elementary, Lake Forest Park Elementary, Kellogg Middle School, and graduated from Shorecrest High School in 2000. In high school, Morgan worked as a landscaper and saved to buy a truck to start his own landscaping business, which he continued while he attended college at the University of Washington.
Morgan graduated from UW with a BA in Business in 2004 and a Masters of Accounting in 2005. After graduating college, he moved to West Seattle, where his father and his aunt had been raised and where he had fond memories of visiting as a child. He began his career working at the accounting firm KPMG and earned his CPA license in 2009. At KPMG, Morgan would meet some of his closest friends and fall in love with his future wife, Allison. He was known for his sense of fun and the parties that he would throw on his deck near Alki. His time at the firm furthered his analytical thinking and patient leadership style, and he had deep respect for the partners and managers who mentored him.
After five years at KPMG, he continued to think back at the fulfillment he had running his own landscaping business. After a January day sampling beer at the Porterhouse in West Seattle with Allison, he thought about how there wasn’t a place to buy packaged craft beer in his neighborhood. By the end of March, he had signed a lease for a storefront, and on July 3, 2010, he opened The Beer Junction at its original location. For the first year, he ran the store largely by himself. He worked long hours and took a risk, combining his love for beer with his desire to run his own business, and he made his dream come true. Morgan would continue to grow The Beer Junction, moving to a larger location and adding draft beer in 2012. He treasured the friendships he developed in the Seattle beer community and the West Seattle community as a whole.
Morgan was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2017. He underwent treatments on and off since his diagnosis, but he wanted to continue his life as normal as possible. In late January, Morgan’s prognosis suddenly became grave. He took great comfort in the company of his loving family, and in being able to return to the home which he loved one final time. Allison and his brother, Nate, were there by his side at the moment he left us.
Morgan will be remembered for his sense of humor and endless knowledge of Seinfeld trivia, his laugh, his work ethic, and his kindness. He loved tennis, traveling, camping, grilling, his deck, 80’s movies, sandwiches and beer. He is loved and missed.
Morgan is preceded in death by his parents, Rick and Diane Herzog, and uncle, Dennis Drain. He is survived by his wife, Allison; brother, Nathan; and aunts and uncles Deborah & Steven Bessette, Dave Drain, Marsha Drain, and Dale & Tina Drain; as well as many cousins.
A celebration of Morgan’s life will be held at West Seattle Christian Church on Monday, March 16 at 4:30 p.m. Remembrances may be given to Fred Hutch for Multiple Myeloma research or Southwest Youth & Family Services.
Friends and family are sharing this remembrance of Mauree McKaen:
November 6, 1946 – February 6, 2020
Mauree McKaen, also known as Mo, left the world she loved on February 6, 2020. Behind her, she leaves a blazing path of beauty and memories that are etched on the hearts of friends, family, and even strangers who met her just once. She was an energy to contend with, a sister, a mentor, a guide, and a friend, with a sense of humor that made everyone laugh, even the doctors who diagnosed her terminal cancer and worked to keep her pain-free in her final days. She wasn’t just one in a million, she was one of kind.
Mauree was born in Pinckney, Michigan and received her MSW from the University of Michigan. As Executive Director of Family Group Homes for Youth in Ann Arbor, she helped create positive living environments for young people from troubled families. After moving to Seattle in her early thirties, Mauree pursued her J.D. from the University of Puget Sound. Rather than practice law as a full-time occupation, she started her own consulting company, Leadership Unlimited, through which she helped organizations change their cultures and mentored leaders to become more conscious of their impact on others. Mauree also served a term on the Seattle Ethics Committee, among other community roles.
They say a dog is “man’s best friend.” Well, Mauree was every dog’s best friend. She couldn’t walk down her own street, or pass a puppy in a foreign country without engaging in a deep conversation with the furry creature, who would often, then, much to the chagrin of its owner, try to follow her home. This passion led her to start a dog care business upon retirement.
As the most determined and steadfast patron the Goodwill has ever known, Mauree was a shrewd shopper. She could find a brand new, never been worn, Ralph Lauren jacket in a bin of hidden clothes no one else bothered to look through and walk out looking like a million bucks. Other’s tried, but never quite had her eye for quality at a great price.
She was the champion of animals, children, the elderly, or anyone down on their luck. While she was a woman of modest means, she gave generously to those in need.
She loved politics, but despised most politicians. As an avid consumer of political news, from local to international, she would engage with anyone willing, seeking to share the imperative of a saner, kinder, more just world.
Mauree was an adventurer and traveled widely during her life, both across this country and abroad, hiking parts of the El Camino trail during her last three years on Earth. Her joy in discovering new cultures and finding new friends made her youthful into her seventies, and she had a knack for entertaining everyone on her path with her infectious laugh and stories of her travels—even if it was only to the grocery store.
Mauree’s greatest gift was her ability to love people as they are, to inspire them to live into their own greatness, to believe in the human spirit, to look for the best in everyone regardless of their past or their station in life—to cherish the beautiful, to care for the broken, to model what it means to be an extraordinary human.
She was a shining star who illumined, inspired, and guided others to lead lives as joy-filled and giving as hers. Her infectious laughter, curiosity, and belief in the possible nourished and guided us all. Through her example she showed us who we could be, how we could give, and what a well-lived life was.
In lieu of flowers, her friends and family ask that people honor her legacy by taking action to make the world a better place, to act with greater kindness, to alleviate someone’s suffering, to make a difference in the life of another in some small or great way every day.
Among those who will miss her most are her two dearest and longest friends, Laurie McDonald Jonsson and Carol E. Anderson, her treasured mentee turned true confidant, Julie Mierswiak, her nature-loving soul sister, Archer, and her big-hearted, dog-loving neighbor circle, Susan Hurst, Kindree Brownbridge, Dave Grieve, and Mary Slowinski, her sister Mary Jo Nichols, her brother Kevin McMacken, and her beloved Ridgeback dog, Caleb,
ORIGINAL 2/24 POST: When longtime West Seattle community member – and WSB community participant – Jan Seeley died last November, her family announced a memorial on what would have been her next birthday, and promised a reminder when the date approached. That date is Wednesday, March 4th, so it’s time for that reminder. Jan’s daughter Jess sent the details:
3-6 pm March 4th
The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW)
Please join us to celebrate the life of Janet Seeley. We’ll be gathering in the Vashon Room at The Hall at Fauntleroy in West Seattle. Please bring your memories to share. Some wine and beer will be available, and also potluck foods as mentioned below.
We will be collecting donations for the West Seattle Food Bank if you’d like to give back in some way. This was a resource that was there for her in some hard times, and I’d love our community to support them! The links here are lists that the food bank needs, rather than just canned goods from the pantry.
This will be a potluck event, so please consider bringing a dish to share. Make sure if you bring a dish, that you bring it back home with you when you are done, we do not need leftovers. Here is a sign up sheet.
MARCH 1ST: Jan’s daughter says this is canceled for now due to illness.
Family and friends will gather this Saturday to remember Jana L. Layman. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:
Jana Lee Layman passed unexpectedly at 41 on January 13, 2020.
She was born on September 22, 1978 in Seattle, attended Alki Elementary, West Seattle High School (1997 grad), and Northwest College of Art (Poulsbo, 2001 grad) with a BFA. She was full of joy, adventure, and fun-loving. Her family, faith, and love of nature (especially the Puget Sound beach) was the focus of her vibrant, colorful artwork – ceramic, oil painting, watercolor, etc.
Among many jobs, she was an art teacher at Shorewood Christian School, a teacher at Salvation Army, Pottery instructor at the Alki Bathhouse, and a Nanny. Hobbies included synchronized swimming, family road trips to National Parks, and singing on the worship team at church. Two mission trips to Mexico with West Side Presbyterian Church Youth influenced her faith greatly.
She was loving, accepting of everyone, and a friend to all. Her faith in God lifted her through many health problems and hardships; she genuinely valued her many friend and was committed to their lives. She is survived by her beloved young children, Serena (10) and Joshua (9), who were the center of her life, and her mother Linda A. Layman, brother Adam G. Layman, and grandmother Lois Snyder, and many other close family members and dear friends, including Jonathan. She was both an organ donor recipient and an organ donor.
The memorial service will be held at Trinity Church, 7551 35th Ave SW, on Saturday, February 1, at noon. In lieu of flowers, and if you wish, a donation may be made at hls.hopeseattle.org/support-for-ablin-family/
Family and friends will gather Wednesday to remember Phyllis Jean Emmick. Here’s the remembrance they are sharing with the community:
PHYLLIS JEAN (ROUSH) EMMICK, 1930-2020
Beloved Wife, Mother, Sister, Aunt, Grandmother, Great-grandmother, Phyllis Jean (Roush) Emmick passed away after a stroke on January 1st, 2020.
Phyllis was born in Atwater, Minnesota on Wednesday, March 26th, 1930 to Floyd Laverne Roush & Edith Clara (O’Hair) Roush. During WWII, the family sold the farm in Minnesota and moved to Prosser, WA. After a few years in Prosser, the Roushes moved to Burien, WA.
Phyllis met a young sailor, Franklin Robert “Bud” Emmick, through her Uncle Chet, who also served with Frank on the USS Pennsylvania. In 1947, Frank & Phyllis were married at her parents’ home in Burien. In 1948, their first son, Gary Lynn Emmick, was born. In 1953, their second son, Craig Alan Emmick, was born. Phyllis was proud of her job as a Unit Secretary at Providence Hospital in Seattle (5-South). During their retirement, they traveled extensively to Roush Family Reunions, USS ‘Pennsy’ Reunions while visiting many states, friends & family.
Phyllis was proud to live independently until the end. In 2010, her beloved Frank passed away. Frank was buried at Tahoma National Cemetery. Phyllis will be interred with him.
Phyllis is survived by her son Craig (Gayle), grandchildren Robert, Brian, Terry, Floyd, Matthew, & Michael (Desirée). Also survived by great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews; brothers Wayne (Ellie) and Jim (Doris). Preceded in death by her parents Floyd & Edith, brother Dwight Roush, and son Gary Emmick. Phyllis loved her many family & friends in New York and Minnesota and her many caregivers.
Remembrances suggested to a charity of your choice.
Viewing will be Wednesday, Jan. 15th 2020 from 10 am to 12 pm at Cady Chapel (8418 S. 222nd St., Kent). Graveside Service immediately following at 1:15 pm at Tahoma National Cemetery – Kent
Share your condolences & memories of Phyllis with our Family & Friends by visiting her memorial page at EmmickFunerals.com/notices/Phyllis-Emmick
Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle
The family of Dorothy Louise (Johns) Nute is sharing this remembrance with the community:
Dorothy was born to Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Emil & Ellen (Olson) Johns on July 10, 1919 in Seattle, Washington.
She lived her whole 100 years in West Seattle where she will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband, Jack, at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Dorothy graduated with West Seattle High School’s Class of 1938. After graduating, she worked at Sears Roebuck & Company during the “Mail Order” days, and retired in 1981.
In 1940, she married the love of her life, “Jack” Nute. Dorothy & Jack were happily married for 45 wonderful years, until he preceded her in death in 1986. She is survived by their daughter, Ginny, and their sons, Bob, Bill, & John.
Dorothy also leaves her grandchildren, Michelle, Michael, Heather, and several Step-Grandchildren; her great-grandchildren, Valery, Shelby, Mitchell, & Odessa; her nieces, Sue, Sally, & Diane; and many dear Family members & Friends to cherish her loving memory.
Selfless to a fault, Dorothy took care of her invalid Mother before her passing, as well as her Husband, who was later disabled by a stroke.
Everyone who knew Dorothy knew that she always put the well-being of others before her own. For that reason and countless more, she will always have a very special place in our hearts.
A Private Gathering in her honor was held on Saturday, January 4th, 2020.
Share your condolences & memories of Dorothy with Family & Friends for generations to come by visiting her online memorial page at www.EmmickFunerals.com/notices/Dorothy-Nute
Care & Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle
The family of Wes P. Jensen is sharing this remembrance with the community:
Wes passed December 8, 2019 at Homecomings, his adult family home in West Seattle, at the age of 101.
Wes was born in Hedgesville, Montana in 1918 to Hans Christian and Esther Jensen. He was raised in Medina, WA, and graduated from Garfield High in 1937. Wes got a job at ADT, which served him well during WW2 while serving in the Army, stationed in Australia and New Guinea, often working as an electrician. After returning to the states, he met and married Helen Lausten. They started their life in Medina, then moved to West Seattle in 1950 to raise three children, all while continuing his career with ADT. Wes was a hard worker and always helping others. He was dedicated to Scouting and the Burien Elk. An avid golfer, he was very proud of his hole-in-one while in his 80s. He was fortunate to have not one but four loving families. The last of which were his tremendous caregivers at Homecomings AFH in West Seattle. He will truly be missed and loved forever by everyone who knew him.
Wes was preceded in death by his loving wife, Helen, brothers Nathan Jensen and Carl Jensen, and sisters Lois Rounds and Anna Petry. He is survived by sisters Ellie Coleman and Mary Lou Howard, daughter Virginia Cooper (Tom), sons Tom (Charlaine) and Chuck (Laura), six grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren, as well as the Childs and Hellstrom families, and Homecomings AFH.
Wes’ claim to fame was that he was a passenger on the airplane hijacked by D.B. Cooper in 1971. The best part of that story, for him, was that he was pretty much oblivious to the drama while it was happening and afterward resented all the fuss made over it. But such was Wes, unflappable and selfless. He was a man who lived his life well, a model of kindness, decency, and great humor that inspired all around him, and always will.
At his request there will be no funeral services.
The family of James N. Creighton is sharing this remembrance with the community:
James Nelson Creighton, passed away peacefully on Nov. 29, 2019 in West Seattle, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Born Oct. 1, 1939 to James and Thelma Creighton in Wadena, Minn., Jim (or “Jamie”) moved with his parents and younger brother, Stuart, to Seattle in 1942. He attended Fauntleroy Elementary, Denny Middle and graduated from West Seattle High School. It was there, in history class, where he met his future wife of 57 years, Diane Finch.
Jim played guard for West Seattle HS, and was talented enough to play football at the collegiate level: first for Everett Community College (All-Coast Conference and All-American Small College), then for the University of Puget Sound, where he also was an assistant coach for one year. He was recruited to play for the Chicago Bears.
Jim graduated from UPS in 1962 with a BA in history and education and became a public school teacher. He completed graduate work in U.S. history, philosophy and constitutional law at the UW, Seattle U., Central and Northwestern University. Jim taught history and coached football, track and basketball first at Grand Coulee, then at Luther Burbank, Ballard and Cleveland High. In 1973, he moved to Seattle’s Garfield High, where he taught and coached for 31 years.
There, he served as Garfield’s history department chair for 15 years, developing the Advanced Placement programs in U.S. history, European history, and American Government and Politics. He was an advisor to the College Board on AP History; his AP study guides were widely used by teachers here and nationwide. Jim was also Garfield’s head football and soccer coach, taking his teams to multiple playoffs and state championships. He concluded his teaching career at Newport High in Bellevue in 2006.
Jim was a member of Kappa Sigma at UPS and a proud member of the Big W Club at West Seattle High. He enjoyed reading, sailing, watching movie all things history and watching football (especially the Huskies).
Jim is survived by his wife of 57 years, Diane (Finch) Creighton; his daughters, Jocelyn (Chris) McCabe and Jennifer Creighton; and grandson Ryan McCabe. He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Thelma Creighton, and his brother, Stuart Creighton.
It is impossible to capture the number of lives Jim impacted as a teacher, mentor, coach, and friend. However, we know all that he did for us as a father and husband, and for that, we are forever grateful.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation or Medic One. Special thanks also to the care team at Providence Mount St. Vincent.
(UPDATE) Friends and family will gather to celebrate the life of Jim Creighton on Saturday, March 7 from 1-3 p.m. at Salty’s on Alki. Please RSVP to 360.870.8708 or email@example.com to be added to the list of attendees..
Family and friends will gather Friday to remember John J. Musso, and are sharing this remembrance with the community:
John J. Musso was born on March 23, 1919, in San Pablo, California and passed away on November 27, 2019 in Seattle at the age of 100.
John was the fifth child of Stefano and Dominica Musso. He grew up on a ranch in Richmond, California with his seven siblings, and moved to Seattle at the age of 18 to work for his cousin at the Oberto Sausage Company. He was the company’s third employee. Johnny worked there doing a variety of jobs: from hand tying salami and sausage, to becoming the plant manager.
He served in World War II as a gun crewman in heavy artillery and was honorably discharged. After the war, he returned to Seattle to work for Oberto Sausage Company, where he eventually retired at the age of 92. He met his wife of 51 years, Fay Campagnaro Musso, in West Seattle and married her on January 7, 1950. He was a beloved father to their three children: Gina, Lisa, and Donald Musso. Johnny loved his family above all else and supported them in every way. He, Fay, and their cousins Art and Dorothy Oberto began the annual Oberto Family Reunion 50 years ago to bring the family together and celebrate another year.
Johnny also loved playing and watching sports. Although he enjoyed supporting his grandchildren in everything they did, he especially enjoyed rooting for them as an avid fan at their sporting events. He was a fixture at every meet, match, and game in which they participated.
He is survived by his three children, Gina Musso (Joe James), Lisa Musso McCluskey (the late Brian McCluskey), and Donald Musso; his six grandchildren, Micole Wyman (Kelly), Cia Nipper (Brandon), Nicholas McCluskey (Lee), Bianca, Vincent, and Anthony McCluskey; his great-granddaughter, Scarlett Wyman; and his sisters, Bette Piatanida and Emma Arrington.
He was preceded in death, by his wife, Fay; his brothers, Dominic (Marta) and Steve (Helene) Musso; his sisters, Lucy (John) Giacoletto, Lena Brown, and Marie Hilbauch; his brothers- and sisters-in-law Mario (Betty), and Aldo (Ida) Campagnaro and brother in laws Ambrose Piatanida and Royal Arrington.
A rosary service will be held at Holy Rosary Church at 10:15 AM on Friday, December 6, 2019, with a funeral mass to follow at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to Kennedy Catholic High School c/o the Development Office: 140 S. 140th St .Burien, WA 98168 or online at: https://www.kennedyhs.org/support-us/donate-today
As noted in the WSB Forums, the West Seattle community has lost a longtime member who was also a longtime participant in WSB’s online community. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:
She has had so many close calls, it is almost shocking to announce that our friend and neighbor Janet Elizabeth Frantz Seeley (known as JanS in comments and the forum), passed away on November 13, 2019.
Born in Danville, Virginia in 1947 to Dean and Anne Frantz, her family soon moved to Reading, PA where she grew up. As a young woman, she joined the Women’s Army Corps and served from 1973-1975. She left the Corps to start family life in West Seattle in 1976. She was free-spirited and incredibly hip – a fierce feminist who spoke her mind.
Jan became a mother to Jess Pearson (Seeley) in 1980 and from then on out, her daughter was her life. She shared her values of authenticity, respect, and independence.
Jan and Jess maintained a close relationship. Despite health challenges, she was a doting mother and loving grandmother to her grandson Ollie.
While she would have loved to be a full-time mom, relationship changes required her to find a way to support herself and her daughter. She started a massage practice in 1994. Her time working in the Army’s photo lab set her up to be an early adopter of technology. When she started her massage business she set up a website to advertise right away. She maintained her massage business until 2017.
She had a great sense of humor, loved poetry and delighted in beauty. She was a person of quick-wit, keen observations, and directness. Jan’s unique ability to maintain a non-judgmental attitude, show compassion, and relate to others was a gift to her family and friends. Those in power did not receive such grace – she shared strong opinions about injustice and corruption with passion.
Jan held dearly to life despite the many challenges life threw at her. Jan fought and survived serious health problems for the last 25 years – full of spirit and hope. It is with sadness we say goodbye and hope that her strong spirit can rest in peace and comfort.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Carole Jones (Frantz). She is survived by her daughter Jess and grandson Ollie, and nieces and nephews Joshua, Thomas, Robin, and Alana.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, which would have been her 73rd birthday. Further details to follow closer to the day. Please email her daughter Jess at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list of invitees.
If you hanker for
a zenith of felicity
on the bed of the Divine
begin by dusting off
the wings of wonder
on your local pillow
Lift your ineffable
out of the mundane
Aim for airborne
with the eye of the heart
as your sky pilot
and soar to glory
~ James Broughton ~
(Little Sermons of the Big Joy)
Family and friends will gather December 9th to remember Elizabeth J. “Betty” Novotny. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing with the community:
Elizabeth J. Novotny
Feb. 24, 1914 – Nov. 26, 2019
Betty passed away just 3 months short of her 106th birthday.
She was born in Chicago and lived in that area until she retired and moved to the Northwest. She lived in West Seattle for 43 years. She is preceded in death by her son Bob Seger and husband Joe Novotny. She is survived by her daughter Penny Mulligan, 8 grandchildren, a bunch of great-grandkids, and several great-great-grandkids.
She and Joe loved to camp and travel and she could paint a mean mountain scene. She was loved by all and will be missed by all. Special thanks go to the Daystar care givers who took such good care of her for 5+ years.
Funeral service will be December 9th, 11:00 am, at the Yarington Funeral Home.