Obituaries 558 results

Memorial Saturday for Chris Holm, a ‘Rosie the Riveter’ (& more)

A memorial service is planned tomorrow for 86-year-old Chris Holm, one of West Seattle’s real-life “Rosie the Riveters.” (We featured her in Christopher Boffoli‘s report on one of the local “Rosie” gatherings in 2009.) Her family wrote this obituary:

Clarissa Elizabeth Holm (Sherbon)
September 23, 1924 – July 31, 2011

Chris Holm passed away unexpectedly while leading the social-hour discussion at her West Seattle Church on Sunday, July 31, 2011. Chris was a vibrant woman, still living life to its fullest and enjoying her many day-to-day activities with zest and utter enthusiasm. She was a beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, wife, sister and friend. Everyone was surprised by her death and feel deeply saddened to lose the cornerstone, centerpiece, rock and foundation for our family and her community of friends.

Chris was born in Sioux Falls, SD, moving immediately to Walnut Grove, MN. She lived the quintessential “Little House on the Prairie” life, growing up in the famous Olsen store, working hard on the farm, and spending any free time playing on the banks of Plum Creek. She moved to Seattle and in her early twenties during WWII and worked hard at Boeing as one of the famous Rosie the Riveters.

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Remembering former Holy Rosary pastor Father James Mallahan

Father James Mallahan, well-regarded as Holy Rosary‘s pastor from 1981 to 1987, will be remembered at the church with a Vigil Mass tonight at 7 and Funeral Mass on Wednesday at 11 am. He died last Friday at age 83. Holy Rosary School has long had an endowment fund in his name. Fr. Mallahan’s obituary is here; an online guestbook is here. (Thanks to Michael for sharing the news.)

Repose, wake, Mass set for longtime West Seattleite Joe Butzerin

From the family of Joe Butzerin, a longtime West Seattleite known for many endeavors:

A Requiem Mass will be held for Joe Butzerin at Holy Rosary Catholic Church at 10:30 am on Monday, July 11th. Starting Friday, July 8, at noon, Joe will be in repose at the Butzerin home at 4903 SW Hill Street, where visitors will be welcome at any time. A wake will be held on Saturday at 7:00 pm.

Joe passed away peacefully on July 5th at his home, surrounded by family after complications from heart failure. Joe was born July 25, 1931 in Minneapolis, but he had resided in West Seattle since shortly after his marriage to Kathryn Freitas-Fox in 1958. Joe served as a first lieutenant in Korea after ROTC at Gonzaga University. He started his civilian career in Seattle as a math teacher, first on Vashon Island and later at Chief Sealth High School. To help support his growing family, Joe worked summers as a meter reader at Seattle City Light, where he eventually became a full-time lighting consultant. Joe retired from City Light in 1997 after more than 35 years of service.

Joe served as Chairman of the 34th District Democrat Club for two terms. He was an exuberant activist in both local and national political campaigns, serving as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1980 [photo at right]. He greatly enjoyed his service on the King County Fair Board. Joe also served as Chair of the Holy Rosary Conference of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul.

Joe always said he was most proud of being a father to his six children: JoAnne, Teresa, Carla, Peter, Robert, and Mary; and his 14 grandchildren. He was dearly loved and will be sorely missed.

Memorial Wednesday for Jim Ercolini, West Seattle park namesake


(WSB photo of Jim Ercolini with then-Mayor Greg Nickels at Ercolini Park dedication, 7/12/08)
A Funeral Mass is planned at 11 am Wednesday at Holy Rosary for Jim Ercolini, who died last week at age 76, three years after his family-homestead site west of The Junction became home to Ercolini Park. As shown in our photo above, Mr. Ercolini participated in the park dedication in July 2008. When the Parks Department agreed in late 2007 to the community request to name the park after the Ercolini family, he had said that he was the last descendant with that surname – so the park now carries it on. The city bought the park site with money from the 2000 Pro Parks Levy, and community volunteers took it from there to muster the money, material, and labors to turn it into a park. The full obituary for Mr. Ercolini, a longtime Boeing engineer and native West Seattleite, was published in today’s Seattle Times. (Thanks to Wendy for the tip.)

Memorial on Monday for longtime area resident Bob Erdmann

June 25, 2011 5:31 am
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news | West Seattle people | White Center

A memorial service is planned this Monday in White Center for longtime area resident Robert (Bob) Edward Erdmann Sr. From his family:

Bob was born to parents August Jr. and Rosa Lena Erdmann on August 29, 1926, in
Brainerd, MN. He followed his stepbrother out to Seattle when he was a teenager. And that is where he fell in love and married his wife of 61 years, Catherine (Kay) Ann Erdmann. Together they had 5 kids: Bobby Jr. (Susan), Larry (Nancy), Tom (Sissy), RoseAnn, and Jeannie (Mike). They were grandparents to 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He loved spending time with his family at the family’s recreational property in Shelton.

Bob owned his own company, Bob’s Saw Shop, for 40 years while also working for Highline School District, from which he retired in 1988. After suffering a massive stroke in January of this year, he ended his journey here on Earth and went to be with his late parents and his wife on June 17. He will be forever loved and missed!

Services will be on Monday, June 27, 2011 at Yarington’s Funeral Home. Viewing is from 9 am-1 pm, and the funeral service starts at 1:00. Reception to follow.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available/desired, to

Memorial service Friday for West Seattleite ‘Coach’ Grant Brown

If you knew “Coach” Brown – you’re invited to his service on Friday. His family shared this tribute:

Grant D. Brown, 68, lifelong resident of West Seattle and tireless volunteer for the youth in our community, passed away June 14, 2011, after a long struggle with cancer.

Grant was the first child of Don and Margaret (Crosby) Brown. He grew up with his siblings Alan and Donna on the hill overlooking Alki, attending Alki Elementary, James Madison Junior High and West Seattle High School, graduating in 1960. He served in the National Guard in the mid-1960s, stationed out of Camp Murray.

It was early in his schooling that he discovered a penchant for technical drawing, which served him well as, at age 18, he went to work for Boeing as a drafter. He worked in commercial, military and aerospace, including the Dash-80, 727 and 737, SST, Minuteman, ALCM, Wind Turbines, B-2 and finally the F-22. He retired from Boeing after 48 years of dedicated service. Boeing was also where he met his wife Cathy, to whom he was married for 40 years.

The most memorable and greatest passion of Grant’s life, however, was his commitment to youth sports, volunteering as a coach, manager and mentor for more than 40 years.

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Remembering Katie Parker, award-winning dancer

Katie Parker, gone at just 31, was a longtime West Seattleite, says Matt, who shared her obituary and photo:

Katie Parker, 31, of Arlington, WA, passed away Thursday, June 9, 2011. Katie was born September 22, 1979, the daughter of James and Mary Margaret Parker, in Seattle.

Katie had a warm heart and generous spirit. Katie was an accomplished Irish Step Dancer and won international awards. She loved books, and when not reading, she enjoyed spending time outdoors and visiting with friends and family.

Katie graduated from Our Lady of Guadalupe in West Seattle and went on to graduate from Holy Names Academy in Seattle. She also attended WWU at Bellingham. Katie had an eye for beauty and style, and when she graduated from Gene Juarez Academy, she found her calling.

Katie is preceded in death by her brother Neil Parker, cousin Kevin Monahan, uncles Terry Monahan, John Parker and George Parker, grandparents, George and Victoria Parker, Jack and Veronica Monahan.

Katie is survived by her parents, James and Mary Margaret Parker, her sister Nora Parker and her nephew Riley Parker. Numerous aunts, uncles and cousins survive Katie as well.

Viewing will precede the saying of a Rosary. The Rosary will be on Friday, June 17, 2011, at 10:00 am at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Arlington, WA. A funeral Mass will follow at 10:30 with internment at Eden’s Cemetery on Guemes Island, WA.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to or Catholic Community Services.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. E-mail the text, and a photo if available/desired, to

Mourning Dale Roose: Two reasons you might have known him

On the Sustainable West Seattle website, Kate Kaemerle has just published an obituary remembering Dale Roose, a former West Seattleite who died at age 55 in Tucson after a long fight with cancer. Kate’s writeup recalls Mr. Roose’s participation as a West Seattle Tool Library founding member. He and wife Tina Roose also had been WSB participants while living here, and you may also remember them for two West Seattle Crime Watch reports – he was the cancer patient whose car was stolen twice, including this past February, just as he and Tina were about to move. The first time, their story also was picked up by KING 5 TV, and both cases drew community offers of help. According to the obituary on SWS’s site, no funeral is planned, but donations can be made to the American Cancer Society in Mr. Roose’s memory.

Memorial today for longtime Admiral Safeway staffer Barb Fuda

(Sorry for the short notice. We only found out about this because WSB’er Diane was at Jefferson Square Safeway late last night and told us about the announcement she saw posted on a wall.)

The funeral Mass is at 3 pm ***today*** at Holy Rosary for Barbara Ann (Barb) Fuda, a longtime Safeway employee who had been looking forward to going back to work in Admiral when the new store opens in two months – but lost her battle with cancer last Saturday. The notice up at Safeway says she worked for the company for almost 41 years, starting at the old Admiral store at age 15. We don’t have an electronic copy of the posted announcement but transcribed this from a photo:

… Barb was one of the most dedicated and loyal Safeway employees to grace the Metro District. Barb and one of her lifelong friends Karen White were the first female courtesy clerks to be hired in the old south district. She always greatly cared for not only the Admiral store, but every employee and customer in it. She went above and beyond the regular work duties in volunteering for things like writing the store newsletter to participating in fundraising efforts. Barb was also a major planner in all the store parties, from celebrations to the many goodbyes that occurred over 40 years … She will be missed by all who worked with her and the thousands of West Seattle customers whose lives she touched with her caring heart and mischievous smile. She managed all this while tirelessly being the ultimate mother and wife.

The closing of (the Admiral store) was an emotional time for her and her loyal customers who waited more for the “return of Barb” than they did for the opening of our new store … Barb’s passing is a great loss to Safeway and the entire West Seattle community.

The screengrab with Ms. Fuda’s photo is from an obituary in the Seattle Times (WSB partner) earlier this week. You can read it here.

Memorial planned June 16 for Donald R. Chesterfield

A memorial service is planned in West Seattle on June 16th for Donald R. Chesterfield, who died last week just three days shy of his 80th birthday. Here’s the announcement sent to us:

In Memory of Donald R. Chesterfield
June 4, 1931 – June 1, 2011

Donald R. Chesterfield, 79, son of the late Roy M. and (Betty) Elizabeth V. Chesterfield, is survived by brother, John R. and Marcia Chesterfield, his sister, Cheryl A. and Mike Ferguson, and their families. Don is survived by his wife of 58 years, Phyllis J. Chesterfield, and his children, Kris Ohanu & family, Kip Chesterfield & family, Karen Brown & family, Kitty Chesterfield & family, Karli Shanklin & family, and Kilian Chesterfield & family, as well as many beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Don was a 1950 graduate of West Seattle High School. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, received a Purple Heart for his service during the Korean War, and served 10 years in the U.S. Air Force. He loved his family, fishing, baseball and more. One of his favorite pastimes was playing fast-pitch softball as a pitcher for more than 30 years in Southern California and in the Seattle area as well. Don retired from The Boeing Company.

A Memorial Service will be held in his honor on Thursday, June 16, at 6:00 p.m. at the West Seattle American Legion Hall, 3618 SW Alaska.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. E-mail the text, and a photo if available/desired, to

Service on Saturday for longtime West Seattleite June Kloster

May 10, 2011 2:17 am
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

Longtime West Seattleite June Kloster will be remembered at 1 pm this Saturday at Emmanuel Bible Church (503 North 50th Street), according to her daughter Patricia Kloster, who wanted to share her mom’s photo and obituary here:

June was born March 26, 1927, the youngest of 5 children of Matthew and Bessie Jarboe. She was very proud of being raised in LaConner, especially after it became such a popular destination for the tulip fields. She married Jens Kloster in Seattle in 1948 and in 1952 they moved to West Seattle where Alki became her favorite haunt!

Most of her married life she was a stay at home Mom and then a school secretary at Alki Elementary (after Ron and Patricia moved on to Madison) and Meany Middle School where she retired in 1992. Also, she was a NASCAR official on weekends with dad for many years at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe.

If you knew June, you knew her smile, jokes and amazing cooking/baking.

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Memorial tomorrow for longtime West Seattleite Laurie Williams

Dianne Thorniley wanted to share this tonight:

Laurie E. Paton Williams died peacefully on April 30, 2011. Laurie is survived by her children Stephen Abegglen, Angela Mazloomi, and Mark Abegglen and her four grandchildren. She is also survived by her sisters, Sue Lesmeister, Sally Parsons, and Diane Peel. Laurie graduated from West Seattle High School, class of 1958. Her memorial will be May 9, 2011 (Monday) at 2:00 at Forest Lawn Funeral Home in West Seattle. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Stehekin Heritage Fund.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. E-mail the text, and a photo if available/desired, to

Memorial on Saturday for Barbara Steen, longtime West Seattleite

This Saturday afternoon, a memorial service is planned at Hope Lutheran Church for Barbara Steen, who died last week after living in West Seattle for more than half a century. Her family shares her obituary:

Barbara Ann Myers Steen, 82, died April 29, 2011. She was born November 2, 1928, to Max and Katherine Myers at her grandparents’ farm in Leroy, Kansas. The family moved soon after to Shelton Washington where she attended Irene S. Reed High School, where she was known as Bobby Ann. She especially enjoyed being in drama club, and graduated from there in 1946. She was baptized and confirmed at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, and met Wayne Steen there, when they both taught Sunday School.

After high school, she worked in an office in Olympia, WA until her marriage to Wayne, May 21st, 1948, upon his return from serving in Germany during WWII. They moved to Seattle in 1950 and settled here to raise their growing family.

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Memorial announced for The Swinery’s Chef Joseph Brewer

One week after news of the death of Chef Joseph (Joey) Brewer, 35-year-old co-owner of The Swinery in West Seattle, memorial plans have been announced, via the business’s Facebook page and in a WSB comment:

Please join us on Monday, April 18th, 2011 at Lincoln Park shelter 3 from 4-7 for the Memorial of Chef Joseph Brewer.

Friends, fans, customers, family and community members are encouraged to come and celebrate the life of this incredible man.

Chefs Chris Merguez (Swinery), Jeremy Homan, Trina Recktenwald-Homan, Anthony Hubbard, and Wi…ll Parr will prepare food.

Lincoln Park • 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW

(2010 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli) In the WSB comment, there is also an obituary for Mr. Brewer – read it here after the jump:Read More

Memorial Saturday for Delridge community leader Vivian McLean

April 3, 2011 1:22 pm
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 |   Delridge | Obituaries | Pigeon Point | West Seattle news

The famous Pigeon Point community signpost along SW Andover has held a tribute to longtime community advocate Vivian McLean – painted by Jim Sander – since shortly after news of her death started circulating a week and a half ago. When we published our first report about Ms. McLean’s passing at age 90, memorial plans hadn’t been finalized yet, but according to Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council chair Brita Long and the Seattle Times (WSB partner) obituary published today, they have: A celebration of Ms. McLean’s life is set for 2:30 pm next Saturday, April 9th, at Delridge Community Center.

‘Fiesta’ planned April 2 to remember longtime coach Michael Leyva

March 26, 2011 1:03 pm
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

Lisann Leyva wants to invite those who knew her dad, a longtime coach in West Seattle, to come celebrate his life next weekend, as she announces:

The passing of Michael R Leyva, March 20, 2011, from heart failure after a year long fight against terminal cholangiocarcinoma: Mike was well known in West Seattle for his coaching of soccer teams. He coached for more than 35 years after becoming involved with his daughters’ teams. He last coached two years ago for a women’s team in Everett. He was an avid runner and you could find him most days during the early dawn going around the Hiawatha track. He relocated to Lynnwood years back with his wife, but West Seattle was always one of his favorite places. He is survived by his wife Leslie, his daughters: Lisann, Jen, Megan, Debbie and Kathy, and his grandchildren Quentin, Lexi, Lindsey and Levi. We wanted to thank everyone for all of the calls, cards, e-mails, and flowers we have received. Most people remember my dad’s humor and smile. His smile could light up a room! We will miss him so much.

A Fiesta (in name only – sounds happier than Wake) is being held April 2, 2011 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Anyone who knew him or the Leyva/Kennedy/Kowalski families is welcome to come share photos, stories, and the antics of the one and only Mike Leyva. Details [including the West Seattle location] can be found on the link below, or go to Lisann Leyva on Facebook.!/event.php?eid=112443052168544

WSB publishes obituaries/memorial announcements free of charge – e-mail the announcement/photo to

Memorial this Saturday for longtime West Seattleite Jim Anthony

We are pleased to share obituaries free of charge on WSB, as a tribute to those who in ways small and large worked to make this a better community, before they passed on. Here’s one we just received, in memory of Jim Anthony, whose memorial is this Saturday:

James T. Anthony went to be with our Lord March 5, 2011. Jim was born in Chase River, B.C. (Vancouver Island) on January 9, 1915 to William and Isabel Anthony (originally from Scotland). With his parents and two older sisters, Jean and Chrissie, Jim grew up in Nanaimo, B.C. As a young man he moved to Vancouver, B.C. where he met and fell in love with Marjorie V. Lear. They were married 62 years, before Marge’s passing in 2002.

In his younger days he delivered groceries via bicycle, was a cowboy rounding up wild horses in Dead Man Creek Valley (interior B.C.), joined the Canadian Army, then switched to the Canadian Navy. He was aboard a mine sweeper in the Mediterranean and saw action at D-Day, Sicily, Italy, and North Africa. In 1952, with his wife, Marge, and two children, Gary and Trisha, the family moved to West Seattle. In 1958 the family became U.S. citizens.

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Memorial set for longtime West Seattleite Virginia Nieman-Lewis

Though we don’t have a formal obituaries section, if you lose a loved one and would like to honor them, we are always happy to publish the obituary (photo too) free, as part of the WSB tradition of sharing community information. This morning, Robert shares the news that his aunt Virginia “Ginny” Nieman-Lewis has died, and that her memorial is planned for next Thursday (March 10th). He says Ms. Nieman-Lewis had lived in West Seattle since the ’70s; you might have known her when she worked at the Cat’s Eye Café:

Obituary for Virginia Nieman-Lewis
Brought to us on August 25th, 1954
Departed her earthly shell February 26th, 2011

It is with great sorrow that I share that on the morning of Saturday the 26 of February 2011 at around 9 am, Virginia Lewis departed on her journey to the after-life. She passed peacefully in her sleep from unknown causes while in her home surrounded by family and friends. She was born in Iowa and attended High School there. She later pursued her education at Kansas State University, after which she became a resident of the West Seattle area….

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Remembering Andrew Fife: Wake planned March 5th

Andy Fife was “a resident and dear friend to many in West Seattle,” as Art Cuellar explains, in asking us to share Andy’s obituary and word of a wake planned next weekend:

Andrew “Andy” Fife, aged 56, passed away in West Seattle on February 23, surrounded by a group of his close friends.

Andy, a proud Englishman, was well known in West Seattle for his great physical fitness and love of hiking in the mountains. What was probably not so well known was the fascinating life Andrew had led prior to this. He was born in Tripoli, Libya, in 1954, where his English father worked in the oil industry. His mother, Bozena, had escaped from Poland during WWII and met her future husband during this journey. Andrew attended boarding school in England and said that he loved to watch the Harry Potter films as they so reminded him of school.

In his 20’s Andy came to the States to attend commercial pilot training. He earned his wings and went on to fly commercial aircraft for a variety of different airlines. After the airline industry went through a rough spot in the 80’s he turned his mind to physical training and spent time in both the States and the UK working with athletes and rugby teams, to include the famed Leicester Tigers Rugby Team in England, a fact that he was exceedingly proud of. He also worked as an outdoor tour guide for a company called Trek America, taking groups of tourists to spectacular places all over America and Canada. This ultimately brought him to West Seattle, where he lived, worked and played for the next 15 years or so.

He was well known for spending vast amounts of his time at All Star Fitness, training the Seattle Rugby Club, hiking in the mountains and watching rugby at a variety of pubs around town. For the past several years he was busy working on developing a new piece of fitness equipment, the ThundrrBell, which he planned to have in every gym across the nation in the not too distant future. Andrew also had a special passion for the care of the wounded soldiers of the United States and Britain, and had visited the facilities in both countries where they were going through rehab. Andrew is survived by his mother, Bozena Fife, of Goring-on-Thames, England.

There will be a Wake held at the Beveridge Place Pub on Saturday, March 5 at 4:30 PM to celebrate Andrew’s life. Please come and share stories, have a beer and a laugh, because that is what Andy would want.

Mourning local historian, community advocate Ron Richardson

Family, friends, and history buffs are among those mourning Fauntleroy resident Ron Richardson, who has died after a year-plus fight with cancer. He is known well for his involvement with so many parts of the West Seattle community, particularly the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

We first met Ron in 2008 after running a story about the ever-changing war-toll sign in front of his home across from Lincoln Park – he himself then provided a followup. Later that year, Ron and wife Sherry Richardson were featured here again for their campaign to get signs reminding people not to idle while in the ferry lines.

Despite the public nature of some of what he was involved with, Ron, who was 75, had always been a private, humble person, and dealt with his health challenge with quiet dignity as well. We spoke with Sherry Richardson this afternoon; she says Ron’s memorial is set for 2 pm Tuesday, February 22nd, at The Hall at Fauntleroy.

We asked Sherry what she wanted people to know about her husband, if they didn’t know him well and know all this already: She talked about his community involvement, particularly with Fauntleroy, which was central to his study of local history. Instead of just looking to historical events, she says, Ron believed that everyone had a story to tell – not just regarding their history, but a story that existed on several levels. A sincere interest in people is what drew him into the study of history. We were lucky to have benefited from some of his contributions here (like this story about a historic Fauntleroy estate) and on our partner site White Center Now (he studied WC history too, with one example this article about the old roller rink).

SWSHS past president Judy Bentley (added Thursday) adds, “Ron was a member of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society Board until the end of 2010, when he could no longer participate in board meetings but kept coming to events at the Log House Museum. Ron loved local history and was known for his walking tours of the Fauntleroy and White Center neighborhoods. A tour led by Ron always held delightful surprises — front-porch interviews with long-time residents, little known paths along the waterfront, new bakeries that brought neighborhood history and culture alive. He was a passionate and dogged advocate for historic preservation, most recently for the Seaview building at The Kenney.”

Instead of flowers, memorial donations are invited for any or all of three causes: The SWSHS (which you can reach through the Log House Museum); the University of Washington Brain Tumor Research Fund (donations will be accepted in Ron’s name through the Neurology Department); and the school-building Central Asia Institute, known through the book “Three Cups of Tea.”

Memorial service Sunday for Evelyn ‘Jean’ Roberts

Craig Roberts shares his mom’s photo and obituary, hoping to get the word out to as many of those who knew her as possible, before her service this Sunday. It tells quite a story of a woman deeply and joyfully involved in her community – a great West Seattle story even if you didn’t know her:

Evelyn Jean ROBERTS
6/26/25 – 11/16/10

While we have lost our mother, America has lost a Patriot. Evelyn “Jean” Roberts, 85, of West Seattle passed away November 16, 2010 after a brief illness. A celebration of her life will be held December 19 (see below).

Jean was born June 26, 1925 in Kalo, Iowa, the last of seven children from parents Francis John Craig & Janetta Mae (Alvord) Craig, who preceded her in death, as did six brothers and sisters: Eva Leona Craig, Laurence Alvord Craig, Aileen Janetta Wynn, Charles Francis Craig, Olive Rosena Schultz & Lois Mae Finkle. Four siblings served during WWII: Laurence, Francis, Olive & Lois. Growing up as a teenager during WWII brought to her a level of patriotism and love for her country that continued throughout her life. After the 1971 death of husband, Wilfred R. (Tiny) Roberts, who also died of service-connected causes, Jean devoted her life over the last 40 years to Veterans’ organizations including countless volunteer hours at The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the USO and the Red Cross.

Just like a scene from “The Grapes of Wrath,” in October 1936 when Jean was just 11 years old, the family packed up their Plymouth, leaving Iowa headed for Seattle, making the 1,700-mile trip in four days, three nights. Following scarce employment, the family moved to Fairbanks, Alaska from 1936-1942. Jean, 15, returned to Seattle to study voice, living with her sister Olive. When WWII broke out, the entire family returned to Seattle for good. Graduating from Garfield HS in the spring of 1942 at 17, Jean loved to sing and entertain, and her career was just beginning.

During the war, Jean, 18, married John Abner Robbins in November 1942 in Coeur d’Alene Idaho, divorcing shortly thereafter. After the war, Mom auditioned for and got a singing job with band leader Wilfred R. (Tiny) Roberts, our dad. After three weeks of working together in nightclubs, our Dad was so jealous of all the attention Mom got singing, he proposed and they married June 27, 1946, the day after her 21st birthday. They traveled throughout the Western States, Montana, Washington and Idaho, performing and entertaining with their band, “Three Satan’s and an Angel.” After five years touring, they settled in the Admiral District of West Seattle, her home for the last 60 years.

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Mourning Tony Genzale of Tony’s Market

(WSB photo of Tony, from January 2010, as he prepared to reopen the market post-holidays)
We have just received word that Tony Genzale, longtime operator of Tony’s Market in Westwood, has died. He had fought a long battle against cancer. From his niece Renee Vacca:

As a former West Seattle resident myself, I know how many people loved to shop from him and have known of his battle with cancer this past couple of years.  We are so sorry to inform them that he passed last night at his home of many years in Burien.  I’m sure they would want to know that he passed peacefully with his wife in his arms and both of his children at his side.  He was doing so well until the last couple of months and then his cancer took a dramatic turn and his condition worsened rapidly.  Needless to say, we are still a bit in shock but please know that he was ready to go and his family had come to terms with this before he passed.
Arrangements are currently being made and the family will post service announcements on the website we set up for him with  At their website, enter “anthonygenzale” in the “visiting” section of the homepage and read the updates.  For anyone that would like to help, please post a comment for the family and share your feelings for uncle Tony as I know how loved he was.  Don’t forget that his son Joey is running the tree lot and would love to hear your kind words about his dad.  He has been there every day and even worked there all day today. 
I know that he got up every day and put his work boots on to go see the customers that he loved so much!  You all gave him a purpose and he told me many times, “Renee’, West Seattle is the best!! and he meant it with all his heart.  I always said, “told ya so!”  Please tell all your friends that this would be a great place to buy a tree in uncle Tony’s honor and display it proudly!  He loved those selling Christmas trees every year!

Tony Genzale was 61. Here’s a direct link to the webpage that Reneé mentioned.

Followup: Services for local Realtor Dan Murphy not till next year

Twenty people have left comments of condolence and memory since word of West Seattle Realtor and Washington State Real Estate Commissioner Dan Murphy‘s death was published here last week. Today, more information: The Seattle-King County Association of Realtors has shared the photo at right along with an obituary noting more details of Mr. Murphy’s life and accomplishments, plus news that a memorial service is not expected to be scheduled until next spring, though letters are being collected now for a memory book. Read on:Read More