West Seattle, Washington
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 firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.
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
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.
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.
WSB publishes obituaries/memorial announcements free of charge – e-mail the announcement/photo to email@example.com.
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.
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….
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.
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 HistoryLink.org 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.”
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.
(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 caringbridge.org. 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.
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
Local animal advocates, pet lovers, and other friends and relatives are grieving the sudden loss of a friend, and wanted to share word of her memorial service this Saturday:
We are saddened by the loss of Darlene Morrison, who passed away unexpectedly on November 2nd, 2010. A memorial will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. this Saturday, November 13th to remember our dear friend and fellow dog lover. Please join us in celebrating Darlene’s life.
Saturday, November 13th, 3 pm to 6 pm
3420 SW Cloverdale St. (Corner of 35th and Cloverdale)
In lieu of flowers, donations in Darlene’s memory can be made to R.E.D. Rescue Every Dog and at the church.
From Sacha, news of a memorial service this Saturday for West Seattle resident Aidan Bigliardi, and his obituary:
Aidan Christopher Bigliardi passed away October 2, 2010 peacefully at home after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born in Seattle, Washington on January 17, 1955. He spent his childhood on Mercer Island, where his father was the priest of Mercer Island Episcopal Church.
Aidan received his degree in nursing and worked as an RN in the operating room his entire career. He served the patients, surgeons and staff at Highline Medical Center for 30 years.
Aidan loved fishing, hiking, hunting, gardening, reading, the Seattle Times Sunday crossword puzzle and entertaining family and friends at “the trailer” in Eastern Washington.
He was preceded in death by his father Matthew Paul Bigliardi, Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Oregon. He is survived by his mother Jeanne Bigliardi, Rachel Bigliardi, his children Nicole White, Mia, Matthewm Lucas and Ali and granddaughter Julie White.
Aidan, you are loved dearly and will forever live in our hearts.
Aidan Bigliardi’s Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm at Hope Lutheran Church (4456 42nd SW). All are welcome to attend.
(If you have an obituary to share, we are glad to publish these types of tributes, free of charge.)
Daryl and Donna e-mailed to ask that we publish news of Helen Finnell‘s passing, explaining, “Helen was a resident of West Seattle from approximately 1948-2003 and volunteered for a number of years at both the West Seattle Senior Center and Food Bank.” Her memorial and burial are set for this Tuesday. Read ahead for the full announcement:Read More
(WSB photo from December 2009)
That’s the family-suggested heading for the obituary that will appear in the Seattle Times this weekend and was shared with us for publication today by Dave Townsend, nephew of Ken Wise, the longtime entrepreneur, Rotarian, and totem-pole sleuth – the only photo in our files is the one above, with Mr. Wise at left, the day he and fellow Rotarian Duane Ruud (right) went out to Lake Sawyer to try to track down the then-missing pole, later recovered, and then reinstalled four days before his death (as Rotary past president Amy Lee Derenthal noted at last night’s rededication). Hours before that sleuthing expedition (which WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand tagged along for, taking the above photo), Mr. Wise had joined in the annual Rotary Shopping Spree at SODO Sears – an event he founded, according to his obituary. His service is one week from tomorrow, as you’ll read, ahead:
Born and raised in West Seattle, Kenny Wise was a local institution:
From leading the West Seattle Rotary Kiddies Parade at Hi-Yu, to being Santa for years at the Rotary Christmas shopping day at Sears for needy children, which he initiated in 1974, and most recently leading the hunt for the stolen Rotary Totem Pole, he was everywhere in West Seattle.
Thanks to Leslie for sharing this link via Facebook: Our partners at the Seattle Times published an obituary today for 86-year-old Neal Saffer, who ran Quesnel’s Restaurant in West Seattle for more than 20 years. According to the obituary, Mr. Saffer is to be buried at Dignity/Forest Lawn in West Seattle at noon tomorrow, with the burial service there to be followed by a reception at Holy Rosary; he died of heart failure, and is survived by family members including wife Margaret Saffer, with whom he had moved to Port Orchard in 2004. (If you are not a long-long-time West Seattleite – some WSB’ers who are, have discussed Quesnel’s over the years, and remember it as being along Beach Drive.)
Tonight before the High Point Neighborhood Association meets (6 pm, High Point Library), members of its Pedestrian Safety Committee plan a walking tour with City Council President Nick Licata. One of the recent tragedies that concern this group and other West Seattle residents is the accident at 35th/Othello on October 27th that killed longtime area resident and educator/engineer/inventor Oswald Clement. His memorial is now set for next Wednesday (11/14) at St. James Cathedral, according to friend and former student Sharon Stone, who has written an obituary to tell us all more about Mr. Clement and his life, which ended just two days short of his 86th birthday:Read More