West Seattle, Washington
Family and friends are remembering Todd R. Martin, and sharing this with his community:
How can one sum up such a remarkable life in a few paragraphs?
In the spring of 2020, Todd Raymond Martin was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Being the private person that he was, he wanted to keep the circle of people who knew about his illness small. Despite receiving treatment, the cancer spread rapidly. We are heartbroken to report that Todd passed away on January 31st at University of Washington Medical Center at the age of 44.
Todd was truly a Renaissance man in every sense of the term. He was a historian, a very gifted writer, impressionist painter, bluesy rock musician, black truffle loving foodie, photographer, explorer, entrepreneur, and a self-taught programmer with a successful career. He was a lover of books, rye whiskey, old typewriters, and roads less traveled.
He was the son of a farmer, a hillbilly, and a gentleman who always put his loved one’s comfort before his own. Todd was a Midwesterner by birth, and a lifelong Ohio State football fan.
He taught literature, rhetoric, and creative writing at Miami University, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of South Carolina.
He traveled the world and made friends wherever he went. He lived all over the country, eventually settling in Seattle where he met the love of his life, Danelle Jay and landed his “dream job” at Microsoft, working with a team of people who became an extended family. The impact he has had will last far beyond his time with us. He was a calm and steadying presence, always optimistic and a fighter until his last breath. He was loved by many, and the way he loved others was very evident.
In his typical fashion, he was adamant that no pomp and ceremony surround his passing. His ashes will be dispersed in areas that were meaningful to him. Should any wish to honor his memory further, he requested that any donations made in his name be directed to cancer research facilities such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Donations to the Todd Raymond Martin memorial fund can be made at www.giftfunds.stjude.org/trmmf
Alternatively, Todd was passionate about being a good steward of our natural resources.
Todd and Danelle’s church was the forest, and it would make him smile to know more trees were planted in his memory.
While we are devastated by his death, there is comfort in knowing that his pain and suffering are over. His mother and fiancée were by his side when he passed, holding his hands and reminding him that he is so very loved by so many.
He is survived by both of his parents, his older brother, and his fiancée.
“When you’ve nothing else construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them.”
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Family and friends are remembering Frances Nitkey, and sharing this with the community:
Frances Leona Fagan Nitkey
January 26, 1922-January 20, 2021
Frances Leona Fagan Nitkey was born in The Dalles, Oregon in 1922. In her Alki home on January 20th of this year, surrounded by the love and care of her family, in comfort and peace, she took her last breath, one week shy of her 99th birthday.
Frances was born a Fagan, a proud, Irish Fagan. She grew up during the Great Depression. When most were out of work, her Dad, Daniel Patrick Fagan, was employed by the Fisher Flour Mill and his dream job with the Railroad as a brakeman. He had 2 jobs during the Great Depression, they were fortunate, they were blessed, and they gave thanks to God for it.
While attending nursing school at Sacred Heart in Spokane, she met the love of her life John W. Nitkey at Gonzaga University. They were married for 68 ½ years till John’s death in 2012. Together they had 6 children. Those 6 children gave them 16 grandchildren, those 16 grandchildren gave them 23 great-grandchildren, and now there are 3 great-great-grandchildren. There are many who look upon her as a 2nd mother or a second grandmother. She was loved by many.
Frances loved to help people. She knew what she wanted to do with her life at a very early age. She never wanted to do anything else but to be a nurse. She worked graveyard shift for many years in the nursery at Renton Hospital, while Dad stayed home with the kids. She’d then come home, and they’d meet in the driveway, he’d head off to work and she would take care of the children. I’m not sure when she found time to sleep.
Memorial service was held on her 99th birthday, January 26, 2021 at Our Lady of Guadalupe. Live stream of the service can still be viewed at facebook.com/olgparishseattle/videos/252758342880339 – an active Facebook account is NOT needed. Following the funeral Mass, a graveyard service and burial at Holyrood Catholic Cemetery in Shoreline, where she will rest next to her husband.
Frances was proceeded in death by her parents Daniel Patrick Fagan and Lucy Lee Terhune Fagan, her husband John W. Nitkey and her 4 siblings Daniel W. Fagan, Lucille Stout, Lee Fagan, Joseph Fagan. Frances is survived by her children Daniel Nitkey, Joan Kocharhook (Steve), Susan Griffin, Frances Kahler (Rick), Kathy Hostenske, and Lawrence Nitkey.
The Nitkey Family would like to thank Carelinx for the loving care they provided our mom, and ALL our supportive friends and family, for their kind words, thoughts, and prayers.
Remembrance may be made in Frances Nitkey’s name to Our Lady of Guadalupe in West Seattle.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
Friends and family are remembering Margaret Copher, and sharing this with the community:
Margaret Irene Copher passed on December 30, 2020.
She was born March 12th, 1947 to John Copher and Beulah McJunkins. Irene was a graduate of Lincoln High School in Seattle.
She was a lifelong resident of Seattle and was an active member of Philadelphia Church. Irene was a demolition-car driver in her early years, worked for Northwest Protective Service, and loved her last job as a school-bus driver.
She was a lifetime member of REACT International, and was actively involved as an amateur radio operator (KF7WUD) with Puget Sound Repeater Group and West Seattle Amateur Radio Club. At the time of her passing she was not married, and is survived by cousins and a large circle of friends who loved her.
A memorial service will be held later this summer and memorial donations can be made in her name to the Philadelphia Church, pcseattle.org.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Rev. David A. Hrachovina is being remembered by family and friends, who are sharing this:
The Rev. David Alan Hrachovina
June 10, 1952-Nov. 20, 2020
The Rev. David Alan Hrachovina was born in Seattle at the old Maynard Hospital on June 10, 1952, to Don and June Hrachovina.
He was baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, further instructed and confirmed by the many words of Scripture in the Faith of Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins.
In his youth David enjoyed Seattle to its fullest, riding the elephants at Woodland Park Zoo; hunting for pollywogs in Webster’s Swamp; looking down from Fauntleroy at the fog-filled Puget Sound and hearing the foghorn’s lonely lament; walking along the windswept bulkheads and driftwood-jumbled beaches at Lincoln Park and Alki Beach against the backdrop of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound and working at Spud Fish & Chips on Alki.
David attended Hope Lutheran Parochial School in West Seattle through eighth grade, following with a year at Denny Junior High and four more at Chief Sealth High. After studying at Concordia Jr. College in Portland, Oregon, and then Concordia Sr. College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, he attended Concordia Theological Seminary during its years of transition from Springfield, Illinois, and Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Following graduation, David was ordained at Hope Lutheran Church in Seattle and installed as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Parma, Idaho) and Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church (Homedale, Idaho). Four-and-a-half years later, he accepted a call to serve at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Boise, Idaho, where he remained from 1983 to 2010.
In 1982, David began correspondence with Doris Denninger, a third-grade teacher in Elmhurst, Illinois, and married his “mail-order bride” in August 1983. They were married for 17 years until Doris succumbed after a long battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2001. Upon retiring due to worsening health, David returned to Seattle, where he lived until his death.
Starting in 2013, he was a supporter of and volunteered as a docent for the Log House Museum of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
He was known for his Chinook Jargon greeting to visitors: “Kla-HOW-ya!” His final residence was The Kenney.
Besides his parents and wife, David was preceded in death by a sister, Janet Carol Hrachovina. With these and all the saints who have gone before us, he lives in Christ and the eager anticipation of the resurrection on the Last Day. David is survived by his sister, Kathy Marie Peycke, who lives with her family in south Seattle.
Memorials (in lieu of flowers) may be made to the Janet Carol Hrachovina Charitable Trust and/or Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Boise, Idaho. A memorial service was held Dec. 3, 2020, at Good Shepherd LCMS, (Orchard and Cassia) in Boise, Idaho. A private graveside committal took place at Dry Creek Cemetery.
Family and friends are remembering Ann K. Dirks, and sharing this remembrance with her community:
Longtime West Seattle resident Ann Kimberly Dirks died peacefully at a local senior care facility on January 3. She was 82.
The mother of five boys, Ann was known for her spirited, outgoing personality and quick humor that helped her develop deep and lasting connections with neighbors, co-workers, friends, and within her large extended family.
Born in Bellingham, Ann moved with her parents, Clair and Alta Smith, to West Seattle as a child. Ann was a 1956 graduate of West Seattle High School and went on to attend Washington State College in Pullman for two years. She married Martin (Marty) Dirks at the West Seattle Baptist Church on October 16, 1959. Marty took an engineering job in New Jersey, where their identical twin sons Greg and Brian were born, but the couple missed their family and friends in Washington so much that they made the cross-country trip back home several months later in their compact sedan.
Ann and Marty had three more sons: John, Stephen, and Tom. Ann’s life became a hubbub of cross-neighborhood gatherings, Scouts, household duties and shepherding her boys to their various activities. In the 1960s, Ann and Marty built a two-bedroom cabin on Camano Island where the family spent most summer weekends and vacation time, even living there for a year. Ann also enjoyed numerous family camping and boating trips, along with family travels throughout the West Coast.
As her sons grew older, Ann took a job with the West Seattle Herald, where she typed up community news items and classified advertisements and greeted customers. While at the Herald, she served as volunteer coordinator for the West Side Story, the definitive book about West Seattle published in 1987, supervising a cadre of people who helped with its production and distribution.
Ann and Marty also became active volunteers in the Southwest Seattle chapter of Ryther, an organization that provides mental health and substance use services to youth. In their retirement years, Ann and Marty split time between homes in West Seattle and Camano Island. They also took numerous cruises, traveled around the world, and looked forward to their annual ski trip with family and friends to McCall, Idaho. Ann was an avid reader, loved taking long walks on the beach and telling stories to her grandchildren.
In addition to Marty and their five sons, all of whom live in the greater Seattle area, Ann is survived by nine grandchildren, a step-grandson, and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her sister Jane. Her brother, Stuart Smith, lives in Gresham, Oregon.
An online memorial service is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6 – please contact RememberingAnn@utsservices.net to be included. Ann will be interred near her parents and other family at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Ferndale. The family suggests remembrances in her name to Ryther or to the West Seattle Food Bank.
You may share memories of Ann and visit the full obituary page and online guestbook at emmickfunerals.com.
The family would like to acknowledge the caregivers and staff at Aegis Living of West Seattle for their tremendous care and support of Ann during her final months.
Family and friends are remembering centenarian Bettie Dunbar, and sharing this with her community:
The family of longtime West Seattle resident Bettie Dunbar is sad to announce her passing on Saturday, 1/02/2021 of Covid-19, just days after her 101st birthday.
Bettie was born on December 29, 1919, in Puyallup After graduating from High School, she attended and graduated from the University of Washington. During WWII she worked for the American Red Cross. In 1945, she married Horace Dunbar while he was still in the US Army, staying married until his death in 1999. In 1948 Bettie and Horace built their home in Fauntleroy (which is still in the family) where they raised their family. Bettie was active in the Fauntleroy Community Church, singing in the choir for many years, and was an ardent member of West Seattle’s Golden West Camera Club.
She retired from Seattle Public Schools in the early ’80s, having taught Special Education at Pacific Pre-vocational School, Lincoln High School, and finally at Chief Sealth HS. Horace and Bettie retired within months of each other and became world travelers, visiting 47 different countries as well as Antarctica. Bettie volunteered at the Cancer Society Discovery Shop in the Junction, did Tax Preparation through the West Seattle Senior Center, and served at the monthly pancake breakfast at the Seattle Swedish Club.
She is survived by her three sons (Jerry, David, and Brian), 6 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. The accompanying photo is from her 100th birthday celebration. No memorial service is planned at this time.
Family and friends are remembering Lonzell Johnson, and sharing this with the community:
Lonzell Spencer Johnson
Born December 13, 1987 in Anchorage, AK
Died December 6, 2020 in West Seattle, WA
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Lonzell Spencer Johnson. Lonzell was a beloved son, caring brother, proud uncle, role model, and friend.
Lonzell is survived by his mother Barbara Eddy (John – deceased), father Paul Johnson (Launa), brother Nathan Johnson, sisters Joy Lacher (Joe, Josie), Sarah Cochran (Evan, Brody, Caden, Anna, LilyAnn), Melissa Johnson, Mallory Hanus (John, James, Maggie), ErinAnn Corwin (Josh, Edwin), and brothers Jesse and Reggie Johnson.
Lonzell was born in Anchorage, Alaska, but spent most of his childhood and adult years in Western Washington. Known as Lonnie to his family, he graduated from Enumclaw High School in 2006, and was an active participant in drama and student publications. He was a movie buff, collector, and loved competition. Baking was a favorite pastime, and Lonnie was known for passing out an annual tray of holiday treats to friends, family, and co-workers.
He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1998 at 10 years old; his mother signed him up for Camp Leo for Children with Diabetes, something that would drastically change his life and the lives of so many others. Over the past 20 years, he has been an integral part of the Camp Leo community, starting as a camper and later serving as a key volunteer and staff member. He devoted his time to helping others. He was a member of the Enumclaw and Tacoma Centennial Lions Clubs, and one of the youngest-ever graduates of the Northwest Lions Leadership Institute. He spent time volunteering with nonprofit organizations including JDRF, ConnecT1D, and the Diabetes Education and Camping Association.
Lonzell’s positive impact on his community was immense and far-reaching. His infectious energy, deep thoughtfulness, quirky humor, and spirit of service changed thousands of people’s lives for the better in ways large and small. The outpouring of grief at his passing from people of all walks of life — those who knew him well or only a little, young and old, from across Washington State and beyond — is a testament to his ability to connect with others, and bring joy and wonder to their lives. Lonzell brought laughter and light to all those around him. Though he battled depression, we take comfort knowing that he is now beyond pain and suffering and his profound impact on those he inspired will never fade.
Condolences to the family can be sent to Barbara Eddy, P.O.Box 884, Buckley, WA 98321.
In light of the importance of Camp Leo to his life, supporters of Camp Leo have created the Lonzell “Stacker” Johnson Memorial Fund, dedicated to supporting children with diabetes and their families through the magic of summer camp. His Camp Leo community will also be holding an online celebration of his life in the coming weeks and an in-person celebration later in the year. Please contact email@example.com for more information on these events or on donating.
If you or someone you love is in emotional distress or crisis, please call the N.S.P. Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Continuing our start-of-a-new-year series of reminders about what WSB offers besides news coverage: Tonight – one of those services we hope you don’t need, but if you do – we publish obituaries for free. We’re told that other publications can charge up to hundreds of dollars to publish one, and we think that’s wrong – grieving families have enough else to worry about – so in the past decade, we’ve published almost 500 obituaries, all at no charge. We consider them to be news – and while some are very basic, others tell stories of interest even to those who never knew the person who’s passed on. If this is a service you find yourself in need of, all you have to do is send us the text and photo, as part of your email, not as a Word or PDF type attachment. If you’re including time-sensitive information such as the date for a memorial or celebration of life (we’ve had some Zoom links in recent obituaries), please keep in mind that several days’ lead time is best as it might take us a few days to publish it. You can scroll through our archive for examples of what we’ve published.
Family and friends will gather virtually Saturday to remember Jonathan M. Hetzel. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing with the community:
Jonathan Mark Hetzel died peacefully at 8:44 pm on 12/15/2020 at St. Anne Hospital in Burien. He was 35 years old. He was surrounded by family, including his parents who were bedside, and siblings virtually. Jon is survived by many friends and family including: parents Mike and Anna Louise Hetzel; siblings Charlene McRae, Dave Hetzel, Michelle Hetzel, and Steve Hetzel; many cousins, including Stephanie Stone; and five nieces and three nephews.
Jon was a hard and diligent worker. By trade, Jon was a marine pipe fitter with U.A. Local 32 Plumbers and Pipefitters. He worked at Foss Maritime for almost 14 years until mid-2020, when he became too ill to work. He was a valued employee and his colleagues in the shipyard will miss him. Jon specifically enjoyed going out on Puget Sound for test runs after making fixes to tugboats or other marine vessels.
Jon was active in his union and appreciated the support and collective-bargaining strength that came with union membership. Because of his work history and union protections, his health insurance was maintained for months after he wasn’t able to work due to health problems. When he wasn’t able to work, he was concerned his health insurance would run out. We are deeply relieved, and grateful to UA Local 32, that he had continuous health insurance until his death.
Jon was a beautiful combination of extrovert and introvert. He could talk your ear off and very much enjoyed the company of others. He could make friends with almost anyone and specifically enjoyed the company of those who were older than he was. He also enjoyed his own company and often kept to himself. In the last several years, Jon’s health deteriorated and he suffered the loss of several friends who passed away. He felt the loss of his friends deeply. Jon was notoriously private and kept his friends and family separate; only in his passing are we beginning to meet each other.
Jon was an incredibly kind, compassionate, and gentle soul with a variety of interests. Jon was an avid reader and had boxes upon boxes of paperback novels. Jon particularly enjoyed learning about history and regularly watched the History Channel. He was knowledgeable about electronics and had many computers; he had a penchant for disassembling and repairing or upgrading them. Jon had a special relationship with puzzles – he found them particularly cathartic when he was going through treatment for his illness. Jon enjoyed traveling to far-off places. His most notable trips included Europe; Central America; Southeast Asia; and the Mediterranean. He loved learning about other cultures and was an adventurous eater, with a willingness to try local cuisine and apt enthusiasm for spicy foods.
Jon loved to barbecue with friends and was a regular when cookouts were held at Big Al’s Brewery; beer Mondays and BBQ Wednesdays were standing commitments on his calendar. Stubbs barbecue sauce was a mainstay in Jon’s fridge and pantry, along with meats and cheeses; chips and sour cream; fried chicken; gummy bears; and Jolly Ranchers. Jon chose fruit over vegetables and meat over anything else. His only foray into cooking was meat and jalapeño poppers. For dessert, he preferred ice cream or the occasional slice of apple pie.
Jon was active in the local White Center community. He was an enthusiast for small businesses, specifically restaurants including: Full Tilt; Proletariat Pizza; Itto’s Tapas; Young’s; Super Deli Mart; and Beer Star. He enjoyed White Center Art Walks and Jubilee Days. Jon made frequent trips to Lincoln Park, where he’d bring his breakfast and soak up the views.
In the last couple years, Jon became an active member of the White Center Eagles Club. He was there almost daily, socializing with everyone. The club members became like a surrogate family for Jon, making sure he had holiday plans and checking on him when his absence was noted. Since his passing, club members have stepped up to support the family and honor Jon’s memory. He was valued as a kind and caring member of the club.
A Zoom memorial for Jon will be held on Saturday, January 2nd, at 2 pm. A celebration of Jon’s life will be held this summer at Lincoln Park and will include a display of Jon’s favorite sarcastic T-shirts. Friends, coworkers, and others are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in either or both events.
Family and friends are remembering Susan M. Bowen, and sharing this with her community:
Susan Marie Bowen, beloved daughter, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away on Sunday, December 6th at midnight in Seattle.
Susan Marie Clark was born on September 10, 1948 in Missoula, Montana to Robert and Montana Clark. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Seattle and purchased a home on 48th Avenue, near the bottom of Charlestown Hill in West Seattle.
Tragically, her father died when she was three years old and her mother never remarried. Susan grew up in West Seattle with her older half-sister Loretta and graduated from West Seattle High School.
She attended the University of Washington until she took a semester off, worked at the Post Office, met and married James Bowen and divorced after 14 years. They had four children: Cassandra, Eugene, Rebecca, and Tamara. Susan worked for close to 30 years at the Seattle Police Department and retired as a Chief Dispatcher. Oddly, she was on duty for some of Seattle’s biggest crises, including the Mardi Gras riots in Pioneer Square, the Metro Bus that drove off an unfinished highway ramp, and other notorious events.
Susan loved Jehovah, her family, gardening, sewing, knitting, making jewelry, and was a voracious reader.
We will all miss her encouragement to develop a personal relationship with our Creator and keep His laws.
Many people have lavender potpourri made from Nana’s garden, her delicious fruit leather made from her own plum tree. Jars of delicious jams and jellies have been mailed to many cousins in Montana, and beyond. She was also known for her tasty lemon bars made with love. Her sudden, shocking death due to Stage 4 cancer saddens us all deeply, but we know that she is in the care and memory of our loving Heavenly Father, who will reward her.
Susan was dearly loved and is survived by: Her older sister Loretta Baker; Cassandra (daughter) James, Jordan (granddaughter) and Madison O’Neal (granddaughter); Eugene (son), Anna Marie (granddaughter), Michael (grandson), Caprice (granddaughter) and Camryn Bowen (granddaughter); Rebecca Bowen (daughter), Lanisha Scott (granddaughter) Terrence, Samaya (great-granddaughter), and Zion (great-granddaughter); and Tamara (daughter), Quincy, DeShawn (grandson), Aria (granddaughter),
and Layla Aitkens (granddaughter). She will be greatly missed by tons of cousins, nieces, nephews, and
John 5: 28, 29
Family and friends are remembering Barry W. Frost, and sharing this with his community:
Barry Wayne Frost passed away December 18th, 2020 at his home in West Seattle.
He was born October 2nd, 1956, in Pontiac, Michigan, and grew up in the small town of Logan, Illinois. After high school he joined the Navy and traveled the world on the USS Midway. While stationed in Seattle, he met his wife Sue. His son BJ and daughter Leah were born soon after.
When he wasn’t coaching or cheering on his two children’s sports teams, he was a die-hard Seattle sports fan and loved watching the Seahawks, Huskies, and Mariners. He worked at the University of Washington, where he retired after 30 years.
He is survived by his wife Sue, his son B.J. (Jamie), and daughter Leah; his brothers Buddy (Lowell), Allen, and Bruce (Samutha), and sisters Elaine (John) and Karla (Avin); as well as his Aunt Janet and Cousin Steve (Tracy).
A memorial service will be streamed next Tuesday for Florence Marx, whose family is sharing this remembrance:
Florence (Kohler) Marx, 99, was born July 22, 1921 in Glen Ullin, North Dakota and died peacefully on December 10, 2020 at Providence Mount Saint Vincent nursing home, where she lived for eleven wonderful years in their love and care. She was preceded in death by her husband Herman, all her brothers (5) and sisters (7). She is survived by two daughters, Bonnie (Thiviam) and Sherree (Randy); three grandchildren, Phil, Scot (Sara), Greg (Colleen); and eight great-grandchildren.
A lifelong resident of White Center and very active member of Holy Family Parish, she worked at Travelers Insurance Company in downtown Seattle for 25 years.
Due to COVID restrictions we are livestreaming Florence’s funeral Mass on YouTube. To access, go to YouTube and search for “Funeral Mass for Florence Marx.” It is scheduled for 11:00 am on Tuesday, December 22nd, St Patrick Church in Tacoma.
We would like to thank and bless all of her caregivers over the span of the last eleven years. We could not have done this without their compassionate care.
Family and friends are remembering Virgil and Carole Sheppard, and sharing their story with the community:
Virgil and Carole (White) Sheppard, longtime West Seattle and La Conner residents, both passed peacefully during this interesting year of 2020: Virgil (age 98) on February 10th and Carole (age 96) on September 5th — the day after their 78th wedding anniversary.
Both were children of the Yakima Valley. Virgil was born in Parker Heights, WA; Carole in Zillah, WA. They grew up amid fruit trees and loving families, getting to know one another in their teens before eloping to Idaho when they were 18 and 20. (By way of breaking the news, they sent a telegram to Carole’s mother, congratulating her on the arrival of a 6’3” son.)
Carole completed a year at Central Washington College, and Virgil spent a year at the University of Washington. But when WWII began he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, eventually becoming a Link Flight Training instructor in Pecos, Texas. At first Carole remained in Yakima, but she moved down to Pecos after the arrival of their first daughter, Pamela. After the war, they welcomed a second daughter, Rebecca. The young family lived in a simple garage behind Virgil’s parents’ house in Parker Heights until Virgil decided to take advantage of the GI Bill and re-enter the University of Washington to study Pharmacy.
They moved to Kirkland in 1950. Virgil completed his degree while working and supporting his family. In 1956, they purchased a drugstore at the corner of California Ave. SW and SW Admiral Way which, under new ownership, became Sheppard’s West Seattle Drug. And in 1959 they welcomed a third daughter, Megan.
For over forty years they worked together to make the store a success. Carole handled the bookkeeping, delivered prescriptions, and stocked the shelves with tasteful giftware, candles, and jewelry. Virgil (who had more of the public persona) could be found behind the pharmacy counter, in front of the store hosing down the sidewalks, drinking coffee at the Benbow, or at innumerable community meetings.
Virgil was the consummate community activist. He was proud of having won the Bowl of Hygeia award, one of the most prestigious in the pharmacy profession, given to recognize excellence in community service. He served on the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Commision, worked closely with the Seattle Police Department, and was known by legions of West Seattle students for his straightforward presentations in junior highs and high schools about drug use. He was instrumental in developing the statewide methadone treatment program and, in the 1970s, was one of the first to use a computer and database system designed especially for pharmacies.
In their family life, Virgil and Carole spent time boating in the San Juans and at the family cabin at Warm Beach. As befits “farm kids,” they also enjoyed working in the yard, growing produce at their Shelter Bay home and harvesting lemons and oranges from trees in their yard in East Mesa, Arizona, where they spent some of their latter years as snowbirds. Carole was a talented seamstress, a consummate cookie baker (she loved her sweets!) and appreciated good grammar and clever word play. She also loved her Mariners, and back in the day she broke her ankle leaping out of a chair when the Supersonics won the championship. Virgil was a hugger, a teller of good (and bad!) jokes, and sucker for any baby who came into view, offering a big grin, a finger wave, and an audible, “Awwww.”
Virgil and Carole are survived by daughters Pam O’Donnell (Mike) of Burlington, WA, Becky McKinnon (Barry) of Meridian, ID, and Megan Sheppard of Normandy Park, WA. Eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren will certainly miss Papa and Gigi/Gammy and Gabump. Carole is also survived by her sister, Lois Sidie Brown of Redmond. And both will be remembered fondly by numerous nieces and nephews. Interment: Evergreen-Washelli, with a private family gathering at a future date.
The family thanks the staff and friends at Mountain Glen Retirement Center in Mount Vernon, with special thanks to Hospice of the Northwest, to which we encourage any memorials: 227 Freeway Dr., Suite A, Mount Vernon, WA 98273.
Family and friends are remembering George Susnar, and sharing this with the community:
George Joseph Susnar
October 16, 1927 – October 17, 2020
We miss his engaging smile, twinkling eyes, sense of humor and friendly disposition.
George was born to Steve and Mary Susnar, immigrants from Croatia. Pre-deceased by infant brother Joseph and sister, Ann (pictured at right with George).
Lifetime Seattle resident, George grew up in Rainier Valley (Garlic Gulch) and lived on Beacon Hill for many years. He attended Colman Elementary School, Washington Junior High, and graduated from Franklin High School in 1945.
He served in the US Army (1946/1947) with the occupation forces in Japan.
George was a proud member of Union Local 66, Sheet Metal Workers. He worked in many Pacific Northwest locations and Alaska, and was a dues-paying retiree.
George was a huge sports fan, and in his early years he loved playing, especially basketball and baseball. He said he knew every pebble on Colman Field. He even had a job during school, shagging foul balls from the roof of Sick’s Stadium and delivering beer and hot dogs to the broadcasters and press. He was also recruited to play soccer for a Seattle City team even though he said he knew nothing about soccer. When that team won the City championship, the local paper noted his play, stating: “George ‘Stonewall’ Susnar, goalie, whose spectacular stops of impossible shots has been uncanny.” He was tracking baseball stats until the day before he died.
He walked at Alki Beach nearly each day and made many friends along the way. Fondly referred to as the “Mayor of Alki” by some of these friends, his presence there is missed.
George seemed to know everyone by name and was always interested in engaging with other people. He was friendly, independent, feisty, opinionated, and loved by many. We miss him.
Family and friends are remembering Georgette Shaughnessy Johnson, and sharing this with the community:
Georgette Leona Shaughnessy Johnson, 90 years of age, passed away on 11/18/2020 of natural causes. Georgette was born on 9/1/1930 to George and Clara Maes in Seattle. She was a proud big sister to twin brothers Donald and Ronald. Georgette met the love of her life, Patrick Shaughnessy, as he reported to work at the Georgetown Police Precinct, next door to her family home. They were married in 1950 and resided in West Seattle, raising four children, Patrick, Kathleen (Kevin) Hogan, Maureen (Stu) Nelson, and Jeaneen Chapman. Patrick and Georgette were married for 43 years at the time of his death in 1994.
Lucky again in love, she married John Johnson and added another loving daughter, Molly, to her family. Johnny and Georgette loved to travel and built a beautiful home in Magnolia to host celebrations for the family they loved so much. Johnny passed away in 2007.
Faith in God guided Georgette’s life as a devoted and loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother (Nanny G). She is survived by her children, 8 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, beloved sister-in-law Carole Maes (Ronald), and many nieces and nephews. Georgette’s family will always keep her safe in their hearts and cherish all their wonderful memories. A private funeral Mass was held at Holy Family in White Center, with burial at Calvary Cemetery. The Celebration of Life will be held at a later date due to COVID. Share memories of Georgette and visit the obituary page and online guestbook at www.emmickfunerals.com.
Earlier this month, we reported that Jack Block had died. Today, we have this remembrance from his family, including plans for a summertime memorial:
Legendary former Seattle Port Commissioner Jack Block died of cancer on All Saints Day, November 1, 2020.
Jack was 86 and born on September 17th, 1934. Jack graduated from West Seattle High School, attended the University of Washington, where he pledged Sigma Chi, and received his BS in International Trade, then into the US Navy to complete his military service for several years.
Jack ran and lost four races for public office in 1965, 1966, 1969, and 1971. Jack won his 1973 race to become a Seattle Port Commissioner and served for 28 years, the longest-serving Seattle Port Commissioner. The Jack Block Shoreline Park in West Seattle was named for him as a tribute to his service by the Port of Seattle.
Between 1974 and 2001, Block’s leadership helped transform the Seattle waterfront into a world-class port, wooing shipping lines to Seattle, bringing cruise ships to Elliott Bay, and modernizing cargo handling with huge cranes. As a longtime fisherman, environmental issues were close to his heart. Expanding public access along the waterfront, cleaning up toxic sites such as Terminal 5 and 18, and along the Duwamish River shoreline, were priorities for him.
Block is survived by wife Vicki Schmitz-Block, daughters Joey Mabe, Natalie Ramelow, and Heidi Wallace, and son Jack Block Jr., plus eight grandchildren and three greats! He was preceded in death by Fran Block, his first wife.
A public celebration and memorial will be held at the Jack Block Park in West Seattle on the 4th of July, 2021, COVID rules permitting.
Donations can be made in Jack’s name to the Washington State Council of Firefighters Burn Foundation, the Seattle Seafarers Center; or Long Live the Kings, a salmon restoration nonprofit.
Please share memories of Jack and condolences with his family at emmickfunerals.com/obituary/Jack-Block.
Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle
Family and friends are remembering John J. Jackson, and sharing his story with the community:
John was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 29, 1928 to George and Elizabeth Jackson. He was third oldest of 15 siblings.
In 1943, at the age of 15, he enlisted in the United States Navy. John saw action in the battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. When the USS Baxter sailed into Bremerton to be decommissioned, he thought Seattle would be a good town in which to settle. He went back to Chicago, and took a job selling magazines, where he met Alma Guthrie. They married and in 1954 their daughter, Colleen, was born. They moved to West Seattle six months later and made Alki Beach their home. He became known as the “Cool Dad” because he cooked dinners for Colleen and her friends, drove then to sports activities, movies, and concerts. He even helped them sell Girl Scout cookies.
John was truly one of a kind, and lived his life with flair and ambition, always wearing fine suits and a fedora. He was a creative businessman with unique ideas and enjoyed helping others find ways to help their business’ prosper. He defended those who needed protection and was incredibly generous. John always had a warm greeting for old friends, had a joke at the ready, and was able to make everyone feel special. He always left an impression on those he met.
He worked in the marketing and promotion business. He promoted many different products ranging from perfume to pudding to kitty litter. He then founded the North American Dinner Club for which he traveled all over the United States and Canada. He could recite all the highways one would use to drive into any area of this country or southern Canada. He was a very creative man and always had a new idea. He loved deeply and had friends all over the US and Canada.
In September of 2007 John married his longtime companion, and love of his life, Patsy Bechtold. They moved to Bonney Lake to live with Patsy’s daughter and son-in-law, Angie and Ryan, where he loved to spoil his two granddaughters. He was a good man, a kind man, and he enjoyed his life.
John peacefully passed on November 5, 2020, with Patsy at his side. He is survived by his daughter, Colleen, his wife Patsy, her daughter Angie (Ryan), two granddaughters (Savannah, Saveya), and six siblings (Patsy, Muffet, Gregory, Francis, Lewis, and Tim). He will be missed by all who knew him.
Family and friends have said goodbye to Rick Ream – and are sharing what he wanted you to know:
N. Richard “Rick” Ream
August 1, 1955 – November 13, 2020
N. Richard Ream made his exit on Friday the 13th. He wanted to pass along the following:
As a longtime reader, first-time contributor to these pages, I struggled on where to start. Knowing you are dying should make it easier to write an obituary… and yet. Way back in June of 2010, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer, which presented a sizable but not insurmountable hurdle to the best-laid plans. It went into remission, but before I was able to get a good look in the rear-view mirror, the cancer came back in my lungs. The official diagnosis of metastatic stage four renal cancer and a fresh wave of “science experiments” (avenues of treatment to control but not reverse the spread) slowed but didn’t stop me. I probably should have revisited my obituary, but after retiring from Boeing on April Fool’s Day after 32 years, I found myself with too much to do to bother with that. I threw myself back into house projects, restoring classic cars, and the celebration of the marriage of my only daughter with not one but two ceremonies and lots of family and friends. Despite my own health battles, I visited my father five times a week at the nursing facility he resided at for two years until his passing.
Safe to say, putting off the inevitable has never been a problem. As a jack of all trades, master of none, I enjoy helping out my large extended family with their own projects. I was born on August fool’s day, as the third of four children to Norm and Virginia Ream (Lisa, Don and Mike rounded out the family). I took apart my first car engine at age twelve, and went to work part-time as a mechanic for Stromberg’s Chevron in West Seattle as soon as I could, in addition helping my father’s construction company with projects all over the Pacific. After graduation from West Seattle High School, I enrolled part time at Seattle Central Community College where I met my future wife. I received my Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics License, and hired on as a machinist with Boeing. Over the years, I got to do some pretty cool things there. Among my favorites was selective-etch titanium chemimilling and later integrating robotic arms with six degrees of freedom to improve drilling efficiency on the Boeing 787 assembly line. Initially, the robots weren’t particularly accurate, but they were deathly consistent. Problem solving to consistently produce parts within thousandths of a meter was fun stuff.
In my free time, I’ve always been a fan of racing. In my youth, I ran my ‘57 Ranch Wagon, two-door station wagon far faster than the posted speed limit, tearing up the ski slopes and skies, as well as diving around Puget Sound. With age came wisdom that drag racing might not be the healthiest activity, so I started helping others go fast; first as a crew member for unlimited hydroplanes and then later as pit crew and biggest supporter of my wife, daughter, and niece’s inline speedskating careers as they competed both nationally and internationally.
Time flies when you are having fun, and the rest of the time too. For those of you whose paths I have crossed, I’d like to thank you for making it a fun ride. Realizing I’m not going to be around forever has been somewhat of an inconvenient truth, but I’m survived by my wife of 42 years, Catherine Ream, my daughter Micki Alapati (Jay), my sister Lisa Chamberlain (Clark), my sisters-in-law Annie Wedlund, Deenie Olleman (Ed), my brother in law Steve Cross (Billie), my nieces Tara Wedlund, Natalie Robinson, and Cybil Burnside (Tony), and my nephews Andrew Davis (Mary Ellen) and Nic Cross (Charliann), as well as numerous cousins, second-cousins and friends.
Preceded in death by my father (2019), mother (1983), brother Mike Ream (1983), brother Don Ream (1983), brother-in-law David Cross (2013), niece Julie Davis (2005), cousin John King (2017), and cousin Eric King (2019). I wish to be cremated, and my ashes laid to rest on my family’s beloved Vashon Island home. At some point in the future, there will be a celebration service. In lieu of flowers, I request donations to Seafair. So long, and thanks for all the fish!
Those who knew and loved Pat Moak are invited to her memorial Saturday, online. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:
Pat Moak passed away November 10, 2020.
She is survived by her husband Bill and son Brent. She is also survived by her brothers Ken and Debbie, Lyle, Ed, and Sue Lyle as well as many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews.
Pat taught at West Seattle Christian School, where she made many friends with staff, parents, and so many students.
There will be a Zoom service from West Seattle Christian Church this coming Saturday starting at 11:00 am; please check the church website for link info.
Any memorials can be made to West Seattle Christian Church.
Share memories and condolences with Pat’s family at www.emmickfunerals.com/obituary/Patricia-Moak. Arrangements entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle.
Another well-known West Seattleite has died. Seven years after finally retiring from his Admiral District service station, Dick Barnecut is gone. We just received this remembrance from his family:
Richard J. Barnecut died peacefully in his sleep early Sunday morning, November 8, 2020. “Dick” was born in Seattle on July 20, 1926, and was the oldest son of the late George and Imogene Barnecut. Dick’s father was part of a large clan (sixteen children!) that first settled in Seattle in 1889.
Dick graduated from West Seattle High School, Class of 1944, and was the right-fielder on the city championship baseball team of 1943. He enlisted in the United States Navy immediately after graduation and was honorably discharged two years later after serving as a radioman and gunner on a PBM seaplane. He married his high-school sweetheart, Dolores “Dee” Anderson, in 1947. They first met in junior high school and Mom must have overcome her initial impression of her future husband as “pretty obnoxious” because they were married for 68 years before her demise in 2015. Dick and Dee resided in West Seattle for all of their married life.
In 1953 Dick took over the ownership and management of the West Seattle service station business his father established in 1924. It is unlikely that Dad spent any time writing up a “business model” but he definitely had a philosophy: The customer comes first. A frequent reminder to his employees regarding the clientele was that “we need them more than they need us.” His authentic commitment to customer service and a tireless work ethic explain how a small business survived for almost ninety years.
Dick’s involvement in the community was not merely as a businessman. He was a longtime member of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, the Monogram Club of West Seattle, and he was a member of the Lions Club for sixty years. He contributed generously, and often, to numerous local charities.
Mom and Dad shared an optimistic, positive outlook on life. They worked hard but they made time to play as well and they had fun together. They owned a vacation home on Hood Canal for many years and they were loyal supporters of Husky football as season ticket holders for five decades. They were not extensive world travelers but they did visit Europe, which included Paris and the ancestral home of the Barnecuts in Cornwall, England.
Mom and Dad emphasized that family came first. And they meant it. By setting a good example, they gave to their children perhaps the greatest gift of all.
Dad will be remembered as a “people person” and it was not an act. He continued working late into life and it was an open secret that it was not the work that he liked so much as it was the opportunity to schmooze with his many longtime customers. In his later years there were some indications that the filter was not fully operational. However, those who really knew him would freely attest to his fairness, his integrity, and his tolerance.
Dick truly loved his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his country, and West Seattle. His passing is a loss for his family and the community and he will surely be missed.
Dick is survived by his four adult children and their spouses: Margaret (Paul) Abrahamson, James (Jamie) Barnecut, Mary Ellen (Ron) Smulski, and Andrew (Lisa) Barnecut. He is also survived by his six grandchildren: Tom Smulski, Jill Deimling, Jenny Abrahamson, Rachel Barnecut, Nick Barnecut, Angelina Barnecut, and his great-granddaughter, Kate Deimling.
A celebration of Dick’s life will have to be deferred due to COVID concerns. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to: West Seattle High School Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, 4742 42nd Ave SW, #215, Seattle, WA 98116; or St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 3050 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116.
Please visit www.emmickfunerals.com to sign the guest book.
Family and friends are remembering Diane Creighton, and sharing her story with the community here:
Diane Lovell Creighton passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack on July 18 at her home in West Seattle.
Born in Seattle on Oct. 19, 1938 to Alfred and Anna Finch, Diane spent her entire life living, working, and raising her family in the West Seattle area. Growing up, she attended Lafayette Elementary School, James Madison Junior High School, and graduated from West Seattle High School in 1957.
It was in history class at West Seattle High where Diane met her future husband, James “Jamie” Creighton. She spent many weekends and evenings cheering him on at football games, both in high school and into his college career.
Although Diane pre-dated Title IX opportunities her own daughters benefitted from in sports, she was a fierce competitor on the high school bowling team, as well as on the ski slopes and in the water, waterskiing with friends.
Much of Diane’s youth was spent working alongside her mother at her parents’ grocery store (Al’s Market) on California Avenue. The lessons of hard work and business management helped shape who she was personally and professionally.
Diane worked for more than 40 years as the office manager for Southwest Pediatrics in Burien. There, she enjoyed watching generations of families come through the office.
An active gardener, Diane spent countless hours working in her yard, creating a haven for hummingbirds, which she enjoyed watching from her kitchen windows. She also loved watching football with Jim, cheering for (and critiquing) the Huskies and Seahawks.
Diane and Jim were married for 57 years, much of the last 10 spent with Diane caring for Jim in the final stages of Parkinson’s disease. Her dedication is a testament to their love and commitment to one another – in sickness and in health. They were devoted parents, raising strong and independent women reflective of their own upbringing in West Seattle.
Diane is survived by her two daughters, Jocelyn (Chris) McCabe and Jennifer Creighton; and grandson Ryan McCabe. She was preceded in death by her husband, James N. Creighton; her parents Alfred and Anna Finch; and her brother, Alfred (Al) Finch.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Medic One and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
A joint memorial for Jim and Diane will be held in West Seattle when it is safe for all to gather and remember these two remarkable people – hopefully sometime soon.
An online memorial service is planned next Saturday for Christine Horner, who grew up in West Seattle. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:
On Monday, November 2, 2020, Christine Horner, loving wife and mother passed away at the age of 72. She was at home with her husband, Bill, and beloved daughters.
Chris was born December 22, 1947 in San Francisco. Her father was a former WWII pilot and her mother was a beautician. Her father’s roots were from Wichita, Kansas, and her mother’s family was from Seattle. Her father (Chuck) was working as a pilot in a commercial air (medical) service when he learned of an opening at Boeing. Chuck took the job and Chris was headed to West Seattle at age 4. Chris’s mother (Marian) had strong ties to West Seattle, so Marian and family were headed home.
Chris went all through public school in West Seattle: Jefferson Elementary, Madison Jr. High, and started her sophomore year at West Seattle High School. Chuck’s career was advancing well at Boeing, and after many years of saving, their dream home in Shorewood on the Sound was completed. Chris transferred from West Seattle to Evergreen High School near the end of her Sophomore year. She left many longtime friends behind in West Seattle but at the same time started to make new friends at Evergreen. She became involved in school activities and was editor of the Evergreen High yearbook her senior year.
High School graduation led to Western Washington State College (now WWU) in the fall of 1966. Initially interested in Chemistry, Chris found her calling in teaching and switched to the Education Department. Chris graduated with a degree in Education in Spring of 1970 and received a teaching contract to teach 2nd Grade in the Edmonds School District.
Chris met Bill in the final quarter of her Senior year at Western. Bill was also an Education Major. Chris loves to point out they met in a class called the “Sociology of Deviant Behavior” – well, what do you expect, it was the early ’70s. Both went two separate professional directions, as Bill took a job with the Aberdeen School District. A few months of separation proved to be too much. Bill and Chris were engaged during Spring Vacation of 1971 and married on June 19, 1971.
Thus began 50 years of marriage. Chris was able to take a teaching job in the McCleary School District for the 1971 – 1972 school year. Unfortunately, McCleary Schools suffered a levy failure and Chris was released. She went into the bank in Aberdeen, inquired and began a 15-year full-time, and later, a part-time career with Seattle First National Bank (SEAFIRST). In 1974, the family of three moved to Burien, as Bill had taken a job with the Renton School District. In 1977, Bill decided to leave teaching and went to work for Boeing.
Bill and Chris have three daughters: Rachele (born 1973 in Aberdeen), Katy (born 1976 in Seattle), and Annie (born 1983 in Seattle). The girls started to enter school and Chris decided she wanted to be a Mom meeting the girls as they arrived home from school. The SEAFIRST work dropped to one day a week with a very few days added in on rare occasions. Chris decided to get back to teaching in the late 1980s. She worked for two years running a preschool center for immigrant families. This program was operated through South Seattle Community College. After this assignment, she decided that she wanted to get back to the Public Schools and was hired as a substitute teacher with Seattle Schools. One sub assignment took her to Maple Elementary School on Beacon Hill. The following year, she had a continuing contract at Maple School, where she remained until her retirement in June of 2008. Her career at Maple School started in the Bilingual Orientation Center (BOC). This was a special classroom designed to receive recently arrived immigrant children. Her job was to prepare them to “mainstream” into a regular classroom. Chris had access to multiple language interpreters. She had no need to speak another language since she would have 5 or more languages represented in the classroom at any one time. Whenever asked how she managed, she simply would say, “My job is to teach them English.” After three years in the BOC, Chris transitioned into a regular classroom, where she taught 1st and 2nd grade for the next 14 years. Bill and Chris both retired in 2008, spending time with daughters and grandchildren as well as pursuing their favorite past time -Travel. Many great International and Domestic trips were taken between 2000 and 2019.
In 2016, the decision was made to leave the 1910 home in West Seattle (a home with many stairs) for a house with very few or even zero stairs. The hunt was started for a “rambler.” The primary area of focus was Bellingham. It appears, however, that the house they were searching for found them. That house was in Anacortes, a town that they have learned to love very much, and the house was perfect.
Chris has had three battles with breast cancer: stage one in 1990, stage 3 in 2014, taking us to stage 4 in late 2019 to the present. She was a fighter.
Christine was predeceased by her parents. She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Bill Horner; daughters (spouses): Rachele (Chris Jacobson), Kathryn (Zach Russell), and Anne (Josh Stilts); grandchildren: Alyssa, Emily Balogh, Lewis, Natalie, Charles Russell, Emmeline Stilts, Kaylee Jacobson; great-grandson Arlo Forville; and brother Jeff Cunningham.
A Virtual Online Celebration of Life for Christine will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, November 14, 2020 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Anacortes. There will not be an in-person service. The link to attend the Virtual Celebration: here or here. To share memories of Chris, please sign the online guestbook here.
A well-known West Seattleite has died: Former Seattle Port Commissioner Jack Block. A moment of silence was held in his memory as current Seattle and Tacoma port commissioners gathered online for today’s Northwest Seaport Alliance managing-members meeting. You might know Mr. Block as the namesake of the port-owned Jack Block Park in West Seattle, which was renamed in his honor in 2001, three years after it opened as Terminal 5 Park. Mr. Block is a former longshore worker who was elected to the Port Commission in 1973 and served until 2001; the port says he was its longest-serving commissioner, adding, “Throughout his life he always supported working people, free trade, and those who needed help most in our communities.” This 1986 Journal of Commerce profile notes some of Mr. Block’s accomplishments, including rising to union leadership at a relatively young age. Mr. Block, who lived in Fauntleroy with wife Vicki Schmitz Block, was 86 years old. Emmick Family Funeral Home (WSB sponsor) is handling arrangements, which are still in progress.