Notable local citizens who died last year
The past year saw the passing of many notable people in the Puget Sound area, individuals whose callings ranged from civil servants to artists, from inventors to journalists and from the socially conscious to police officers. Their stories were told in obituaries that appeared in The Seattle Times throughout 2009. Here are their names and the marks they made.
2009 | A Look Back
Seattle Times photo editors have chosen their favorite images of 2009.
Leah McCollough, 43, a leader at Hopelink, a Northwest-based social-service agency, and board president of the Women's Funding Alliance of Seattle, suffered a coronary embolism and died Jan. 8 at her Bellevue home.
Hank Reverman, 96, who as a young man converted a dirt-floor garage into the Blue Moon Tavern, one of Seattle's most beloved watering holes, died of congestive heart failure Jan. 15. He also was a decorated pilot in World War II and founded Lake Union Air Service.
Dr. John B. Coombs, 63, a physician lauded by his colleagues as a national leader in improving health care for underserved and rural populations through his work with the University of Washington's rural-health program, died of melanoma at his Seattle home on Jan. 19.
George H. Bartell Jr., 92, chairman emeritus of the Bartell Drug Co. and son of its founder, George Bartell Sr., died of pneumonia Jan. 21 in Mesa, Ariz. He had been a Seattle resident most of his life.
Mary Skinner, 63, the first Latino lawmaker from the Yakima Valley, a Republican who served 14 years in the state House, died Feb. 5 of colon cancer.
Janice Krenmayr, 95, a former Seattle Times reporter who drove with her husband, Joe, from Seattle to the tip of South America and wrote 140 stories for the Times Sunday magazine about their years of adventure, died Feb. 7 in Woodinville. She also wrote a series of local guidebooks, including "Footloose in Seattle."
George Sundborg, 95, a Washington and Alaska journalist who helped write the Alaska state constitution and usher the frontier territory into statehood, died of pneumonia Feb. 7 in Seattle.
Sim Wilson, 81, of Kingston, Kitsap County, the former publisher of the Marysville Globe and Arlington Times who served in the state House from 1972 to 1992, died Feb. 8 after kidney-cancer surgery.
Raymond Alvah Hanson, 85, of Spokane, whose many patents include a mechanism that made it safer to harvest grain on the rolling hills of the Palouse, died Feb. 26. He also designed one of the world's largest cranes for the Grand Coulee Dam.
Richard Ishikawa, 76, of Bellevue, a retired King County Superior Court judge and the state's first Japanese American to be elected a judge, died March 3 from complications of congestive heart disease and kidney failure.
Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr., 99, who as research director of Allen B. DuMont Laboratories helped develop the technology that enabled cathode-ray tubes to display moving images — television — died March 5 at a retirement community outside Olympia.
Mary Pang, 87, who with her late husband built a million-dollar Seattle business selling frozen Chinese food — only to see it destroyed when son Martin burned their warehouse in 1995 for the insurance, killing four firefighters — died March 6 of a heart attack.
Peter Donnelly, 70, who moved here to work at Seattle Repertory Theatre in 1964, headed ArtsFund from 1989 to 2005 and was one of the most important figures in Seattle's arts community over the past 45 years, died March 28 of pancreatic cancer.
Bud Shank, 82, an alto saxophonist and flutist who was artistic director of the annual weeklong Jazz Port Townsend workshops in Washington for 21 years, died of a pulmonary embolism April 2 in Tucson, Ariz. He helped propel cool-school West Coast jazz to prominence in the 1950s and fostered the melding of American and Brazilian music that created the bossa nova.
Bernie Gobin, 79, a Tulalip Tribes leader and fishing-rights activist, died May 4 in Tulalip of an apparent heart attack.
Jean Colman, 59, who directed the Welfare Rights Organizing Coalition, in Seattle, and spent her career working to help lower-income women achieve fair treatment and dignity, died May 8 after a long battle with breast cancer.
William Witherup, 74, a Seattle poet, playwright and activist whose work focused on racism, technology and people who lived downwind of the Hanford nuclear reservation, died June 3 in Seattle of leukemia, which he believed was caused by the operations at Hanford.
Stan Strick, 68, former executive editor of The (Everett) Herald who led the newsroom from 1992 until his retirement in November 2007, died June 4 from complications of cancer treatment.
Bob Bogle, 75, of Vancouver, Wash., a co-founder of the legendary Tacoma garage rock band the Ventures and the architect behind the distinctive guitar sound of early hits "Walk, Don't Run" and "Perfidia," died June 14 of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Max Gurvich, 94, businessman, sailing and skiing aficionado and longtime patron of arts organizations such as the Seattle Art Museum and Cornish College of the Arts, where he was a board member for nearly three decades until 2001, died June 15 at his home in Seattle's Laurelhurst neighborhood.
Joan Conner McDonell, 81, who worked at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and then The Seattle Times over four decades, raised eight children and volunteered at her church, died of cancer June 21 at her Magnolia home.
Phil Noble, 62, a three-term Bellevue City Council member and passionate advocate for ending homelessness, died unexpectedly June 21 of complications from a blood disorder.
Ricardo Aguirre, 72, a Seattle-area businessman and former Husky football player who was a longtime community leader in Latino issues and helped found El Centro de la Raza, died July 3 after an illness.
Samuel E. Kelly Sr., 83, an educator who developed the ethnic-studies program at Shoreline Community College and established the Office of Minority Affairs at the University of Washington, where he was vice president for minority affairs, died July 6 at his Redmond home of congestive heart failure.
Joe Budnick, 92, of Bothell, a semipro athlete who coached basketball, baseball and football for more than 50 years, died July 8. He coached at the University of Washington, Seattle University, Edmonds Community College and O'Dea High School and coached semipro teams.
Ruben Trejo, 72, a noted Mexican-American artist who taught at Eastern Washington University, died July 19 in Spokane of myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder. His work is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Rory Marshall, 54, an Associated Press editor who worked in Seattle for decades, died of lung cancer Aug. 2.
George Tall, 96, who owned and operated Tall's Travel Shop in downtown Seattle and passed the business, now Tall's Camera, to his descendants, died Aug. 8 in a Mercer Island retirement community.
Dave James, 66, owner/operator of The Vac Shop in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood, whose gratitude at overcoming addiction led him to give away thousands of Bibles over the years and share his faith with others facing struggles, died Aug. 13 after a long illness.
Frederic Danz, 91, of Kirkland, a civic leader and philanthropist who took over as president of Sterling Recreational Organization when his father died in 1961 and expanded the theater chain to include radio stations and bowling alleys, died Aug. 21.
Wayne D. Larkin, 82, whose career in Seattle's public service spanned three decades — as a City Council member, firefighter and police officer — died Sept. 3 in Seattle after a brief illness.
F. Theodore "Ted" Thomsen, 85, of Bellevue, an attorney who helped establish the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and worked to preserve the natural beauty of the Northwest, died of cancer Sept. 19 in Bellevue.
Eloise R. Giblett, 88, a physician and University of Washington professor emeritus who served as executive director of the Puget Sound Blood Center from 1979 to 1987, died Sept. 23 in Seattle. Her lifelong research on blood helped make transfusions safer and bone-marrow transplants more likely to succeed.
Rich Medved, 56, of Seattle, who joined the King County Assessor's Office in 2002 and became its chief deputy the following year, then was named interim assessor in June 2009, died Oct. 19, after suffering a stroke on July 14.
Jack Poole, 76, the real-estate developer who worked for a decade to bring the 2010 Winter Olympics to Vancouver, B.C., died there Oct. 23 of pancreatic cancer.
Chuck Morgan, 98, known as "Mr. Kirkland" for the role he played as a journalist and community activist in building the city, died Oct. 30 in Wenatchee. He was editor, then publisher, of the East Side Journal for almost three decades, co-founded the Kirkland Performance Center and was active in the Kirkland Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce.
Timothy Brenton, 39, A Seattle police officer was shot and killed Oct. 31 while sitting in his patrol car with an officer in training on 29th Avenue, north of East Yesler Way in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood when a gunman pulled up next to their car and opened fire. A field training officer, Brenton, of Marysville, was responsible for shaping and molding new officers and helping them apply their classroom experience to the streets.
Phyllis Mayo, 63, a former human-resources manager at The Seattle Times who played an instrumental role in developing the company's diversity programs, died from cancer Nov. 22. Her most recent position at the newspaper was director of diversity and inclusion. Throughout her tenure, she played a lead role in promoting the hiring and development of minority employees.
Mark Renninger, 39, one of four Lakewood police officers slain at a Pierce County coffee house Nov. 29 by a felon with a long record in Arkansas and Washington. Renninger, a Lakewood sergeant from Puyallup, was a former Army Ranger, a nationally known SWAT team trainer and the rock of his department. He was also a devoted family man who was raising three children with his wife.
Ronald Owens, 37, also among the four Lakewood police officers slain at a Pierce County coffee house Nov. 29, was a second-generation police officer, a former state trooper and the loving father of a 7-year-old daughter. He lived in the Parkland area of Pierce County.
Tina Griswold, 40, was among the four Lakewood police officers slain Nov. 29 at a Pierce County coffee house. Although she stood just 4 feet, 11 inches tall, Griswold impressed colleagues over a 14-year career in law enforcement as a tough cop willing to go into any situation.
Gregory Richards, 42, of Graham, was also among the four Lakewood police officers slain at a Pierce County coffee house Nov. 29. He was the glass-half-full guy, the one who saw the better view of any situation, said his widow, Kelly. It was Officer Richards who got off the shot that wounded shooter Maurice Clemmons.
Joseph F. Wheeler, 77, the founding director of Centrum, the nonprofit arts organization at the decommissioned Army base at Fort Worden, Port Townsend, died Nov. 2 of liver cancer. He made Centrum famous for its writers conferences, musical workshops, performances and music festivals.
Marco Magnano Sr., 95, the Seattle native who helped run a family-owned olive-oil import business, now known as the Napoleon Company, and who expanded its product line and its reach into several states, died Nov. 13 in Seattle.
Svein Gilje, 75, a longtime Seattle Times reporter and columnist, a leader in the local Norwegian community and founding president of Seattle's Nordic Heritage Museum, died Nov. 13 of cortical basal ganglionic degeneration, similar to Parkinson's disease.
Roy Scully, 85, a prizewinning Seattle Times photographer known for his artistic and technical skills, as well as his humility, puns and storytelling, died Nov. 14 of complications from Parkinson's disease.
Harold "Hal" Reasby, 78, the first African-American superintendent of the Edmonds and Monroe school districts, died of a cerebral hemorrhage Nov. 30. He spent more than three decades in education and tutored even in retirement. He also spent 22 years in the Seattle School District, beginning in 1958 at Ingraham High School, where he taught and coached track.
John Bagnariol, 77, the former speaker of the state House whose plan to run for governor was cut short by a gambling scandal, died of pneumonia Dec. 6 in Renton. He served two years in federal prison but insisted for the rest of his life on his innocence.
Perry Lorenzo, 51, an opera buff who introduced fans of all ages to the wonder of the art form as education director for Seattle Opera, died Dec. 19 in Seattle after a seven-month battle with lung cancer. Before joining Seattle Opera in 1992, he taught for 10 years at Kennedy High School in Burien.
Dr. Edwin G. Krebs, 91, a University of Washington scientist awarded the 1992 Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering a biological switch in cells, died Dec. 21 of progressive heart-failure complications. In the 1950s, Krebs and a colleague discovered that enzymes that help release energy in cells can be activated and deactivated by the presence of phosphate.
Kent Mundell Jr., 44, a Pierce County sheriff's deputy, died Dec. 28, from gunshots suffered while responding to a domestic-violence call a week earlier outside Eatonville. A 10-year veteran of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, Deputy Mundell, of the Spanaway area, left behind his wife, Lisa, and two children, 16 and 10.
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.