MOUNT VERNON — Tom Keegan, whose first experience on the Skagit Valley College campus was as a student in the 1970s, will in August retire as …
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Anacortes - Carole "Jeanie" Jean Elliott, 86, passed away peacefully in Anacortes on October 6, 2021. Jeanie's story began in Wild Rose, North Dakota on March 29, 1935. Her parents, Ed and Anna Njos, already had her older brother Ray and older sister Elizabeth. Not too long after Jeanie was born, she gained a little brother, Ervin. Their family grew even more when they took in a relative, Florence Kinun. She and Jeanie were the same age and became as close as sisters. After hearing about how beautiful the Pacific Northwest was, Ed and Anna decided to move the family to Issaquah, WA. They did however keep their farm in North Dakota and would travel back each summer to harvest. Jeanie and the other children were hesitant about the move at first but quickly settled in. She graduated from Issaquah High School with a desire to pursue teaching. She made the move out west to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University (WWU) and graduated with her teaching certificate. A talented teacher to her very core, she had a fulfilling career at Anacortes School District for 50 years. Her students will remember her for her kindness and easy-going attitude. Jeanie met the love of her life, Dale Arthur Elliott, while attending WWU. He said he took one look at her and knew; it was a genuine story of love at first sight. They built a life together in Anacortes and enjoyed classic pacific northwest outdoor activities including camping, hiking, and fishing. Their greatest joy was raising their two children, Darce and Bryan. Jeanie is preceded in death by her husband Dale Arthur Elliott; siblings Ray Njos, Elizabeth Njos, and Ervin Njos. She is survived by her children Darce Elliott and Bryan Elliott; grandchildren Landon Daniels and Clara Elliott; great-grandchild Dakota Daniels; sister-at-heart Florence Kinun; special friends Maria Papritz and Carol Oglesbee. Visitation will be held at Evans Funeral Chapel on Friday, October 15, 2021 from 3pm to 5pm. Jeanie's graveside service will held at Grand View Cemetery in Anacortes on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 1pm. To share memories of Jeanie, please sign the online guestbook at www.evanschapel.com
Camano Island - That Man is a Success "A man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has met his goals and accomplished his tasks; who leaves the world better than he found it, who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had." Our family is deeply saddened to announce the death of our father, husband, grandfather, brother, and uncle, Gene Cameron Cleeland. Gene was born on January 7, 1937, in Los Angeles, California, to Roy and Sylvia (Asplund) Watson. He passed away on Sunday, October 3, 2021, at Providence Everett Medical Center in Everett, WA after a valiant and incredibly resilient 20-year health struggle. Gene's biological father Roy passed away when he was 3-years old, and he went to live on the family farm in Kingsburg, CA with his beloved grandmother Anna. She cared for Gene lovingly while his mother Sylvia was establishing herself as a Registered Nurse in Wickenburg, Arizona. Sylvia met Gene's stepfather, Reverend B. Ross Cleeland, while living in Wickenburg and they married. At that point, Sylvia brought Gene from Kingsburg to live with she and Ross in Wickenburg. During this time, he was adopted by Ross, his brother Byron was born (1943), and his memories were vast and wide. His biological father's brother lived in Wickenburg, so he was able to spend time with his cousins while living in Arizona as a child. He began his grade school career in Wickenburg, and always told our family that he skipped two grades in elementary school, as his knowledge base far surpassed the average early-elementary student. He loved going to Yarnell, Arizona in the summer as a child, as the temperatures were much cooler in comparison to Wickenburg. While in Yarnell, he would climb the huge boulders and play endlessly. His friend "Old Man Wagner" used to take him to Yarnell to trade with the Apache tribes and he would play with the Apache children while the trading was taking place. In 1945, when Dad was 8, his parents moved to the remote village of Klawock, Alaska as missionaries. His memories of his time in Alaska were filled with hunting, fishing, and learning to be resilient. Dad's time in Alaska as a child wasn't always filled with good memories, but he did often talk about how he would spend time in the woods hunting, became a firearm expert, chopping tons of wood, and helping his mother around the house constantly. He loved playing basketball at the school, setting up the speakers for Sunday service for his parents, clearing the snow and ice off the church steps, and the "homesteading" lifestyle that he learned while living so remotely. It is during this time that he developed a passion for singing, as he would sing with his family in church quite often. He established a few friendships at that time that lasted the span of his lifetime and returned to Klawock in 2017 to be officially "adopted" into the Tlingit tribe by his friend Aaron Isaacs. His family returned to Arizona in 1949, when dad was 12. He attended Tempe High School, graduating at the age of 17 in 1954. While attending school, he was very involved in acting in the school plays, singing in the choir, and playing basketball. He was awarded the Air Force ROTC Cadet Wing Tactical Training Program Scholarship and attended Arizona State University with a major in Aeronautics. (His life-long friendship with John Will began at this time.) He joined the Air Force Reserves Officer Training Corp as a Major Cadet in the summer of 1958 and became a qualified pilot. Dad's parents relocated to Maui, Hawaii in the summer of 1954 and he joined them there after pilot school. It was there in Maui that he took further courses at Maunaolu College (played basketball), established a life-long friendship with his special friend Ron Vaught, and began traveling across the United States with the Na Hui O Na Mea Nui choral group, singing Hawaiian music with his friend Ron and Ron's wife Alexa. In 1960, Dad was drafted into the Army and was stationed at Fort Lewis Army Base in Tacoma, WA. While stationed at Fort Lewis Army Base, he met Camille Dunmire and they were married in Tacoma, WA on August 8th, 1964. In 1965, Dad graduated from Officer's Candidate School and became a Lieutenant in the Army National Guard Reserves. He was notified that his cadet group would be going to Vietnam (it hadn't been declared a war yet) and he was offered a position as an aide to Brigadier General Howard D. McGee, who was the Adjutant General of the State of Washington in 1965. While working as an Aide to General McGee, he also was employed by Russ Dunmire Oldsmobile in Tacoma, WA as a top salesman. In 1968, Gene and Camille left Tacoma and moved to Los Angeles, CA so that Dad could pursue a career in radio announcing. He received training at Don Martin School of Radio and Television, graduating in 1969. Upon graduation, Gene's first job at a radio station was in Eugene, Oregon, culminating in Newport, Oregon in 1972. In 1970, after six years of marriage, his daughter Elise was born in Lincoln City, Oregon. Dad's desire to return to the automobile business brought him to Skagit County in 1972. He began work at Hinton Oldsmobile in Mount Vernon as a sales manager. In 1975, his son Cameron was born. Throughout the span of his 21-year career path, he ventured into the auto industry, travel business, and many other sales endeavors. For the past 12 years, Gene made his home on beautiful Camano Island with his life partner, Deborah Schacker. Dad and Debbie took numerous wonderful and rewarding trips, attended a plethora of gospel concerts, partnered to create a beautiful home, and shared a life together filled with friendship and love. Over the last ten years, Dad's health struggles increased, and Debbie lovingly cared for him in their home. Our family is extremely grateful for the love, support, care, and friendship she provided Dad throughout the latter years of his life. Dad was an integral member of Bethany Covenant Church, beginning in 1974. He sang in the church choir, often performed solos for funerals/weddings, and was well-known for being highly engaging and friendly in conversation and relationship building with his church community. During his time at Bethany, he established strong friendships that resulted in the creation of a gospel quartet named "Kerusso". This gospel quartet toured churches in Washington spreading joy and the gospel through music and worship. Dad was gifted with an incredible bass baritone voice and was sought out to sing in many events in the community. In the early 60's, Dad's voice led him to be selected as the MC/Vocalist for the Miss Tacoma Pageant for two years in a row. He also sang the National Anthem at the University of Washington in the 1990's, and he went with the UW Marching Band to Europe to tour and sing in 2005. Gospel music was a large part of Dad's life, and he used this music to connect strongly with the Lord. His faith was very strong, and he looked forward to "Resting High On That Mountain." Dad was a very avid fan of athletics. He supported his children and grandchildren in all their athletic endeavors and encouraged each of them to be the best athlete they could be. He was an integral part of the Sedro Woolley High School sporting community and created many life-long friendships throughout that time. Among those life-long friendships were the important bonds with Ted W. Anderson and Mark Collins. Dad was a very well-read, well-researched, and opinionated individual in areas of politics, history, athletics, and family relationships. His mantra was always resilience and tenacity, despite obstacle and challenge. He taught us all that the way to promote success in our own lives was to never give up. We continue to carry this legacy of learning with us as we continue our lives without him. Dad is survived by his long-time life partner Deborah Schacker of Camano Island; his former wife Camille Dunmire Cleeland of Big Lake; his daughter Elise (Tim) Cleeland-Roberson and their children Kaelyn, Christian, and Kyrin of Big Lake; his son Cameron (Mindy) Cleeland and their children Roice, Treynor, and Dulcie of Vancouver, WA; his brother Byron Cleeland of Kauai, Hawaii He was proceeded in death by his biological father Roy C. Watson, his mother/adopted father B. Ross and Sylvia L. Cleeland, as well as his lifelong friends John Will and Ron Vaught. At Gene's request, there will be no service. His biggest desire was for people to know that he lived a wonderful and full life with a host of blessings. Dad wasn't scared to leave this life, as he knew he would be with the Lord in Heaven. We rejoice in his newfound freedom from the constraints of his earthly body, as he is free and full of joy!
Middleton, ID - Dr. Ronald Guard Crawford, Ed.D. passed away on September 29, 2021, at his home in Middleton, Idaho. He was born on May 9, 1941, to Captain Larry and Edythe (Guard) Crawford in Washington and grew up in Friday Harbor, Washington where his father was Commodore of the Washington Ferry System. Ron's families (Fowler, Guard and Crawford) were five-generation descendants of San Juan Island pioneers. He graduated from Friday Harbor High School in 1959. Ron attended Washington State University, University of Washington and Columbia University, obtaining his B.S., M.A's. and a Doctorate. Ron worked in the public school system serving as a Teacher, Counselor, Principal and Superintendent in Renton, Seattle, Monroe, Snohomish and Mukilteo School Districts in the State of Washington as well as Larchmont, New York. Following retirement, Ron renewed his love for the San Juan Islands, designing and building yachts with San Juan Yacht Sales in Anacortes and Adventure Yacht Sales in Seattle. Ron has fond memories of his nearly 150 trips to Taiwan and China where his yachts were manufactured. Ron's service to his community was important to him and he was active with The Lion's Club, Exchange Club, American Heart Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs, Chamber of Commerce, the Northwest Educational Service District, several HOA boards, and NW Yacht Brokers. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Patricia Ryan Crawford of Middleton, Idaho and children: Steve (Yvette) of Chesapeake, Virginia, Robert (Shanon) of Lake Stevens, Washington, Nichole (Crawford) Calico (Bruce) of Carnation, Washington, Ryan (Carey) Henson of Star, Idaho and Celeste (Henson) Stein (Erik) of Middleton, Idaho; grandchildren: Victoria, Joshua, Rylee and Rebekah Crawford, Mac Calico, Brooklyn and Logan Crawford, Kaylee and Maya Henson and Ava and Vivian Stein; siblings: Jan Crawford-Sanford of Kirkland, Washington, Larry (Helen) Crawford of Lake Stevens, Washington and Ken Crawford of Poulsbo, Washington. Ron and Patty's passion for travel took them to over 40 countries in their time together. Ron and Patty lived part-time in Mazatlán, Mexico where Ron and Patty enjoyed the ocean, golfing and spending time with their friends at the Estrella Del Mar, golf community. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at Holy Apostles Catholic Church in Meridian, Idaho October 15, 2021 at 2:30. A memorial service and an additional celebration for Ron will be scheduled during the summer of 2022 in the Anacortes area followed by a burial in the Shaw island Cemetery family plot in the San Juan Islands. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Luke's Hospice or Holy Apostles Catholic Church, both in Meridian, Idaho.
MOUNT VERNON — A Jefferson Elementary School teacher has been honored for finding innovative ways to teach her science students.
Incumbent Stanwood-Camano School Board member Al Schreiber is facing Gary Forslund for the District 1 seat in the Nov. 2 election.
SEDRO-WOOLLEY — For students and teachers in the Sedro-Woolley School District, getting a library card is about as simple as walking through t…
Skagit County Public Health reported 387 new cases of COVID-19 for the seven-day period running Oct. 3 through Oct. 9.
Stanwood Barbara Ann (Gleason) Chappel was born to Adelbert "Dell" and Mellesina "Millie" Gleason, March 7, 1931 in Hibbing, Minnesota. Barbara passed away September 19, 2021 at the age of 90. In an area known as the "Iron Range," Barbara grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota. Born to a musical family, with her mother and sisters playing piano, she developed her own voice which eventually led her to singing on her very own radio show as a young adult. In 1949, Barbara met Bud Chappel at Hibbing Junior College where they attended the Snowball Dance as their first date. They married in 1953 and, after 67 years of marriage, she never stopped playing pranks on Bud. After Bud finished college in Fargo, North Dakota to become a pharmacist, they moved out west to Washington and raised their family of four in Stanwood. While her children were in school, Barbara eagerly contributed to the community by teaching Sunday school at St. Aidan's on Camano Island, was an active board member of the Stanwood Camano Food Bank and Sno-Isle Library, and fulfilled the role as proud "den mother" to the campfire girls and cub scouts of the Cedarhome neighborhood. She loved being around children and especially loved teaching them etiquette, as she said, "good manners don't cost anything." After her children were grown, she opened Saratoga Fudge & Coffee in downtown Stanwood which she ran from the early 1980's to 1990's. A great conversationalist with quick wit, she loved meeting new people, connecting with the community, and of course good coffee and chocolate. Barbara and Bud's home was a natural gathering place over the years. Spending time with her loved ones meant the most to her, and she loved to host parties for their friends and family. Eventually these parties turned into traditions with her grandchildren, who knew her as Nana. Birthdays spent together, dying Easter eggs, trick or treating, holiday baking, and Christmas table gifts, are a few of the traditions that meant so much to her. Barbara was a voracious reader and loved learning about everything, especially history and art. She loved a good story and was habitually involved in book clubs with friends. Keeping up with the latest trends in fashion, she always lent her closet to her grandchildren playing dress-up. During the summers, her family spent most of their time at their beach cabin on Camano Island. There she loved to lay in the sun, play card games with neighbors, and sleep outside under the stars. She saw beauty in many things around her and loved to share that with others. To her loved ones, Barbara was an encourager. She taught her children and grandchildren to take risks and make things happen for themselves. She supported her family to travel and see the world. She engaged in real conversation and debate. Her family knew well to "smile like Nana," and to enjoy the blessings God has given us. There was no one more protective, or proud, of her family. For all who knew her, her death leaves a hole that will never be replaced. Barbara is preceded in death by parents Adelbert "Dell" and Mellesina "Millie" Gleason; husband Clyde "Bud" Chappel; sisters Jean, Helen, and Tamson; brother George; sister-in-law Marylu Chappel Odegard, and dear friend Beth Anderson. Barbara is survived by her brother William "Billy" Gleason (Yvonne), children Andy Chappel (Laura), Steve Chappel, Heidi Chappel (Lou), and Buff Walker (Dan); grandchildren Shea (Tom), Maggie, Sarah (Jay), Emily (Hans), and Stephen; along with dear family friends Jere Palmer; Roseann Lindell and family; Deanna McDowell; and Barb Zelmer. A private family graveside service for Barbara will be held at the Scandinavian Cemetery in Stanwood, WA. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. The family is very grateful for the dedicated care given to Barbara at Skagit Valley Hospital. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Chappel Family Scholarship Fund, through the Stanwood Camano Area Foundation, for a scholarship to a SHS graduate. Arrangements under the direction of Gilbertson Funeral Home, Stanwood, WA.