Archive for the ‘In memory’ Category

Roy Marti, a Wolf for life. (Photos courtesy Christi Messner)

Wolf Nation has lost a hoops legend.

Roy Marti, who graduated in 1980 as the #21 scorer in Coupeville High School boys basketball history, still sits at a very-impressive #40 all-time four-plus decades later.

Part of a prominent Wolf athletic family, he passed away Tuesday at age 60 after a battle with ALS.

Marti rang up 551 points across three varsity hoops seasons at CHS, allowing him to edge sister Judy (545) for family honors.

Other high-scoring family hoops stars include Roy’s nephew, JJ (520), and brothers Frank (462) and Chris (319).

Niece Katie Marti is the latest hoops sensation to spring from the family, having made her varsity debut as a freshman during the 2021-2022 season.

Roy tossed in 16 points as a sophomore during the 1977-1978 season, before soaring to a 342-point performance as a junior.

He capped things with another 193 points as a senior.


His obituary, as posted by the family:

Roy John Marti III passed away at home on June 21st, 2022.

He was born April 9th, 1962 to Roy John Marti II and Judith Bernice Roberts in Seattle, Wash.

He was raised in Coupeville, Wash., and graduated from Coupeville High School with the class of 1980.

Roy worked for Sierra Pacific Industries for seven years, retiring in March of 2021.

Roy married the love of his life, Kelly Toomey, on July 7th, 2007 in Humptulips, Wash.

They were married for almost 15 years, but have been together since 1988.

Being a papa was his favorite. He loved being with friends and family.

He enjoyed raising pigs, chickens, and all other animals you can eat.

He loved to farm, hunt, fish, and tend to his garden.

Roy believed in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. With the help of Jesus, Roy was sober for 11 years.

Roy is survived by his wife Kelly; mom Judy; daughters Jessica Curley Marti, Judith Rose Marti, and Dawn Marti; brothers Chris, Rick, Mike, Frank, Bill, Tony, and Jim Marti; sister Rose Tyhuis; and grandchildren Faith Lenormand, Gracie Marti, Kayden Lindgren, Raven Curley, Roy Curley, and Phoenix Curley.

He is preceded in death by his father Roy II, sister Judy, and his granddaughter Andrea.

To share memories or to leave a condolence for the family, please visit http://www.harrisonfamilymortuary.com.

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Two generations of Coupeville High School softball stars — Hope Lodell and her aunt, Teresa Terry. (Mike Lodell photo)

Teresa Terry was there at the start.

As a freshman, she started in the very first softball game in Coupeville High School history Mar. 16, 1978.

Decades later, she was back at her alma mater to watch as her niece, Hope Lodell, capped an impressive four-year run in center field for the Wolves.

Terry, who passed away Apr. 30 after a long illness, was more than just a footnote in Wolf sports history.

She was a constant ray of sunshine in our lives here in Coupeville, a woman whose presence made every day better.

I saw her often at Prairie Center, her home away from home, where she always had a smile and something nice to say to me – no matter how her own day was going.

It was the same during my Videoville years, when she and her family were frequent visitors.

She always listened to my ramblings about movies, and smiled when she returned Bottle Rocket.

Even as she and sister-in-law Rebecca Lodell, shaking their heads in unison, gently told me I was an idiot for recommending it.

Teresa was one of the kindest souls I’ve known, and she will be greatly missed.


From her family:

Teresa Lodell Terry
8/15/1963 – 4/30/2022

“She went softly,” could be a song written just for her.

On April 30th, 2022, lying in her bed and closing her eyes, the Lord came for her. She was 58.

Mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, she was and always will be, our beloved Teresa Terry.

Teresa was born August 15, 1963, and made her life in Coupeville, WA.

She graduated from Coupeville High School in 1981. Shortly after, she met and married Arthur Stoop and had her only child, a son, named Justin.

During this time, she went to work at Prairie Center Market in Coupeville.

This became her career, spanning some 35 years. Teresa was a valued employee and had many friends there.

Her leisure time was spent reading, puzzles, and her much loved cooking shows.

Later in her life she went traveling and exploring, which she truly enjoyed.

Teresa and Arthur parted ways and she later met and married Richard Terry. They were together 20 years and formed a business partnership in Central Heating.

To mourn her passing, Teresa leaves behind her son, Justin and daughter in law Julie Stoop, her mother, Lila Hutson, her brothers, Jesse and Nigell Hutson, and Michael and Rebecca Lodell.

Also remaining are her nieces and nephews, Jason, Noah, Hope, Taylor, Jacob, Alex, and Richard Terry, her ex-husband, and also her many, many friends.

All our love goes with you.

Till we meet again, my darling Teresa.

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Lanie Kiel, queen of the CHS gym. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

She could have been mean, but she wasn’t.

She could have been angry, but, if she was, she didn’t show it.

She could have been sad, but the smile, even when fighting through great tiredness and pain, never wavered.

Lanie Kiel, the ultimate Wolf Nation volleyball and basketball fan — a loving mother to her own two brilliant daughters, Katie and Kacie, and also every other young woman who shared the court with them — was joy, and happiness, and grace, and kindness, wrapped up into one transcendent soul.

A long, brutal battle with cancer weakened her body, and Tuesday she passed away in her sleep.

But I will not say she lost her fight, because Lanie will always be a winner in my eyes.

In good times and bad, her heart, her smile, the love radiating from every pore in her body, never wavered, never changed.

I knew Lanie and her husband Steve from back before I launched this blog, crossing paths with them during my time at other jobs, and then I came around to write about their daughters, sharing hard wooden bleachers with the parents during big wins and agonizing losses.

Even after the girls graduated, the Kiel family, exuding Hawaii-style laidback charm and love, were frequent fliers at Coupeville athletic events.

This year Katie stepped up and became a middle school volleyball coach, helping close the circle, while I probably drove Kacie quietly crazy by constantly asking if she might join her sister on the bench, teaching lessons to a new generation of Wolf female athletic stars.

Kacie’s basketball Senior Night brought out ma, pa, and big sis Katie.

Through it all, Lanie, her pride in her family shining brightly, even when we had to hide our faces behind masks, was there to light up the gym, night after night.

Having witnessed up close an aunt endure a similar journey with cancer as a constant companion, there were times when you could tell it was harder for her.

Times where she couldn’t make it through the entire night and had to leave a game early.

But there were other times when the pain seemed to melt away, and those nights gave me hope she would continue to grace the CHS gym for years to come.

Whether she was chuckling over Steve’s antics with the flag as he called lines at volleyball matches or giving hugs to everyone who asked — and everyone who knew Lanie was a Lanie fan — Mrs. Kiel was a burst of love in her actions and words, a balm for hurt feelings in a troubled world.

Lanie and Sylvia Arnold, enjoying life.

We spoke many times over the years, and it was always remarkable how kind she was, how genuinely caring she was.

As we camped at the top of the bleachers, leaning against the gym wall in a futile effort to make our seats feel at least slightly comfortable, she was a most-pleasant companion.

She would want to know how I was doing, if I was still enjoying writing about sports, and they weren’t just casual conversation questions.

Lanie always made you feel she cared and was really listening to your answers.

I’ve been on this beat — writing about sports in Coupeville — for 32 years now.

Sometimes on a daily basis. Sometimes in a more infrequent fashion.

Thousands upon millions of words, in newspapers — some still in business, others not — magazines, and blogs.

Athletes come and go, and now their kids are showing up to play the same sports as their parents once did.

Fans, parents, bystanders, and participants. I’ve crossed paths with a lot of people while documenting the exploits of Wolf Nation, and Lanie will always be one of the ones who endure.

She was kind and caring and she made my day better every time our paths crossed.

When I look at Katie and Kacie, I see their dad — his competitiveness, his deep love and appreciation of sports, his McConaughey-style laidback charm — but I also, very much, see their mom.

I see Lanie’s love, her kindness, her embrace of life and everyone livin’ it, and I see it reflected every time her daughters smile, every time they laugh, and in the grace with which they carry themselves.

She was so proud of them, and for good reason.

With spring sports in full stride, we’re outside now.

But there will be a moment down the road when we return to the CHS and CMS gyms, and Lanie’s memory will be there waiting for us.

The first time will undoubtedly be sad.

But, as we remember her joy, her kindness, her love and toughness and resiliency, it will be easier. Because she will never fully leave us.

Lanie Kiel will always be the best of what Wolf Nation is, and I am thankful her path crossed mine.

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Steve Smith, son of the prairie. (Photo courtesy Emma Smith)

Steve Smith was a rascal.

And I mean that in the best way possible.

Steve, who passed away at age 78 last week after a fight with multiple myeloma, was a larger-than-life athlete during his days at Coupeville High School.

Whether chasing people on the football field, or wielding a tennis racket, he was power and grace combined.

Or, as one former teammate remembered, “He tore people in half, and that was just in practice!”

Steve’s athletic skills stayed sharp throughout his college days, as he competed in track and field and once again blew up folks on the gridiron.

Drafted into the Army, he served in Vietnam as a medic between 1966-1968, earning the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

Stories passed down about his time in country paint a portrait of a man beloved by those he served with, though Steve himself was not one to blow his own horn.

Not that he didn’t love telling a story or too, which is where the rascal part comes in.

A twinkle in his eye, Steve spent many an afternoon regaling me with tales during the Videoville days.

That continued over the years, both when I would see him at athletic events featuring his offspring, and during his frequent afternoon visits to swap tall tales with my landlord, Jack Sell, a fellow Coupeville native.

“Did you see what Emma did in the volleyball match last night? That’s my granddaughter, you know!! Gets all her talent from me!!!”

And then Steve would laugh, the mirth rumbling up from deep inside him, and he would admit that maybe some of the talent had come down from Grandma Sandi’s side of the family, too.

He loved his wife, and his pride in the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren their union produced was undeniable.

Steve’s dad Knight is a mythic legend, his own extraordinary sports exploits now somewhat buried in long yellowed newspaper clippings.

But daughter Joli was a transcendent three-sport star during my days as a painfully young Sports Editor at the Whidbey News-Times, one of the best I’ve written about.

And by the time I came back around to the prairie athletic beat with Coupeville Sports, some of Steve’s grandkids, like the aforementioned Emma, were making their own marks.

Through it all, whether it was his daughter, or sons Jesse and Todd, or the next generation, Steve glowed with pride when he talked about them and their exploits, sports related or not.

He was a small-town boy who reached for the stars, a prairie native whose impact touches many of us, near and far.

Steve Smith was our neighbor, our storyteller, and, most of all, our friend.

That will never change.


A graveside service will be held at 1 PM Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, at Sunnyside Cemetery in Coupeville.

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Barry Brown, the only man to lead three separate Coupeville High School varsity boys basketball teams in scoring. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Our lives are separate, yet interwoven.

High school sports bring together a wide range of individuals, from athletes and coaches, to fans and parents, to refs, writers, and support staff.

Together, we form a group in which we touch the lives of those who join us.

We are one, but together, we are a nation, a Wolf Nation.

As time fades, some of us depart, while new ones join.

But while death erases the body, it shouldn’t dull the bonds that person shared.

As we head towards 2022, I want to take a moment to look back at some of those we lost this year.

It’s not a complete list, and not meant to be, and no disrespect is meant to anyone not here.

It’s a farewell, a celebration of diverse lives — of men and women who were, and always will be, part of this “nation” brought together by shared experiences.

Once a Wolf, always a Wolf.

Kathleen Anderson – Longtime school board member who cared deeply about each student she represented.

Gail Barron — Proud Wolf mom whose children were among the most-talented to ever suit up for Coupeville.

Jim Blouin — Vital part of a family deeply tied to Coupeville, and a frequent renter at Videoville back in my video store days.

Dr. Suzanne Bond — Coupeville Schools Superintendent whose leadership skills were impeccable. Led the district to new heights during her tenure.

Barbara Chernikoff — Grandmother to former Wolf volleyball sensation/eternal ray of sunshine Kylie Chernikoff.

Charles Clark — Everyone’s friend, a football coach who spread love near and far. The ideal traveling companion, his voice rumbling, full of wisdom (and some good-natured smack talk), as the miles passed.

Murph Cross — American Bad-Ass.

Dolores Engle — One of the kindest women you’ll ever know, a true Wolf mom, not just to her own flock, but to every kid.

Kay Foss — Longtime Coupeville teacher, and a Videoville regular with husband Dave.

Joey Glendenning — Proud Wolf mom who loved to watch daughter Lacy McCraw-Shirron repping the red and black.

Brandon Graham — A favorite of CHS teachers and fellow students, a young man who grew up to be a kind, caring father to his own children.

Sylvia Grasser — Matriarch to one of Coupeville’s most-successful sports families, she worked as a school bus driver so she could follow her grandkids games up close and personal.

Kristin Hurlburt — A lovely human being. Her spirit, her gentle humor, her embrace of life, even in trying times, lives on through her children, and her much-adored granddaughter.

Dorothy Keefe — A bright, shining light in the gym, always there to follow her kids and grandkids, always proud, always full of love for all.

Muriel Pickard — A woman who fought to preserve the beauty of Whidbey, one of the truest defenders this Island has ever had.

Daniel Renninger — Ultimate Wolf grandpa who was always there to support his granddaughters Avalon (far right) and Sage.

Sally Rhubottom — Matriarch of a family with deep roots in Wolf sports. Her son Jeff was a Coupeville basketball legend in the ’70s, and her great-granddaughter Samantha is a captain for the current CHS cheer squad.

Anne Weaver — Worked 38 years for the Coupeville School District, greeting each day with a smile.

David Wells (bottom, far left) — Coupeville born and bred, a hard-working dude with a good sense of humor.  

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