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Archive for the ‘In memory’ Category

Dolores and Dave Engle. (All photos courtesy Engle family)

Dolores Engle was my friend.

And, if she knew you, she was your friend, too, because she had the kind of heart and soul where she made friends fast and kept them forever.

She and her husband Dave, who’s pretty darn friendly himself, have had an immeasurable impact on our community over the years.

When I inducted the duo into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, they went in as the “Mom and Dad of Wolf Nation,” and the description fits perfectly.

Dolores will be greatly missed, but her deeds, her rock-solid belief in her faith, and her enduring kindness remain.

She was our friend, and will always be.

 

From her family:

Dolores Leilani (Harper) Engle of Coupeville passed away in Bothell, WA on February 5, 2021, surrounded by her family.

Dolores was born on December 18, 1938 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

As the oldest child of a Navy family, she moved many times in her early life — including Texas, Virginia, Rhode Island, Florida, and California — before moving to Coupeville in 1951.

She was part of the high school drill team, as well as many other clubs.

She graduated from Coupeville High School in 1956 and moved to help on her parents’ farm in Eltopia, WA, where she also attended business college and worked at the Water District Farm Bureau Office.

Dolores and David Engle were married in Coupeville on June 20th, 1959.

They began married life in Puyallup, WA, where Dolores worked for a car dealership and school district, the first of many bookkeeping and office manager jobs throughout her career.

In 1968, Dolores and Dave moved back to Coupeville, where she worked at Dean’s Chevrolet, right across from Prairie Center.

In 1976 they moved to Anaheim, CA, where she entered full-time ministry as a pastor’s wife and church secretary at Plaza Bible Church.

In 1992, they moved back to Coupeville, where they have lived ever since.

Wherever she lived, Dolores was always very involved with the church — teaching Sunday school and Bible study, organizing children’s church and church bulletin boards, running the snack distribution at Vacation Bible School, as well as singing in various choirs, including the Billy Graham crusade choirs.

Dolores was known for her gentleness and big hugs, and her signature greeting, “Good Morning,” regardless of the time of day.

She was an accomplished and creative seamstress who was able to create made to order wedding, prom, homecoming and other formal dresses.

Not only could she sew, but she also crocheted intricate patterns into doilies, cross-stitched tapestries, knitted baby blankets and sweaters, and could make any costume requested out of home-goods on hand.

Dolores made these vintage cheerleader skirts for athletes coached by her daughter Sylvia.

Dolores was a voting poll site coordinator/registrar and loved volunteering her time to help secure voting booths.

She made family dinners and church potlucks festive with pies, banana and zucchini breads, snickerdoodles, casseroles, and her signature blackberry jam for rolls, along with her gigantic, yummy salads.

She loved reading, puzzles, crosswords, and word searches.

Dolores was quite mechanically-minded and able to fix or build most projects. The kids all knew to ask Mom — not Dad — for help when building all things!

Dolores enjoyed traveling to see family each summer — to take care of new-born grandchildren, see the Holy Lands in Israel, explore the state of Alaska, have tea in London and see the crown jewels; and to Disneyland (countless times) with all of her grandkids, where she patiently volunteered to take the youngest (whomever it was at that time) on their favorite ride over and over while the older children raced around.

Grandma always had time for her grandbabies.

Retirement was not in her vocabulary as she kept busy making breakfast for the worship team (French toast casserole, anyone?), last minute alterations for anyone in sewing distress, caring for grandchildren by babysitting or driving them to and from activities, taking lead on Dave’s recoveries from various surgeries, maintaining household chores, attending Coupeville and Orange Lutheran High School events, cheering on grandkids at little league games in Bothell, donating/volunteering/supporting at local theater events, and also keeping up with friends from near and far through phone calls, letters, or notes.

Even as dementia progressed, and Alzheimer’s took hold, Dolores’s delight in being around her family and interacting with her grandchildren created bright and lasting memories in her final days.

Dolores’s life was defined by a deep faith in her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and she shared his love with everyone she met.

Dolores was preceded in death by her parents, Jack and Jewel (Johnston) Harper and her brothers, Curtis and Charles.

Dolores is survived by her husband, David Engle; daughters, Sylvia (Engle) Arnold, Shannon (Engle) Arnold, Stephanie (Engle) Penrod and Sarah (Engle) Viers; sons-in-law, Garrett Arnold, Lance Arnold, Isaiah Penrod, and Tim Viers; ten grandchildren, Scott Arnold, Courtney (Arnold) Sleister, Brett Arnold, Luke Arnold, Jacob Arnold, Victoria Penrod, Andrew Penrod, Noelle Viers, Lyal Viers, and Reagan Viers; two great-grandchildren, Maddison Arnold and Maximus Sleister (and another baby girl expected in April); sister, Pamela Blevins; and sister-in-law, Charlotte Harper; and numerous nephews and nieces.

A memorial service will be held privately due to pandemic restrictions.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project: woundedwarriorproject.org or The Gideons International: gideons.org.

The Mom and Dad of Wolf Nation, with their real-life daughters.

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Lori Fredericks 

The kindness in her smile, and the joy in her voice, is what I will remember.

Through the Videoville years and beyond, every time I saw Lori Fredericks, my day was brighter for it.

She was a truly lovely human being, and it was a blessing to know her.

 

From her family:

In Memory of Lori (Fredericks) Hillard, March 16, 1978-December 2020.

Mother, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Registered Nurse … you were always and will always be loved and held deep in our hearts.

Cheerleader and lover of all pets!

Life of the party … your smile will forever shine.

Although your presence is already missed … we know you’re resting peacefully in mother’s arms.

A memorial service will take place mid-February in Coupeville for family and private invite only.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Madelyn Hillard college fund which will be set up at the Whidbey Island Bank in Coupeville.

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Whidbey News-Times Sports Editor Jim Waller (right) listens as CHS coach David King talks basketball strategy. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The adult is leaving the room.

After a lifetime on Whidbey Island, years spent as a stellar athlete, teacher, coach, and journalist, Jim Waller is out the door Friday.

Retirement from his second stint as Sports Editor at the Whidbey News-Times sends him and wife Sandee off on a new adventure to North Carolina, where the grandkids await.

Over the years, as I’ve bounced around the world of Whidbey journalism, writing thousands of stories for multiple publications while never really settling down, one constant has been true.

When he was writing, Waller was the dad sitting in the big leather chair, peering over his paper every so often to tell us, in dulcet tones, the news of the world.

And I was the Dennis the Menace-style kid, even at 49, tottering atop the fence outside his house, screaming “Hey, you wanna know what I just heard?????,” before falling off and landing on my head.

We made a good Mutt and Jeff team, especially in postgame interviews with coaches.

Waller would ask a deep question about in-game strategy, drawing on decades of knowledge and the gravitas which comes with being a member of a real coaches Hall of Fame.

Then, I would follow up by channeling Chris Farley hyperventilating while interviewing someone like Paul McCartney on SNL.

“So, yeah, that one time, when Ethan Spark went flying out of bounds chasing the basketball, and he like completely wiped out the water jug, and liquid and bodies went flying everywhere, and people were screaming like the alien invasion was underway, that was kinda cool, wasn’t it???”

And now you want me — ME???? — to be the elder statesman of Whidbey sports journalism?

Yeah, that’ll give Willie Smith the cold sweats at night…

To think, if it wasn’t for Waller, all those words I’ve typed (and a few that I was paid for) probably wouldn’t have happened.

When my dad moved the family to Whidbey, I was in the middle of my senior year at Tumwater High School, with vague thoughts of becoming a chef.

Which is odd, since I wasn’t especially talented at anything other than joining my friend Ray Jacoby in eating “liberated” cookie dough from the freezer at the New Market Vocational Skills Center.

Forced to take an extra semester at Oak Harbor High School, I signed up for journalism — even though you were supposed to have been pre-approved, which I certainly wasn’t.

I had all of two stories from my time at the super-unfunded THS newspaper (Terry Pullen, our principal, forever an ass), and they probably didn’t scream future sports writer or film critic.

One was an editorial calling for Ted Bundy to be fried in the electric chair, the other was an in-depth look at child porn and sex abuse.

Because we were baiting the principal, who promptly erased the rest of our $1.12 worth of funding.

Best/worst memory of that second story was conducting an interview with a naturally-suspicious police detective as I began to suffer incredibly bad food poisoning after eating from the skills center’s salad bar.

Somehow, I didn’t hurl until right AFTER the interview, but I like to think anyone else in the Thurston County Sheriff Department Office parking lot that day will never forget the horror and the wonder.

But anyway, using my two newspaper clips, I somehow convinced Waller to let me stay in his class, inadvertently launching a 30-year “career.”

He was the one who let me irritate the student body by writing self-righteous angry young man editorials in the OHHS newspaper — which was well-funded — and the one who got me my first story in the News-Times.

From there, Waller was always around, as a sounding board, a mentor, and someone to emulate.

There have been moments when I have come close to honoring his serene, smart style — and a lot where I ranted and raved and burnt bridges (while I was standing on them), testing the patience of many an editor.

When I moved into doing Coupeville Sports, with no one to stifle me (or save me from myself), he was there, having returned to the News-Times for a second run after retirement as a coach and teacher.

Since I often attacked the Canadian owners of the local papers, after they inspired me to launch this blog by erasing hundreds upon hundreds of my bylined stories from their publication web sites, there were some who thought I viewed Waller as a rival.

Not in the least.

He was my mentor, journalistic idol, friend, and the man who always paid when we went out for our semi-regular lunches at The Pizza Factory.

I brought gossip, he brought reason and insight, and, when I have allowed his patient guidance to sink in, it has always made me a better writer, reporter, and person.

My arc through the world of journalism has never been an easy one — I am very likely the only Sports Editor of a twice-weekly paper to leave that job to go work on … mussel rafts in Penn Cove.

Stupid at 23. Stupid at 49. Notice a trend here?

Through it all, through the News-Times, the Examiner, Coupeville Sports, the various movie columns and fly-by-night papers, careening from giddy highs to moments when I’ve been (rightfully) kicked out of Coupeville’s press box and banned from the gyms of rival schools, Waller was the calm voice of reason.

He never tried to change my writing style, or my antisocial tendencies.

But he was always there, with knowledge, with reason, with subtle guidance, if I would take it.

Days before his departure, our final pizza party came at an outdoor picnic table thanks to the pandemic.

While the surroundings were different, the meal wasn’t.

I told dumb stories, to which he gave a smile and nod. And he answered questions, filled in gaps in my knowledge, and offered encouragement, all without ever pushing too hard.

My journalism career has been its own weird thing, but it never would have happened without Jim Waller.

He was the spark, the support crew, and the audience, all rolled into one.

And, for that, I will always be grateful.

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A celebration of life has been set for South Whidbey High School senior Taylor Daniels, who died from injuries suffered in a car crash Monday in Freeland.

Daniels, 17, was a member of the Falcons soccer team.

He and older brother Nevin, 19, were turning onto Highway 525 from Honeymoon Bay Road and were hit by an oncoming truck.

The celebration of Taylor’s life is August 2 at the South Whidbey Sports Complex in Langley.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all attendees are asked to honor the state’s mandate to wear masks.

The event will be held outdoors, allowing for social distancing.

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Bennett Boyles (Photos courtesy Lucienne Rivera, Pat Kelley, and Konni Smith)

Never forgotten. Always loved.

Three years ago today Bennett Boyles battle with cancer ended.

He didn’t lose, as he fought with everything he had. But his body reached its breaking point.

Facing off with cancer is something no one should have to endure, much less a 12-year-old with his life stretching out in front of him.

Having lost family members to cancer, I know the mix of sadness, of anger, and of disbelief.

In his fight, in the way he faced an unyielding foe, Bennett touched many lives.

His fellow classmates, who are now sophomores at Coupeville High School, have never forgotten him.

They are carrying Bennett with them through every step of their school journey, from messages on the rock outside the school, to honoring him when they play basketball, a sport he loved.

When Hawthorne Wolfe launches a three-ball and the orb slips through the net without a ripple, Bennett is there with Hawk, his name written on the shoes which carry Wolfe up and down the court.

As we watch Xavier Murdy, and Grady Rickner, and Logan Martin, and Wolfe in action, it’s very easy to imagine Bennett out there, once again running the court with his friends.

That his classmates and coaches and friends and family and teachers and strangers alike embrace his memory, celebrate his life and accomplishments, keep alive everything good, binds our community together.

We will not forget Bennett.

There is anger, and there is sadness, and those are justifiable, and a lot of that will never fade.

But there is love and there is hope, and that is what Bennett means to Coupeville.

Every time a basketball net snaps, he’s here.

Every time we show kindness and grace to someone else, he’s here.

Every time we celebrate his soaring spirit — and it was there, firmly in place, long before his health problems — he’s here.

When the CHS Class of 2022 walks to the podium to receive their diplomas, when players like Hawk and X celebrate their Senior Nights on the basketball court, he will be there with them.

As a community we carry Bennett with us every day, and that will never change.

Never forgotten. Always loved.

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