Archive for the ‘In memory’ Category

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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Tyler Dale, friend to all. (Photos courtesy Kathi Dale)

Tyler Dale was an original.

A kind, hard-working guy, he bopped to his own beat, while being one of those rare people who was well-liked by all.

During the three years we worked together at Christopher’s on Whidbey, he lit up the kitchen.

There was no job too big or too small for Tyler, and he thrived amid the heat and the splattering grease.

A slow Wednesday night or the middle of the never-ending storm that was the mussel festival, he was in his element.

Cooking, slicing ‘n dicing, or cleaning (he loved cleaning like no one I know), he always let loose with a steady stream of chatter and laughter which carried from one end of the cramped work space to the other.

Tyler passed too soon, but he will live on through his son, and the memories of all who crossed his path.


From his mom, Kathi Dale:

Tyler James Dale

September 30, 1990 – July 19, 2019

Born on September 30, 1990, growing up in Everett, Washington until the age of seven, when the family made the move to Whidbey Island.

He attended Coupeville Elementary School, where he was involved in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, loving the Pinewood Derby.

He loved working with Destination Imagination, to create and invent fun and amazing gadgets.

In middle school, Tyler was selected to participate in Day Star Academy with Mrs. (Liz) Sherman and Mrs. (Mendy) McLean-Stone, where his creativity was encouraged, working on “Tyler time.”

After a short time in Coupeville High School he then transferred to Bayview School.

Tyler was not a ‘book learner’ and learned best with hands-on experiences.

He then participated in job corp in Yachats, Oregon, where he received his General Education Degree (GED) in May, 2008.

Tyler began working at Christopher’s on Whidbey, as a dishwasher. Working his way up to prepping and a line cook.

This is where his creativity and love for cooking was advanced.

Being a “tinkerer” of many things. Beginning with models and bicycles.

One of his most favorite things was his Chevy S-10 trucks and blazers.

Tyler loved trucks, working on them, and sharing his knowledge with others.

Always making improvements and advances to make it go faster, having a custom look.

He enjoyed creating many things out of used items.

Tyler was gifted with an amazing analytical and problem-solving mind on how to make things work.

Tyler developed a love for the banjo and taught himself how to play. Something that brought that big silly smile to his face.

Two buddies hanging out.

After knowing each other since third grade and being close friends for many years, Tyler married Becca (Achurra) on May 18, 2013 in Moses Lake, Wa.

With the birth of their son, Craig James Ray Dale in December, 2016.

Tyler, wife Becca, and their son, Craig.

Tyler loved being a daddy to his son.

Teaching him “car things.”

Tyler, you are loved and missed.

Always a proud poppa.

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Ginny Vracin

Working for 12+ years at Videoville, I came in contact with a lot of customers.

One of the nicest was Ginny Vracin, who always had a smile and a nice word for me, even when the movie I recommended wasn’t her cup of tea.

Mrs. Vracin, who passed away Mar. 26 at the age of 72, was a wonderful woman and she and her husband, Dr. Wylie Vracin, were always a welcome sight in my video store days.

All four of their children — Emily, Nicholas, Damon and Danielle — have grown up to be talented, outgoing and deeply caring, very much like their parents.

There was a service for Ginny last Friday, but I just wanted to share two things here.

A video tribute, which you can see below, and the words her family offered.

In lieu of flowers, they instead asked, “Please welcome all who cross your path, smile incessantly, frequent garage sales, reuse everything imaginable, volunteer your time and passions and pick up trash on walks in memory of our sweet Ginny.”


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Coupeville High School soccer coach Gary Manker (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A memorial service for Coupeville High School soccer coach Gary Manker will be held Saturday, Feb. 10.

It will be at the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge Hall (63 Jacobs Road) and run from 2-4 PM.

Manker, who coached both girls and boys soccer, was a noted “goalkeeper whisperer,” working with the Wolf net-minders over the years.

He passed away suddenly Jan. 26.

Manker, who was born in Petaluma, Calif. May 4, 1968, is survived by wife Patti Manker, son Garritt Manker (Talisa), daughters Ashley Bailey (Eric), Amanda Smith (Ryan), stepchildren Riley, Tim and JT Quinn and grandchildren Adeline, Sawyer and Lillie.

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Joel Brown (left) and his son and grandson. (Photos courtesy Matt Brown)

Joel Brown, a vital part of a much-loved Coupeville family, passed away Friday night.

The following remembrance is courtesy his son, Matt:

Joel Nelson Brown was born on July 17, 1957 to Leonard and Patricia Brown in Coupeville, Washington. He was the youngest of three boys.

Joel completed school and went on to the Coast Guard.

He married Shelley Alexander and they had one son, Matt. They also adopted a second son, Scott.

Joel had many jobs and positions in the Coupeville community.

He was on the school board, owned and operated Genesis Hair Care in Greenbank and Coupeville, was a Hunters Education instructor, and worked for the Navy Exchange in Oak Harbor and other states.

He came back to Washington and lived in Bellingham where he was a manager for the Nooksack Casino.

Joel moved back to Coupeville and while living with his brother became ill and contracted a blood infection that severely damaged his spine.

After several emergency surgeries the doctors were able to save his life but could not save his spine. He was a quadriplegic.

Joel spent the last year of his life in Harborview, then the Seattle VA spinal cord unit and finally moved into Retsil Veterans Home in Port Orchard in July of 2017.

Through it all Joel remained the funny, sarcastic and loving man he always was.

He never complained about his limitations and the intense treatments and care he had to receive daily.

He made a point to give all he could to his family and be a force for good in their lives and in the lives of those around him.

Joel again became ill in December of 2017 and contracted an infection as a result of his quadriplegia and his body could not recover.

After many weeks in the hospital without improvement Joel and his family wanted him to come home to Retsil to be comfortable and surrounded with the people who cared for him.

Joel passed away peacefully and quietly on the evening of January 19, 2018.

He was with family and the staff who cared for him when he passed.

Joel is survived by his brothers, Patrick and Barry, his sons, Matt and Scott and his beloved grandchildren Kayleigh, Hunter and Jackson.

A celebration of life is being planned and will be announced.

We know many people want to be there and are tentatively planning it for the late spring in Coupeville.


To help the Brown family, pop over to:



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