Miscellaneous Skagit County, Washington Obituaries

Thomas Gordon Thompson Jr.

Thomas Gordon Thompson Jr., 75,  dreamer, builder, and president of the Anacortes Railway, passed away Jan. 23, 1999 at his home in Anacortes.

He was born in Seattle Oct. 3, 1923, the son of Dr. Thomas G. Thompson and Harriet Galbraith Thompson.

Following graduation from Lincoln High School in 1942, he worked for the Northern Pacific Railway in a variety of engine-tending jobs at the Seattle roundhouse.

He served as an Army railroad engineer in Iran during World War II. After his discharge he completed his degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Washington on the G.I. Bill.  

Thomas spent two-and-a-half years building a family home in the San Juans from beachcombed materials. His 26-foot driftwood-fired steamboat, the "Fire Canoe," was a common sight in the islands.

On April 10, 1955, he married Anne Whiting Gunby of Seattle. They moved to Anacortes and built a home overlooking Lake Campbell.

He held a variety of engineering positions at the Shell Refinery in Anacortes from 1955 until his retirement in 1984.

He served as a member of the Skagit County Planning Commission for 12 years and was active in making Skagit County the first to take advantage of the Open Space Program. He participated frequently in local community meetings.

With a childlike curiosity in a wide variety of subjects, he studied painting, drawing, blacksmithing, foundry work, machine shop practices, computers, architecture, writing, and most recently alternative medicine. Tommy loved working on projects in his home shop. 

His chief interest from childhood remained steam railroading. He built a 9-inch gauge railroad at his vacation home, volunteered on the Lake Whatcom Steam Railway, and served on the Skagit River Railway board of directors.

   For the last 18 years he operated the Anacortes Railway. With a 4-1/2 ton 18-inch narrow gauge steam locomotive and three meticulously detailed passenger cars,this railway delighted thousands of  riders -- especially children. He was in the midst of clearing and re-gauging 2.6 miles of railroad track from the Anacortes Depot to Weaverling Spit. He enjoyed traveling, especially by train.

Remaining behind are his wife Anne of 43 years; six children, Andrew, Headen, Katy, Bradford, Sydney, Ethan; a brother, John S. Thompson of  Mount Vernon; a sister, Harriet Thompson of Seattle; four grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

He has donated his body to the University of Washington Medical School for the study of bone marrow-related illnesses. 

A celebration of his life will be held at the Anacortes Depot this spring.

Ray W. Scribner

Ray W. Scribner, 98, died quietly Jan. 23, 1999, at Sunrise Care Center surrounded by his family.

One of 12 children, he was born Nov. 12, 1900, at Mitchell Bay on San Juan Island to Alice (Malcolm) and Edward Scribner.

He moved to Anacortes at 18 and began a boxing career at the local Elks Club. He boxed professionally for four years from 1919 through 1923. When he put away his boxing gloves, he had a record of 55-1.

He married Thelma Minck in 1923 and later took up his second career as a meatcutter for Lyle's Grocery in Anacortes.

He leaves a son, Malcolm Scribner, and daughter-in-law, Marjorie, of Anacortes; two grandsons, Sam Scribner of Bayview and Mike Scribner and wife Glory of Bothell. His youngest sister resides at Alliance Care Center, Anacortes.

He was a lifetime Elks member as well as a lifetime Mason.

Irene Laura Smith

Irene Laura Smith, 88, died Saturday, Jan. 23, 1999, at Skagit Valley Hospital.

She was born Dec. 21, 1910, at Summit Park/March's Point, the daughter of Byron and Jessie Macomber Smith.

She married Wayne I. Smith on July 1, 1929, in Seattle, and they lived in the Anacortes area for many years. During the Depression, Irene picked shrimp, and during World War II she pulled lumber at the E.K. Wood Lumber Co., located at what is now Skyline Marina.

She and her husband loved to fish, hunt and camp along with their many friends from Anacortes.

Mrs. Smith had been a Sedro-Woolley resident since 1947, and for the past seven months had lived at Country Acres in the Sterling area.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Ralph Smith; and her husband, Wayne, on March 6, 1994.

Surviving are daughter and son-in-law, Ardelle and Mike Cook of Sedro-Woolley; two granddaughters, Jackie Claywood of Arlington and Teresa (and Randy) Letellier of Hamilton; grandson, Robert Wayne London of Sedro-Woolley; six great-granchildren, Tanya Kononen of Concrete, Dusty London of Sedro-Woolley, Shannon Tucker of Liberty Hill, Texas, Toni Ambros of Smokey Point, and Ryan and Danielle Letellier of Hamilton; four great-great-grandchildren, Bethany, Emily and Alex Tucker of Liberty Hill and Hanna Kononen of Concrete.

At her request, there are no services. Inurnment is in Sedro-Woolley Union Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the oncology department of United General Hospital.

The family thanks the Country Acres staff for the kind and excellent care given their mother/grandmother.

Edmund J. Brooks

Edmund John Brooks, 95, died Jan. 2, 1999, at Heritage Place Assisted Living Facility in Bandon, Ore.

He was born Oct. 27, 1903, in Muskegon, Mich., but lived most of his adult life in Western Washington, with 30 years in the Anacortes and Lopez Island areas.

Mr. Brooks and his late wife, Millie, were long-time residents of Lopez and Anacortes before moving to Hemet, Calif., in 1986.

Both had been active in Lopez and Similk Beach golf clubs and were charter members of the Anacortes-based Fidalgo Fogcutters Square Dance Club. They also were active in the Skyline Beach Club.

Ed and Millie were owners of the Lopez Lass gillnetter and fished for more than 20 years in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

When Ed was in his early 80s, he and Millie retired and traveled in their motorhome, eventually settling in Hemet. Millie died of cancer in 1988 and Ed relocated to Oregon to be near his two daughters and sons-in-law.

After suffering a stroke in 1993, Ed gave up the motorhome and moved to the assisted living facility in Bandon.

He leaves two daughters and sons-in-law, Joyce B and Leon Nichols, formerly of Anacortes, now residing in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., and Nancy J. and Charles Salinas of Brookings, Ore.; four grandchildren, Christopher Nichols of Anacortes, Cynthia (Nichols) Biringer of Arlington, Eric A. Jackson of Seattle and Jennifer L. Amundson of Edmonds; five great-granchildren, Thomas and Cheryl Nichols of Anacortes, Bobbie Jean Manning of Mount Vernon and Jessica and Justin Biringer of Arlington; and two great-great-grandchildren, Caitlyn and Corey Nichols of Fargo, N.D.

June Gates

 June Gates, 71, of Anacortes, died Tuesday, April 13, 1999.

 She was born May 4, 1927, in Anacortes, the daughter of Harry and Lila (Holton) Hoskins.

 After graduating from Anacortes High School in 1945, she attend Washington State University and in 1947 went to work at the Anacortes Branch of Peoples National Bank.

 On Oct. 2, 1954, she and Bill Gates were married. They lived in New Mexico where their daughter, Susan, was born. The family later returned to Anacortes where she again was employed by Peoples National Bank as a bookkeeper, retiring after 37 years of service, working in her last years of employment in the positions of assistant manager and vice president.

 After her retirement, she and Bill traveled throughout the United States with the AnaSam's Travel Club. June was an accomplished investor, a collector of antiques and was involved in many community activities and charities. She loved to travel, but always liked coming home the most.

 Her family always included her beloved pets. She will be greatly missed by her family and many friends.

 She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Virginia, and her brother, Jack.

 She is survived by her husband, Bill, at the family home; her daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Richard Harms of Newcastle, Wash., grandson, Spencer Harms; brother-in-law, Frank Bassett of Oregon; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

 Memorials are suggested to the Arthritis Foundation, 809 E. Chestnut, Bellingham, 98225.

Eugene George Hogan

 Eugene George Hogan, 80, of Anacortes, died Thursday, April 15, 1999. A complete obituary will follow in next week's newspaper. Arrangements are under the care of Evans Funeral Chapel, Anacortes.

Norman Sturdevant

 Norman Thomas Sturdevant, co-owner of Watermark Book Company in Anacortes, died Sept. 24, 1999, after a courageous two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer. He was 51.

 Norman was born March 31, 1948, in Tacoma to Thomas and Alice Lucille Sturdevant. He earned his bachelor of arts from San Francisco State College and his master of arts in English literature from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

 For seven years he taught drama and English in California, where he met his wife and business partner, Patti Pattee.

 Moving to Washington in 1979, Norman and Patti operated the Wind & Tide Bookshop in Oak Harbor. Then, in November of 1989, they opened Watermark Book Co. Norman especially enjoyed introducing others to the wonder and power of books.

 A longtime member of the American Booksellers Association, Norman was on faculty at the association bookseller schools. For the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, he served as vice president and chairman of the Free Speech committee. A member of the American Civil Liberties Union, he was a passionate defender of the First Amendment all his life.

 Norman is survived by his wife, Patti, and his mother, Lucille. He was preceded in death by his father, Thomas, and brother, Stephen.

 Remembrances may be made to the Anacortes Community Forest Lands Conservation Easement Program, P.O. Box 547, Anacortes, 98221.

Faye Krebs

 Faye Krebs died Sept. 21, 1999, at a nursing home in Anacortes. 

 She was born May 22, 1922, in Randle, Wash. On July 28, 1945, she married Robert O. Krebs, and they soon made their home in Anacortes, where they lived out their lives.

 Faye was known as a spirited soul who lived her life with passion. In addition to being a loving wife and mother, she was a talented seamstress, gardener and avid bird watcher. She enjoyed crocheting, reading and listening to music. She had a wise and intuitive way with animals and humans alike. In her later years, her sage spiritual counseling touched many people's lives in remarkable ways.

 Preceded her in death was her husband, Robert O. Krebs; sisters, Ethel Taylor, Virgie Battle and Lois Barwick; brothers, Bill Thompson and George Thompson; sister-in-law, Lucy McNeil; brother-in-law, Bill Krebs; nephews, Chub Richards, Don Thompson and Ralph Krebs.

 Mrs. Krebs is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Bobbi Krebs-McMullen and Pat McMullen of Mount Vernon; granddaughter, Traci Friedl of Seattle; sisters, Opal Maloney of Tacoma; brother, Nelson Thompson of Port Angeles, sister-in-law, Mildred Steinhardt of Rogue River; brothers-in-law, Paul Krebs of Sedro-Woolley and Jack Krebs and his wife Norma of Sedro-Woolley; and many nieces, nephews and cherished friends.

 Services were Saturday afternoon, Sept. 25, 1999, at Evans Funeral Chapel, Anacortes. Memorials may be made to Washington Talking Books and Braille Library, 2021 Ninth Ave., Seattle, 98121.

Gladys M. Smith

 Gladys M. Smith, 82, of Anacortes, died Wednesday, Sept. 22, 1999, at Alliance Living Community, Anacortes.

 She was born May 28, 1917, in Burlington, the daughter of Anton and Anna (Bensen) Hanstead. Raised and educated in Burlington, she graduated from Burlington High School in 1935.

 She moved to Anacortes in 1937 and on June 10, 1938, she married Dwinal Smith in Mount Vernon. They made their home and raised their family in Anacortes. When the children were older, Gladys went to work for West Coast Phone and later for the Anacortes School District as a part-time secretary. Gladys was a member of Anacortes First Baptist Church for many years and held various positions in the church. She enjoyed reading, but most of all enjoyed her faith and her family. She will be greatly missed.

 Mrs. Smith was preceded in death by her husband, Dwinal, in 1995.

 She is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Denise and Bob Whitney of Anacortes; son and daughter-in-law, Doug and Sharon Smith of Rohnert Park, Calif.; sister, Jean Small of Burlington; three grandchildren, Kevin Smith, Aaron and Kelly Whitney; numerous nieces and nephews; and many friends.

 Memorials are suggested to First Baptist Church, 2217 J. Ave., Anacortes, 98221. Memorial services were Monday morning, Sept. 27, at Anacortes First Baptist Church with the Rev. Duane Eastman officiating. Interment is at Fernhill.

Melvin P. Larsen Sr.

 Melvin Peter Larsen Sr., 71, of Anacortes, died Friday, Sept. 24, 1999, at SunBridge Care Center in Anacortes.

 He was born Oct. 8, 1927, in Antigo, Wis., the son of James and Elma (Durnberger) Larsen. Melvin moved with his family to Portland, Ore., in 1941, and later to Guemes Island in 1945.

 He entered the Army during World War 11 and was honorably discharged in September 1946. After the war he returned to his family in Anacortes and worked various jobs. He met and later married Mildred L. Wedlund on June 6, 1958, in Anacortes.

 Mr. Larsen worked on the Guemes Ferry from 1954 until 1968 when he went to work for P.M. Northwest at the oil refineries. He retired in 1986. He enjoyed woodworking, working with his hands, making lamps and gardening.

 He was preceded in death by a sister, Bonnie Seamon, in 1979, and is survived by his wife, Mildred, of Anacortes; two sons and their wives, Melvin and Peggy Larsen of Oak Harbor and Russell and Paula Larsen of Darrington; two daughters and their husbands, Arby and Robert Norwood of Coupeville and Kathryn and Robert Hartley of Newport, Wash.; one sister, Dolly Kager of Anacortes; three brothers, Elwin and Charles Larsen of Anacortes and James Larsen of Marysville; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

 Memorials may be sent to a charity of the donor's choice. Memorial services were Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 28, at Evans Funeral Chapel. Interment is at Grandview Cemetery.

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