Miscellaneous Skagit County, Washington Obituaries

Clare Andrela Bernsen
Clare Andrela Bernsen, 95, a longtime Skagit County resident and a former Anacortes school teacher, died Monday, Aug. 6, 2001, at a local care facility.

She was born Sept. 14, 1905, in Chehalis to Edwin and Andrela McReavy. At a young age, she moved with her parents to the Big Lake area of Skagit County.

Clare married Sandrup Bernsen and they were together almost 50 years before his death in 1984.

She earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Washington and came back to Anacortes to teach. She was especially proud of the special education program with which she was involved. Clare taught for more than 40 years and did not retire until the middle 1970s from the Anacortes School District.

She loved to travel and was on many trips with retired teachers groups. She also was a longtime member of the Anacortes Lutheran Church.

Clare was preceded in death by her husband, Sandrup Bernsen; her daughter, Sandra Persing, and her sister, Katherine Walker.

She is survived by three granddaughters and their families, Kristi Cannon of Marysville, Karla Strand of Mount Vernon and Kym Kelly of Anacortes; one step-granddaughter, Penny Roehich of Coupeville; one step-grandson, Dave Graham of Martinez, Calif.; two sisters, Jean Hall of Portland, Ore., and Mary Gardner of Santa Monica, Calif.; one brother, Steve McReavy and several great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was Thursday, Aug. 9, at Evans Funeral Chapel. The Rev. Lewis Benson officiated. 

Arrangements were under the direction of Evans Funeral Chapel of Anacortes.

Lowen Ross Hallingstad
Lowen Ross Hallingstad, 16, died Thursday, Aug. 9, 2001, at his home in Anacortes.

He was born June 7, 1985, in Mount Vernon and lived most of his life in Anacortes.

Lowen would have been a junior this fall at Anacortes High School. He was actively involved in the music programs offered at the school. Lowen played alto saxophone in the symphonic and pep bands as well as bass guitar for the jazz band and jazz choir. He will be missed by many wonderful friends whom he loved dearly.

Lowen will be remembered not only for his kindness and sensitivity, but for his steadfast good nature and sense of humor, which enabled him and his family to bear up under the ordeal of leukemia.

Over the years, Lowen's enthusiasms ranged from bonsai to mountain biking and amateur astronomy. He enjoyed writing poetry and music, and loved to travel. For the last few years, his overwhelming love was for music, and he particularly enjoyed playing music with his friends. 

Lowen spent many happy hours of his childhood in the Anacortes Public Library, and acquaintances around town will remember that for several years he never appeared in public without a cape, black hat and a Zorro mask. Lowen's tremendous spirit shone through to the very end of his life and was a comfort and strength to all who knew him.

Lowen was preceded in death by his grandparents, Irene and Harry Hallingstad of Great Falls, Mont., and his great-uncle, Wesley Rawhouser of Anacortes.

He is survived by his parents, Brian and Jean Hallingstad of Anacortes; his sisters, Anna, age 12, and Ellen, age 5; his grandparents, Gene and Alice Haight of Anacortes; his great-aunt, Donna Rawhouser of Anacortes; aunts and uncles, Carol and Carl Weimer of Ferndale, Jackie and Dennis Halladay of Boulder, Colo., Chuck and Vicki Hallingstad of Guemes Island, Harriet Jobe of Wenatchee and Richard Hallingstad of Wenatchee. Cousins include Gareth and Matthew Halladay, Alison and Kiersten Weimer, Kyle and Keely Hallingstad as well as Brian Jobe, Kristin Scott and Joanne Coe.

Lowen's family wishes to thank Dr. Michael James, Dr. Debra Friedman and all the fellows and nurses at Island Hospital in Anacortes and Children's Regional Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle for the excellent care he received during his illness. We thank Skagit Hospice and Whatcom County Option Care for enabling Lowen to spend his last months at home with his family.

Our special thanks go to the students and staff at Anacortes High School, who have been with us every step of the way, and to Cheryl Gillman and the girls who helped make the lovely quilt that Lowen took with him on every hospital stay. 

Those wishing to honor Lowen are asked to consider donating blood Monday, Aug. 20, at the blood drive at Island Hospital. Without the generosity of all those who donate to the Puget Sound Blood Bank, Lowen's life would have been far shorter. Monetary donations are suggested to the Anacortes Public Library; Children's Regional Hospital and Medical Center of Seattle; or Heifer Project International (www.heifer.org).

A memorial service is 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at Celebration Lutheran, located in the gymnasium of Mount Erie Elementary School. A potluck lunch will follow at the home of Donna Rawhouser, 1319 Dakota Ave. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The ceremony will be conducted by The Rev. Terry Kyllo and everyone is invited to come and share in a celebration of Lowen's brief but memorable life.

Gladyce E. Forster
Gladyce E. Forster, 94, of Sedro-Woolley died Monday, Aug. 6, 2001, at the Life Care Center of Skagit Valley, in Sedro-Woolley.

She was born Nov. 16, 1906, in Fillmore, Calif., to Joseph R. and Ollie B. (Pharriss) Garrison.

Gladyce lived in Ventura and Santa Paula, Calif., and, later, Oakridge, Ore., after retiring. She had made her home in Skagit County since 1993.

Gladyce was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Carl, in May 1993. 

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Donald and Evelyn Forster of Anacortes; her son, Martin L. Forster of Santa Cruz, Calif.; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; her sister-in-law, Janet Smith of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Private services are pending.

Arrangements are under the care of Evans Funeral Chapel of Anacortes.

David M. Compton
David Martin Compton, 64, formerly of Anacortes, died Friday, Aug. 3, 2001, in Gig Harbor after a courageous battle with cancer.

Mr. Compton had made peace with God and was ready to go.

He was born Dec. 6, 1936, to Clifford and Eva Compton in Meridian, Idaho. The family moved to Anacortes and Mr. Compton was raised and educated here. He graduated from Anacortes High School in 1955.

Mr. Compton worked at Boeing as a machinist, retiring after 37-1/2 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters, Peggy Thayer and Lorna Mackey.

Mr. Compton is survived by his loving wife, Patsy; his six children and their spouses, David Woods, Donovan Martin Compton (Woods), Lisa, Kelli, Kerri and Mike Compton; his brothers and sisters, Duane and Beverly Brown of Poulsbo, Delbert and Micky Compton of Burlington and Daryl and Alice Compton of Houston, Texas; 13 grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. 

Memorial donations are suggested to Hospice of Tacoma Multi-Care, POB 5299, Tacoma, Wash., 98415.

A private service was Monday, Aug. 6, with private interment following at Tahoma National Cemetery. 

Arrangements were under the direction of Lewis Funeral Chapel of Bremerton.

Craig Nielsen
Craig Nielsen, 70, died Aug. 8, 2001, in Anacortes.

He was born in San Francisco and lived in Sacramento for 6-1/2 years. 

He retired as senior vice president of Farm Credit Bank of Sacramento. 

Craig was an active member of the Anacortes Lutheran Church and the West End Watch Patrol. He also enjoyed traveling, reading, walking and attending musical events.

He is survived by his wife, Jan, of Anacortes; daughters Suzanne Nielsen of Sacramento and Amy (Kevin) Brown of Thousand Oaks, Calif.; and step-daughter Debra Viall of San Francisco.

Memorial donations are suggested, in Craig's memory, to the Anacortes Lutheran Church Building Fund, 2100 O Ave., Anacortes, Wash., 98221. 

A memorial service was Monday, Aug. 13, at Anacortes Lutheran Church.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Neptune Society of Everett.

Bernice Evelyn Williams
Bernice Williams, 85, formerly of Anacortes, died Sunday, Nov. 11, 2001, at the Mount Baker Care Center in Bellingham.

She was born Aug. 24, 1916, to Arte and Marle (Perry) Bell in Williston, N.D. She was educated in Williston, then moved to Mount Vernon.

Bernice married Jess Williams on Dec. 24, 1943. They lived and worked in Mount Vernon and Anacortes.

In retirement, Bernice enjoyed crossword puzzles, soap operas, the Sonics and the Mariners.

She was preceded in death by her husband and her brother, Willis Bell. 

Bernice is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Howard and Patty Williams of Bellingham; two granddaughters and their husbands, Debbie and Todd Skillman of Bow and Karen and Paul Evans of Mount Vernon; a great-grandson, Nollan Skillman of Bow and a sister, Vivian Rossland of Bellingham.

Memorials are suggested to a favorite charity.

A private service took place at Grand View Cemetery in Anacortes. 

Arrangements were under the direction of Evans Funeral Chapel of Anacortes.

Edith Louise Kangas
Edith Louis Kangas, 86, formerly of Anacortes, died Sunday, Nov. 11, 2001, in Gig Harbor.

She was born Aug. 25, 1915, to Swedish immigrants, Andrew and Carolena Westman in Independence Valley in Rochester. Edith, known as Edie to her close friends and family, was the seventh of eight children.

She was confirmed in the Rochester Lutheran Church and graduated from Rochester High School at age 16. She later completed cosmetology school in Centralia.

In 1935, she married Albert William Kangas. They lived in Oakville as newlyweds, then in Olympia where their daughter Carole was born. In 1946, they moved to Anacortes and Al became a shareowner in Anacortes Veneer Inc. They remained in Anacortes until the fall of 1989 when they moved to Gig Harbor.

Edie was a wonderful wife and mother, having lived her life primarily as a homemaker. This shy, pretty lady loved to garden, dance, bowl, swim and travel to warm places. 

She will be remembered for her loyal devotion to family and friends as well as her style and grace in living a life full of sincerity and kindness toward others. Always a "lady," she slipped away from us with little fuss or fanfare to be with the angels and our Lord. She will be greatly missed, but a fragment of her strong, yet gentle spirit will always remain in our hearts.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Alzheimer's Association, 12721 30th Ave. NE, Ste. 101, Seattle, Wash., 98125.

Arrangements were under the direction of Mountain View Funeral Home of Tacoma.

William 'Bill' John Thomas
Bill Thomas, 53, of Anacortes, died Thursday, Nov. 15, 2001, in Sacramento, Calif.

He was born May 28, 1948, in Anacortes to Lawrence C. and Maurine (Stroup) Thomas. 

A funeral service is 11 a.m. Nov. 24 at Anacortes First Baptist Church in Anacortes.

A full obituary will appear in next week's American.

Arrangements are under the care of Evans Funeral Chapel of Anacortes.

Vivian Lee Jager
Vivian L. Jager, 58, of Anacortes died on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2002 in Anacortes. 

She was born on July 30, 1943, the daughter of Oriel E. and Vivian M. (Carson) Weaver. Vivian moved to the Skagit Valley at a young age with her family. She attended Holy Names Catholic High School in Seattle and then attended college and received various degrees in business and technology.  

Vivian worked as an executive administrative assistant for Saks 5th Avenue for a number of years. She raised her children in Skagit County, where she was a long-time resident. Vivian moved to Florida to live out her dreams and then returned to Skagit County to be near her family for her last days. 

She will be missed by her family and many friends. Vivian was an inspiration, a strong and stable person, and a source of great strength to all those around her. 

She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Jody and Tammy Cook of Anacortes, Jym and J.J. Cook of Sedro-Woolley; her daughter and son-in-law, Tifani and Devin Hough of Columbia Falls, Mont.; her son, Steve Jorgenson of Anacortes; her aunt, June Redo of Paradise, Calif.; her uncle, Roy Carson of Coeur D'Alene, Idaho; her brothers and sisters-in-law, Fred and Sherri Thompson of Sedro-Woolley, Ron and Cheryl Weaver of Seattle; 15 grandchildren; two great grandchildren; and two nephews and cousins.  A private family service was held in Vivian's memory. Arrangements are under the care of Evans Funeral Chapel, Anacortes.

James Lyman Verhoeff
James Lyman Verhoeff, 51, of Anacortes died Thursday, Jan. 31, 2002, at United General Hospital after an extended battle with cancer.

He was born March 22, 1950, in Anacortes to Leonard C. and R. Darlene (O'Donnell) Verhoeff. 

Jim was a 1968 graduate of Anacortes High School. 

He enjoyed life as a fisherman in Alaska and the surrounding area, since the age of 14. Jim will be sadly missed by all his friends and family.

He was preceded in death by his father, Leonard C. Verhoeff, and by his sister, Cathy Verhoeff.

Jim is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Tammy and Paul Hutton of Kalama; his son, Nathan Joy of Lincoln City, Ore.; his daughter, Megan Darlene Verhoeff of the family home in Anacortes; his brother, Clifford Verhoeff of Everett; his sisters and brothers-in-law, Janiece and Chris Stauffer of Rainier, Ore., and Linda and Darrel Beller of Wasilla, Alaska; his mother and step-father, Darlene and Bud Lane of the family home in Anacortes; his four grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Cathy and James Verhoeff Memorial Scholarship Fund, First Baptist Church of Anacortes, 2717 J Ave., Anacortes, Wash., 98221.

A memorial service is 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the First Baptist Church.

Arrangements are under the care of Evans Funeral Chapel.

Louise Wright Miner
Louise Wright Miner, 78, of Anacortes died Friday, Jan. 25, three days before her 79th birthday.

She was born Louise Eleanor Wright in Easton, Pa., to William H. and Lizzie E. Wright.

Soon after, the family moved to 28 Pennsylvania Ave., Flemington, N.J., where Louise lived the first half of her life. She graduated from Douglas College, majoring in library science and music. She then worked for the Hunterdon County Medical Center, becoming director of medical records.

In 1962, Louise married the widowed Robert V. Miner, who was assistant superintendent of the Western Electric Engineering Research Center in Princeton. 

Shortly thereafter, Robert was reassigned to Omaha, Neb. Louise completed her pilot training there and she and Robert spent many weekends flying around the Midwest in their Cessna 172. Robert's brother, at the family farm near Huron, S.D., kept a strip of pasture mowed for their visits.

Shortly before Robert retired in 1970, they drove through Anacortes while visiting friends in the state, and the decision to retire there was made then. Together, they explored the history, waters, flora and fauna of the San Juan Islands. Louise also became a recognized expert on native plants of the region. 

After Robert died in 1980, Louise busied herself with a term on the senior advisory board of Island Hospital, worked part-time at the Anacortes Public Library and perfected her magnificent gardens. Gardening, the wildflowers of Washington Park, cooking, reading and music were her passions, and she held strong opinions about them.

Louise is survived by her step-son, Robert V. Miner Jr. of Sandy, Utah, and her step-daughter, Kathy Fillingsness of Flemington, N.J. 

Louise's wish was that no funeral service take place and that any memorials go to either the Anacortes Public Library Cumulative Reserve Fund or the Island Hospital Medical Foundation Fund.

Louise's ashes will be spread in Washington Park and Rosario Strait, as Robert's were 22 years ago.

Local arrangements were under the direction of Evans Funeral Chapel of Anacortes.

Delbert Lee Kahn
Delbert L. Kahn, 67, of Anacortes died Thursday, Jan. 31, 2002, at a local care center.

He was born an only child on May 27, 1934, near Spokane and spent his early years in Tacoma. He graduated from Stadium High School and attended the school of electrical engineering at the University of Washington.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Del worked for Foss Tug, helped set up the first IBM computers at the General Insurance Co. and ran a pile-driving and marine construction business in Seattle.

In 1967, he came to Anacortes to be the construction coordinator for Harry Davidson during the development of Skyline. He also skippered Harry's boat.

Del's motto was "variety is the spice of life," and he lived by it, working at Islands West Realty, Perry's Restaurant, Charlie's Restaurant, Atterberry's Realty and Anacortes Realty. He spent his last years working as the computer chief at Flounder Bay Boat Lumber Co.

Many people in Anacortes have been charmed, helped, rescued, entertained and exasperated by Del and his creative talents. He will be remembered, above all, for the marvelous and entertaining stories he could tell by the hour.

Memorials are suggested to the Puget Sound Historical Society, POB 9731, Seattle, Wash., 98109, of which Del was a life member.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial service is 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, at Evans Funeral Chapel of Anacortes.

Clara Augusta Grip
Clara A. Grip, 88, of Anacortes died Monday, Jan. 28, 2002, at Island Hospital.

She was born Jan. 15, 1914, in Pittsburgh, Pa., to August and Clara (Meyer) Sallach, who had emigrated from Germany as teenagers. Clara was the fifth of 10 children.

Her primary education was at First Evangelical Lutheran School in Sharpsburg, Pa. She also attended classes at a business school.

In 1935, she married Richard E. Kaufman. Together, they raised a daughter and two sons. Richard died in 1967.

Clara moved to Anacortes in 1969 to be nearer her daughter and family, who lived on Shaw Island. She worked by Amsberry's Restaurant in Anacortes, until her marriage to Sig Grip in 1972.

For several years they spent winters at their home in Mesa, Ariz., and enjoyed traveling in the United States. They established a permanent home on Shaw Island in the 1980s and lived there for about 20 years.

In August 2001, they decided to become part of the Alliance Living community, where health services were available to meet their needs. 

Clara had great devotion to her home and her family. She enjoyed music and played the piano and organ throughout her life. Until her recent move to Anacortes, she was the organist for the Shaw Island Fellowship meetings each Sunday morning.

Clara also was a member of the Anacortes Lutheran Church, the Shaw Islanders, Inc., and the Shaw Island Library and Historical Society. She loved making beaded Christmas ornaments, knitting cotton dishcloths, cooking, working crossword puzzles and playing games.

She also was an avid baseball fan. Clara's love for the game began early in life as a Pittsburgh Pirate fan and reached its peak with the Seattle Mariners.

Clara is survived by her husband, Sig Grip of Anacortes; her daughter and son-in-law, Marlyn and Henry Hoffman of Shaw Island; her sons and daughters-in-law, Richard and Betty Kaufman of East Palestine, Ohio, and Kenneth and Marian Kaufman of Petersburg, Ohio; her step-children, David and Lori Grip of Snohomish, Roger Grip of Gold Bar, Susan and Russel Husk of Mount Vernon; her sisters and brother-in-law, Norma Davis and Dorothy and Robert Pracht of Pittsburgh; her 15 grandchildren; her 28 great-grandchildren; her one great-great-grandchild as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial service was Feb. 2 at Anacortes Lutheran Church of Anacortes.

Arrangements were under the direction of Evans Funeral Chapel of Anacortes.

Shirley Ann Ward
Shirley Ann Ward, 71, of Anacortes died Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2002, in Burlington, after living about 16 years with Alzheimer's disease.

Ironically, it was the field of mental health that Shirley worked in for much of her life.

Shirley was born June 1, 1930, in Mille Roches, Quebec, Canada, to Muriel and Russell Mode. This village, largely devoted to the production of paper from pulp, now lies beneath the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The family then moved to Cornwall, Ontario, where Shirley attended grade school. Subsequently, she attended the University of Toronto, earning a diploma in occupational therapy.

Later in life, Shirley earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in social work at the University of Utah.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Marion Gillie of Etobicoke, Ontario.

Shirley is survived by her husband, Stanley H. Ward of Anacortes; her sister, Myrna Todd of Burks Falls, Ontario; Myrna's children, Russell, Shirley, Allen, Michael and Ellen and Marion's children, Janet, Bud and Robert.

The family asks that no flowers or gifts be sent.

Donations may be made for scholarships to the Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 256 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5T 1W5; or to Alzheimer's Disease Research, 15825 Shady Grove Road, Ste. 140, Rockville, Md., 20850.

A private family memorial will take place in Shirley's memory.

Arrangements were under the direction of Evans Funeral Chapel of Anacortes.

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