Obituaries

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David W. Whitener Sr., “ahkwateed”

Whitener_Dave.jpgOn Friday, November 2, 2012, David Wayne Charles Whitener Sr. of the Squaxin IslandNation passed away peacefully with family at his side after a long, courageous journey with Parkinson’s disease. Dave was 78. He was born on January 6, 1934 to Percy W. and Ethel (Richards) Whitener at home in Kamilche. He graduated from Irene S. Reed in 1951, served in the US Army, and obtained his Master’s Degree in Education from Western Washington University. In his younger days, Dave worked as a logger and in the construction business and enjoyed fishing with his family in Alaska. He married Elaine Moore in 1957 and they later divorced. Dave was principle and teacher at Southside School from 1965 until 1969 and was also the principal in Neah Bay for a time as well. From there, he carries a tribal name in the Makah language. Mr. Whitener was dedicated to education and the Native American heritage. He was faculty in the Native American Studies Program at Evergreen State College for 17 years and was co-convener of that program for several years. He was instrumental in the planning and building of the Evergreen Long House on campus, which opened in 1995. Retirement in 1996 did not slow Dave down. He served on the Board of Indian Affairs, Olympic National Forest Advisory Board, Mason General Hospital Board and was the Deputy executive director for the Squaxin Island Tribe. He served in many capacities on the Squaxin Island tribal council. Part of Dave’s ancestry is Tsimshian from Alaska; he is of the Raven Clan. Dave was a member of the St. David’s Episcopal Church of Shelton and the Toastmasters. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, and traveling, especially for Indian affairs and cultural events, smoking salmon, and spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife of  23 years, Barbara (Greene) Whitener, Shelton; sons, David (Sotheary) Whitener Jr, Olympia, and Jonathon (Marty) Thompson, Seattle; daughters, Connie Whitener, Parker, AZ, Mitzie “Rhonda” Whitener, Shelton, Annie-Beth (Cameron) Henry, Shelton, and Jessica (Nathan) Hoppe, Helena, MT; sisters, Ruby Fuller, Shelton and Mary Bell Whitener, Shelton; his brother, Donald Lynn, Shelton; nine grandchildren, one great grandchild and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister Martha. A celebration of Dave’s life will be held at the Little Creek Event Center on  November 15, 2012 at 11:30. Donations can be made to the Evergreen State College Foundation; with reference to David Whitener Sr Scholarship Fund, Olympia, WA. [At this time there is a matching grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.]
 
Dave was an amazing man who left an unimaginable legacy and will truly be missed by all that knew him.

 

Betty J. Hickson

Hickson_Betty.jpgBetty Jane Hickson, 88, Shelton, WA passed away surrounded by her family at Mason General Hospital on Wednesday, October 24, 2012. Betty was born on November 2, 1923 to Everett L. and May (Hardin) Remsberg in Iola, KS. She graduated from Iola High School in 1941 and obtained her teaching certificate from Western Washington College in Bellingham. She moved to Shelton and taught school for a time at the Lincoln and Bordeaux schools. She married Allen Hickson in December of 1948 in Pacific Grove, CA, became a housewife and raised eight children. Betty was a member of the Matlock Church, the First Baptist Church of Shelton and the Mason County Senior Center. She taught Sunday school at both churches and enjoyed sewing, embroidery, gardening, canning, and cooking. Her family shared that she baked everyday and the children were always anxious to come home after school to see what the daily treat would be. She supported her children in sports and enjoyed watching football, golf and other sports on TV with her sons. Betty was especially fond of cats. She is survived by her sons, Michael (Mardell) Hickson, Helena, MT, Chris Hickson, Tacoma, WA, John (Susan) Hickson and Richard (Suzy) Hickson, both of Shelton; daughters, Kathy (Mike) Stienke, AR and Linda (Randy) Brush of Shelton; 15 grandchildren, numerous great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.  She is preceded in death by husband Allen and sons William and Charles. A memorial will be held at the Hope Chapel, 421 West “E” St. in Shelton at 1:00 PM. Donations can be sent to the Karen Hilburn Breast Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box  1462,   Shelton, WA 98584.
At Betty’s request, she will be inurned in the rose garden of the family home in the spring. If anyone would like to donate a rose bush in her memory, please contact Richard Hickson. McComb Funeral Home was honored to serve this family.

 

Mary Eloise Johnson

JohnsonMary.jpgMary Eloise Johnson, 70, passed away Saturday, October 20, 2012 at her home in Shelton, WA after a year-long journey with cancer. She was born September 8, 1942 to H. Thomas Hesser and Charlotte Marion (Carmody) Hesser in Eureka, CA. After her family’s move to Hoodsport, WA, she graduated from Irene S. Reed High School in Shelton in 1961. She was married to Michael E. Kirk on August 30, 1963. They resided in Hoodsport and raised two daughters. Mary was married to Allard R. “Al” Johnson, on July 23, 1983. Together they built a beautiful blended family and a business, Cascade Forest Corporation, where they worked side by side for nearly 30 years.
 
Mary loved the sea and she and Al spent time cruising Alaska on the “Mary Beth”. She enjoyed reading, cooking and hosting Christmas Eve for her entire family. Memories of Grandma Mary’s Christmases will always be treasured by her family.
 
Mary is survived by her adoring husband of 29 years, Al Johnson, of the family home; daughters Shannon (Greg) Twiddy, Shelton, WA and Stefanie (Mark) McDougall, Hoodsport, WA; sons Michael (Julie) Johnson and Mark (Cindy) Johnson of Olympia, WA and Kevin (Karen) Johnson of Shelton, WA. Mary is also survived by her cherished 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her father, “Tom” Hesser, mother, Charlotte Hilligoss, step-father, Ralph Hilligoss, sister, Martha Tyynismaa and grandson, Ryan Johnson.
 
A celebration of Mary’s life will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm at the Hope Chapel, 421 West “E” Street, Shelton, WA. Arrangements by McComb Funeral Home.