Obituaries

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Frank E. Lewis, May 6, 1925 – May 18, 2012

lewisFrank.jpgMr. Frank Edward Lewis of Harstine Island passed away on Friday, May 18th, 2012, at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, Washington, following recent heart surgery.  Frank was born May 6th, 1925, in Grants Pass, Oregon; he was 87. 
Frank and his wife of 51 years, Geraldine Waite Lewis, moved with their three daughters to Harstine Island in 1979 after he concluded a 34+ year career in the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service.  He retired as Assistant Director of Aviation and Fire Management for USFS Region 6.  He fought his first forest fire in 1937 at the age of 12, and every year thereafter throughout his career (with the exception of World War II), he was directly involved in firefighting activities. 
Frank was raised in Randle, Washington, where he enjoyed hunting, camping and the simple life of a small town prior to following his father’s footsteps into a Forest Service career.  He graduated as valedictorian of his Randle High School class of 13 students, and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry at the University of Washington in 1949.  He interrupted his education during World War II to serve as an officer in the US Navy Reserve from 1943 to 1946.  LT(jg) Lewis was stationed aboard the USS BLOCK ISLAND.  Frank later earned a Master’s Degree in Forestry at the University of California, Berkeley.  As a forester, he worked throughout the Pacific Northwest, Montana and Washington, DC.  He retired as an administrator, but always regarded his time in the field as a ranger to be most rewarding.  Soon after he retired, he was asked to provide his expertise to the US State Department in India where he lived for several months. 
He was an active member of retired forester associations, and contributed to the National Museum of Forest Service History in Missoula, Montana.  Each year, he looked forward to the annual gathering of retired foresters at Tokeland, Washington where he was well-known for his good humor, his homegrown oysters, and his special Bloody Mary recipe.  This event and other forest service gatherings brought great joy to his life.        
He was known for his hospitality and loved to share time with friends and family.  He and Gerri frequently hosted dinner parties, picnics and clambakes to celebrate with large groups of friends and family and to support causes or organizations that were important to him such as Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, the Forest Service and Republican Party candidates.  Frank loved history and travel, and over the course of his long retirement, he was able to see the world.  He also enjoyed investing, shellfish culture, skiing, photography, gardening, genealogy, natural resource management and boating.  
He was an active member of local community organizations and dedicated many years to supporting and often leading them.  These included the Harstine Island Community Club, Mason County United Way, Mason County Republicans, and the Shelton Yacht Club.  He was an avid supporter of local political causes and candidates.  In 1982 he ran for office as a 35th Legislative District Representative. 
One of his favorite pastimes was participating in the Harstine Island Theater Club, an organization he joined during its earliest years in the 1980s.  He served as President of the Board of the Harstine Island Theater Foundation whose purpose is to establish a performing arts center on the island.  His children and grandchildren benefited greatly from his enthusiasm for community theater as he encouraged them to join him on the stage for many performances.  He continued to participate in many of the activities he enjoyed until his passing; his good nature and sense of humor will be greatly missed.    
Frank was preceded by his mother, Mercedes (Leonard) Lewis; his father, Melvin M. Lewis; his brothers, Dr. M. Leonard Lewis and George L. Lewis; his son, Fielding Vinton Lewis; his grandchildren, Brenna and Daniel O’Dair.  He is survived by his wife Gerri, his daughters and their husbands: Nancy and Paul O’Dair, Mary and Greg Hoeksema, and Barbara and David Morrison; and his grandchildren: Calvin O’Dair, Ellen and Bennett Morrison, and Connor and Reese Hoeksema.   
His graveside service will be held on Sunday, May 27th, at the Harstine Island Cemetery Memorial Garden at noon.  A luncheon at the Harstine Island Community Hall will follow from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.  A celebration of his life will be held later this summer.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to either the Harstine Island Theater Club (PO Box 1054, Shelton, WA 98584 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or the National Museum of Forest Service History (PO Box 2772, Missoula, MT 59806 or visit www.nmfs-history.net).
 

 

Rita J. Smith

SmithRitaJ.jpgRita Joan Smith, 90, died on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at Shelton Health and Rehabilitation Center. Rita was born on December 2, 1921 to Ralph and Mary (Ferrandy) Barone in Chicago, Ill. After graduating in Chicago, she left home at the age of 18 and headed to the east coast. In her early career, Rita worked for a lawyer in Chicago when wages were $1.25 a week. She eventually moved to Seattle and worked for an oil company before meeting her husband, Daniel Arthur Smith II at a café and marrying in June of 1957. They relocated to Woodinville where she was employed by the Bellevue School District as a secretary until her retirement in 1985.
Rita was raised a Catholic and attended the Methodist Church also. She was a member of the Lake Cushman Ladies Golf Club and the Red Hat Society. She enjoyed golfing and was especially fond of pets. Rita liked gardening, sewing, dancing (from swing, ballroom or square dancing), and traveling. She and her late husband were members of the Good Sam’s Club and took many trips around the United States in their trailer and also traveled to Europe.
In 1985, they moved to Lake Cushman to be closer to family. Rita enjoyed having parties and entertaining family and friends. In her retirement years she enjoyed stained-glass and genealogy. Having come from a large Italian family, her family remembers her wonderful Italian lasagna and spaghetti as well as her signature lemon meringue pie.
She is survived by stepson, Mike (Shirley) Smith, Potlatch, WA; stepdaughters, Judy (Gordon) Angermeir, Lake Chelan, WA and Dana Jorden, Monroe, WA; sister, Lorraine (Ray) Anglet, Chicago, Ill; nine grandchildren, fourteen great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Dan, brother Ralph and stepson Daniel A. Smith III.
A private family gathering will be held at a later date. The family was served by McComb Funeral Home.

 

Michael Robinson McGrady

Michael Robinson McGrady, a New York Times bestselling author and popular Newsday newspaper columnist, died from natural causes Sunday, May 13, in Shelton, Wash. The Lilliwaup, Wash., resident was 78.
Mr. McGrady, whose columns were syndicated in hundreds of newspapers throughout the country in the 1960s through the ’80s, engineered one of the world’s great literary hoaxes in the 1969 bestseller, “Naked Came the Stranger.” Appalled by the mediocrity of the Harold Robbins and Jackie Susann sex potboilers, Mr. McGrady enlisted 24 other Newsday writers to author a novel that spoofed this new low in fiction, a novel so bad that it couldn’t possibly be left off the best-seller lists. Mr. McGrady warned his would-be coauthors in an early memo: “There will be an unremitting emphasis on sex. Also, true excellence in writing will be quickly blue-penciled into oblivion.” His sister-in-law, Billie Young, posed as the alleged author, “Penelope Ashe.”

The book raced up the Times list to number two, proving Mr. McGrady’s thesis that bad writing sells well. When the story broke on front pages across the nation that the novel was a hoax, Walter Cronkite sent a helicopter to retrieve Mr. McGrady from Newsday’s Garden City, Long Island, offices for the nightly news. Mr. McGrady’s image was splashed triumphantly across the pages of Time, Newsweek, and Life magazines for exposing how low the standard for American fiction had fallen. He followed up with “Stranger Than Naked: How to Write Dirty Books for Fun and Profit” to tell the true story of the hoax. Those original manuscripts and papers are housed in the Columbia University Library. There is a Trivial Pursuit question about Naked Came the Stranger, which was re-released in 2004.
 
His career as a Newsday columnist spanned 30 years, in which time he chronicled all the major socio-political issues of the 1960s, including civil rights and the women’s liberation movements, helping to make Long Island’s Newsday a nationally recognized news voice.  Ignoring advice from friends who thought he’d ruin his career, he co-authored the horrific true story of America’s first porn star, Linda Lovelace in his book, “Ordeal,” which is the basis for two biographical films about Lovelace. The book would also make history in 1979 as Mr. McGrady and his brother Patrick McGrady (co-author of “The Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise”), were the first two siblings to make the New York Times’ bestseller list simultaneously. 

He frequently contributed to publications such as Playboy, The Saturday Evening Post, Time and New York Magazine, and won a Harvard Nieman Fellowship in 1968-1969.  After publishing an anti-war essay, Mr. McGrady was challenged by Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck: "If you think this war is so ignoble," Steinbeck wrote, "then why don't you go over to Vietnam and tell it the way you see it. That's what a real writer would do." So Mr. McGrady did, and his book, A Dove in Vietnam, earned the Overseas Press Club award for best interpretive reporting. This was followed by the prestigious Harvard Nieman Fellowship in 1968-1969.
In 1975, switching roles with his wife Corinne for a year as she embarked on her own design business, Mr. McGrady penned a popular and critical success, The Kitchen Sink Papers: My Life as a Househusband, in which he coined the term “househusband.”
Mr. McGrady was born in New York in 1933, the middle son of Grace, an artist, and Patrick Sr., a UPI reporter, author and science editor for the American Cancer Society. He and his brothers, Patrick and Seamus, began their academic careers in a one-room schoolhouse in the tiny hamlet of Lilliwaup on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. As a high school student, he lived alone in a hotel room in Paris, while he attended and graduated from the American Community School. 
 
Mr. McGrady attended Yale University and served as editor and colunmist at the Yale Daily News. He studied writing under poet and novelist Robert Penn Warren, author of All the King's Men. In 1955, he was graduated from Yale, 
He is survived by his wife, Corinne Young McGrady of Lilliwaup, Wash., and their three children, Sean McGrady, Siobhan Benoit, and Liam McGrady; his brother Seamus McGrady; five grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

His other books include five young adult tiltles for Lippincott; Establishment of Innocence (with Harvey Aronson, 1976), The Motel Tapes (1977), The Househusband's Cookbook (1979), Out of Bondage (with Linda Lovelace, 1986), and Best Restaurants on Long Island (1986).