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Tom Simmons

simmons.jpgIn Loving Memory of Tom Simmons who worked so tirelessly and so enthusiastically to innovate and support wonderful events on behalf of all downtown.

Joseph Thomas Simmons was born April 21, 1940, in Detroit, Michigan. When he was 2, the family moved to Kentucky, then to Missouri, and then to Kokomo, Indiana, near his grandparents. Tom remembered good times around the woodstove, carrying water to the house, and using an outdoor privy. Later the family moved to Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona, spending the summer in tents until his father, a carpenter and contractor, built a house in Phoenix. His sister married there, and Tom's brother and brother-in-law both enlisted to serve in World War II.

The Simmons family's last move was to Santa Ana, California. While he lived there, Tom's brother, Bob, gave him a book of Frank Lloyd Wright, kindling Tom's desire to learn more about architecture. He mowed lawns and worked in an aquatic park, saving his money to start his collection of books on Wright.
Tom was pleased when Disneyland was built nearby, and he celebrated a birthday with a ride on the teacups. Tom and his nephew, Terry, shared a birthday and developed a tradition of buying ice cream bars or a cake and distributing the treats to neighbors. Even this year, his wife recalls, he bought cupcakes and shared them with downtown merchants.

While he was still in California, Tom was drafted into the Army, and served at Fort Lewis. A journeyman carpenter, he was assigned to a facilities group of civilian contractors. His first big job was in Needles, California, building 10-hole outhouses. While working at Fort Lewis, Tom fell off roofs twice and was nicknamed "Twinkle Toes."
At a Christian Science Church service on the base, Tom met his wife, Marty. When his tour of duty was over, they were married. Tom attended Tacoma Community College, then the University of Washington, where he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in architecture.

Tom was licensed and practiced design for the Boeing Company. A guardhouse, a gymnasium, and several office buildings in Bellevue bear his design. His last big project was overseeing other architects on a 26-acre building at the north end of SeaTac Airport which houses spare parts for Boeing planes.

When Tom retired, he worked with Marty in their apparel and antiques business, using his skills to design interiors for their stores. He loved to garden with her, and the day before he died, he planted 12 flowers and five shrubs. He also took over much of the cooking at home, a learning situation for a man whose family insisted he once tried to mash potatoes before cooking them.

Tom was the moving force behind the Shelton Downtown Merchants, coming up with events and contests to help promote hometown businesses.

He will be greatly missed, and his shoes impossible to fill.

Shelton Downtown Merchants


Margaret P. Aldrich

aldrichmargaret.jpgMargaret Pauline Aldrich, 88, of Shelton, WA passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday, August 27, 2011. Margaret was born on July 28, 1923 in Tacoma, WA to James S. and Ida (Nimrick) Crowell. She graduated from Kapowsin High School and attended Knapps Business College in Tacoma. In November of 1943, she married Ralph W. Aldrich.

Margaret worked nine years as a secretary for IWA Local 38 in Shelton and retired in 1982 as a medical claims examiner for the State of Washington, Disability Insurance Section in Olympia, WA. Margaret was an active member and secretary/treasurer of 15 years with the Mason County Widow and Widowers Support Group, a member of the American Dahlia Society, the North American Gladiolus Council, the Berrien, Michigan, Jefferson counties and Mason County Genealogical Societies, the Shelton Genealogy Study Group, the Mason County Senior Activities Association and the AFSCME Retiree Program. She was an avid flower gardener, particularly dahlias and won boxes of ribbons and horticulture trophies (21 of them) at the Mason County Fair. Margaret was a dedicated genealogist and compiled very thorough and organized family tree books for the members of her family. She loved birds, especially her talking myna, crows, cockatiels, turtle doves and pigeons.

She is survived by her son Ralph (Bonnie) Aldrich, Shelton; sisters, Naomi Swanson, Pocatello, ID, Betty Phillips, Aberdeen, WA, Carolyn Knivila, Pt. Orchard, WA, Nancy (Roger) Severn, Quilcene, WA, Darlene Reiter, St. Paul, MN; brothers, Robert (Claudette) Crowell, Brinnon, WA and Richard Crowell, Silverdale, WA; three grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, five great great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Ralph, infant son Ronald, grandson Wesley Aldrich and brothers Don and Jim “Bud” Crowell.

Viewing will be held at McComb Funeral Home on Tuesday, August 30 from 10 until 5 with service on Wednesday, September 30, 2011 at the Calvary Fellowship Church at 11:00 followed by burial at the Shelton Memorial Park. A reception will be held at Margaret’s home following the burial. The family was served by McComb Funeral Home.


Jordan T. Olson

olsonjordan.jpgJordan Thomas Olson, 78, died at his home on Monday, August 15, 2011. Jordan was born on April 11, 1933 in Mankato, KS to Henry and Sada (Stohr) Olson. He graduated from Mankato High School in 1951 and attended Kansas State University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1960.

He served in the US Army in 1953 until 1955 and was honorably discharged as a Corporal. He married Janice J. Howard in  July of 1952.  After his graduation from college, he was hired by Boeing Company, located in Wichita, KS, moved to New Orleans, and eventually settling in Renton.  He retired from Boeing in 1995. 

Mr. Olson belonged to numerous professional organizations. His hobbies included woodworking, quilting, hunting, fishing, restoring vehicles including a Corvette, and a Firebird.  He was the proud owner of two vintage John Deere tractors. He was a “Statler Stitcher” (an organization of quilters) and owned a long arm quilting machine. He designed and built his own home and furniture.  He was extremely mechanical and resourceful. He enjoyed traveling, friends and playing bridge. He was noted as having a great sense of humor.

He is survived by his wife Janice; daughter, Brenda Morrison (Harold), Federal Way; grandchildren, Miranda Figgins, Richland, WA, Michael Jordan Figgins, Kent; cousins Leland Stohr, Mill Valley, CA and Duane Stohr and Martha Olson and family.  He was preceded in death by his parents and only brother Edward.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.   Tentatively September 17th at his home.