Mossbacks to Remember

An annual farewell to folks who helped shape life in our neck of the woods before they left us.

Irving Petite, 84. Tiger Mountain writer sometimes called the "Issaquah Thoreau," not for literary quality, but because in books and columns he mused about country life from the rural isolation of what are now the now sprawling Interstate 90 burbs.

James Dolliver, 80. Onetime top aide to GOP Gov. Dan Evans whose first job as a judge was as a justice on the state Supreme Court. Dolliver was noted for his political savvy and judicial independence, once writing an opinion upholding the death penalty, even though he personally opposed it.

George Benson, 85. Longtime Seattle City Council member and self-proclaimed "trolley nut" whose singular obsession resulted in the quaint trains that troll for tourists along the city's waterfront—at least until the viaduct falls on them.

Ancil Payne, 83. The former head of King Broadcasting, the original owner of KING-TV and other Northwest television and radio outlets, Payne enabled one of the top TV-news operations in America and presided in an era—unimaginable today—when TV did real, aggressive, no-nonsense journalism, largely because Payne eschewed the "if it bleeds, it leads" school.

Brock Adams, 77. Former Democratic U.S. senator, congressman, and Jimmy Carter Cabinet member whose name and reputation once set the gold standard in local politics. Alas, despite many good deeds in office, it turned out to be fool's gold, as Adams was brought down by convincing evidence of sexual misconduct, including allegations that he drugged and molested a female aide who was also a family friend.

Richard Butler, 86. Founder and pastor of the Aryan Nations neo-Nazi group who helped put the Reich of Idaho on the map and made Hayden Lake a hotbed of hate. He was not the first person to envision an all-white homeland in the Northwest, an idea that dates back at least to the mid-19th-century Pacific Coast secessionist movement. Nevertheless, he became a lightning rod for human-rights groups.

Pete Schoening, 77. Legendary mountaineer, called "one of the greatest climbers from the golden age of expeditionary mountaineering," who gained fame from his heroic rescue of five fellow climbers during an attempt to ascend then-unclimbed K2 in 1953.

Bill Bowey, 48. A pioneer of the extreme kayaking sport known as "creeking," Bowey blazed a whitewater trail down impassable channels but met his match on Stevens Creek in Mount Rainier National Park, where his body was found at the foot of Sylvia Falls in July.

Ken Saucier, 40. Head of the Seattle Police Officer's Guild. An outspoken "powder keg," Saucier stuck up for the city's cops with frank talk, such as accusing City Council member Nick Licata of leading a "jihad" against the department and calling Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis "a freakin' backstabber."

Josef Scaylea, 91. The longtime Seattle Times photographer made shooting newspaper features into an art. His record of the region's landmarks and life leaves a visual record as indelible as that of the Curtis brothers.

Jeff Smith, 65. This onetime Methodist minister was a man of appetites—too many of them, apparently. He gained fame for his popular PBS cooking show, The Frugal Gourmet. But his career collapsed because of allegations that he had sexually abused young men.

Ray Charles, 73. The incomparable sightless performer was deeply influenced by his Seattle years, when he soaked up the local jazz and R&B scene with pal Quincy Jones.

Larry Hicks, 82. Another blind musician, Hicks was a downtown fixture who played the accordion outside the Frederick & Nelson department store with his dog, Awesome, by his side.

Red Kelly, 76. Respected jazzman with clubs in Tumwater and Tacoma, perhaps better known as the political prankster who founded the Owl Party that touted a platform opposing, among other things, postnasal drip.

Catherine Dean May Bedell, 90. The Yakima Republican was Washington's first elected congresswoman, serving six terms from 1959 to 1971.

The Rev. Peter Raible, 74. Senior minister at University Unitarian Church, Raible was out front on civil rights, gay rights, and every antiwar movement. He was the embodiment of Seattle activism and what might be called the "religious left."

The Rev. Mark Poole, 72. Another longtime religious lefty, Poole was pastor of University Temple United Methodist Church, where he focused his energies on helping run and fund a nonprofit devoted to preserving the culture and land of the Maasai people of Africa. Poole was also Mossback's partner's father and enjoyed, and sometimes took issue with, this column.

Darrell Johnson, 75. First manager of the Seattle Mariners, whose ghost must have haunted the team in 2004, when they again played like an expansion team.

A. Ludlow "Lud" Kramer, 71. Kramer personified the era in local politics when young progressives in a hurry were Republicans. Elected to the Seattle City Council at 29 and secretary of state at 32, Kramer stood out as an advocate of election reform, open housing, public disclosure, youth voting, and migrant-worker rights. He once worked off campaign debt by pumping gas.

Jack Cady, 77. Port Townsend's truck- driver-turned-novelist and writing teacher whose science-fiction novelettes and short stories won him Nebula and Bram Stoker awards, among many others.

M. Lamont Bean, 79. Local businessman Monty Bean was the man behind a number of Northwest retail fixtures, including 1970s-era palace of polyester clothing, Lamont's.

Dorothy Cole, 71. The Seattle Times obit called her "a Valkyrie, a witch, a goddess—and an opera singer who lit up the stage." What diva could ask for more? Cole was best known here for her roles in Seattle Opera's productions of Wagner's Ring cycle.

kberger@seattleweekly.com

 
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