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History in the making

Being named an Irrigation Festival pioneer is an honor.

Grand pioneers were born in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley, attended Sequim schools and have lived in the area continuously for the past 20 years. Honorary pioneers are community residents of at least 40 years.

With the recognition comes responsibility. Pioneers, led by the grand marshal, attend festival-related events and ride in the grand parade.

The 113th annual Irrigation Festival theme is “Discover the Treasure of Sequim.” Festivities start with an arts and crafts fair Saturday, May 3, and continue through Saturday, May 10, with a grand parade, logging show, tractor pull and car show. Other highlights include a strongman competition, carnival, children’s parade, Crazy Daze breakfast and Gold Wing motorcycle display.

The first duty of the 2008 pioneers is to attend the kickoff dinner in Club Seven at 7 Cedars Casino May 29.

For more information or a full schedule of events, go online to www.irrigationfestival.com.



Meet the honorees

Tom Santos, grand marshal

After spending the majority of his childhood and young adult years in California, Tom Santos moved to Sequim in 1974 with his wife, Zita Santos.

He’s been involved in numerous Sequim clubs and causes including the Dungeness Bay Watershed Committee, Olympic Outdoor Association and Sequim Prairie Grange.

In 1991, Santos was nominated for Citizen of the Year.

Santos is being honored as grand marshal.

When approached by the Irrigation Festival committee, Santos said he couldn’t catch his breath because he felt it was such an honor. He attends the Crazy Daze breakfast every year and has more than a dozen trophies for his participation.



Robert Clark, grand pioneer

The first member of the extended Clark family to arrive on the peninsula, according to the “Sequim: Pioneer Family Histories” collection, was William King, in the early 1850s.

King was a blacksmith and machinist who engineered and installed mill machinery at the Port Discovery sawmill. He was a bachelor.

In the early 1880s, King received a letter from his sister Elsie Clark saying she was widowed for the second time. Because her oldest son was living in Clallam County — he arrived by covered wagon several years prior — King asked his sister to move to Sequim.

Elsie Clark had five children, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren including Robert Clark, born in 1930 to Elliot King and Ethel Lorraine O’Brien Clark.

Robert Clark married Glenda Lou Dickinson in 1961. The couple lives on the family farm where Robert Clark’s father was born and can look out the window and see the farm where his grandmother was born in 1867.

Robert and Glenda Clark’s children and grandchildren, fifth and sixth generation Sequimites, are spreading and creating roots throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Robert Clark is being honored as a grand pioneer.

“I feel like I am too young to be a grand pioneer,” Robert Clark, 77, joked, “but apparently I’m not.”

“I feel it’s an honor,” he continued more seriously. “My dad was a grand pioneer many years ago.”



Alice Lotzgesell Edgington

LeRoy Lotzgesell was born in 1896 to Frank and Alice Lotzgesell and grew up on a dairy farm. He attended the old Dungeness Schoolhouse and business college in Seattle before marrying Henrietta Decora Nelson in 1918. The couple had four daughters: Shirley, Alice, Winona and Trenna.

Alice Lotzgesell Edgington, named after her mother, has dozens of fond childhood memories with her sisters, including camping for weeks at a time on the Dungeness River near the Olympic Game Farm.

She married Don Edgington in 1946, after the death of her first husband, Walt Bucher, in 1945. They lived in Oregon for a number of years before moving back to Sequim in 1959. She enjoys the company of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and is being honored as a grand pioneer.

“I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it at first,” Edgington, 86, admitted about being formally recognized as a pioneer. “I’m not a person who goes out in public; I’d rather stay home than prance around and act big when I’m not anything but an ordinary person.”

“I made sure they really wanted me and then I agreed to do it,” she continued. “Now, I’m glad I did. The Lotzgesell and Edgington names mean a lot to me and I want people to know how proud I am of both.”



Irvin Boyd, honorary grand pioneer

Irvin Boyd’s mother, Winnie Byers, moved to Port Angeles from Michigan in 1906. His father, Robert Henry Boyd, arrived in Port Angeles the same year. The couple met and married three years later.

Irvin Boyd, 94, graduated from high school in Joyce in 1934. He lived with his uncle and milked cows for room and board.

After high school, he started shoeing horses and guiding pack horses in the Olympics. Eventually, he started buying dairy cows in Sequim and selling them in Seattle — the start of a long cattle trading career.

Irvin Boyd married Hellen Lindstrom in 1940. The couple met when he stopped to buy gas at her parents’ service station on the corner of Golf Course Road and U.S. Highway 101 in Port Angeles. The couple had two children, Dennis and Anita.

Traveling was one of Irvin and Hellen’s favorite pastimes. The couple visited Mexico, Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands. During a Finland vacation in 1973, they met the secretary to the prime minister. While in Lapland, they ate smoked and marinated eel.

Irvin Boyd stays busy by keeping in touch with old friends, visiting family and enjoying Sequim.

He is being recognized as an honorary grand pioneer.

“The Irrigation Festival has been going on a long time and is a good thing for people to get involved in,” he said.



Velma Spiecker Good, honorary grand pioneer

Jack Knapman and his wife, Emily, settled in Sequim from England and raised six children — Henry, Lena, Ella, Emma, Charles and Elva.

Henry had four children; Lena had four; Ella had none; Emma had two; Charles had four; and Elva had two, a boy named Jack and a girl named Velma.

Velma Spiecker grew up on a Happy Valley farm where the family raised chickens, turkeys and cows.

The victim of a dynamite explosion in 1935, Velma — 16 years old at the time — underwent multiple surgeries and a long recovery period. Because of the event, she preaches, “Nothing is so bad that it couldn’t be worse; do the best you can with what you have.”

She met Everett Good at a school dance two years after the explosion. The couple married and raised three daughters — Darlene, Lori and Kathi.

Kathi Good was the Irrigation Festival queen in 1978.

Velma Good was instrumental in getting “special education” started in the Sequim School District — one of her proudest accomplishments.

Despite any troubles she’s encountered over the years, she praises Sequim as “a wonderful place to live and raise children.”

She is being recognized as an honorary grand pioneer.





Annual kickoff dinner and auction fundraiser

The Sequim Irrigation Festival 2008 pioneers and royal court will highlight the festival’s annual kickoff dinner from 5-8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29, in Club Seven at 7 Cedars Casino. The kickoff dinner is a fundraiser for the Irrigation Festival. Money raised is used to transport the float to parades around the state and to support the festival. Festival lapel pins and donated items are auctioned off. Tickets, $25, are available at Pacific Mist Books and KeyBank in Sequim. For more information, contact chairwoman Tawana Borden at 683-7924, ext. 4 or e-mail to info@irrigationfestival.com.

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