Irrigation Festival 2009 honorary pioneer died Feb. 17

The Irrigation Festival "curse," as some people are calling it, continues.

Mary Schott, a longtime

Sequim resident and 2009

Sequim Irrigation Festival honorary pioneer, died Feb. 17. She was 89 years old.

In 2007, grand pioneer Tillie Campbell Baker, 79, died two days after riding in the grand parade. Honorary pioneer Bob McCrorie, 79, died one month after the festive event.

Only weeks later, grand marshal John Kirner died at 102 years of age.

Jean Wyatt, an active participant in planning the Irrigation Festival each year, said she hopes the "curse" doesn't prevent people from participating as pioneers, describing 2007 as an "anomaly."

"Being named a pioneer or grand pioneer is an honor because these people made Sequim what it is," Wyatt said.

"I would hate for anybody in the future to turn down being a pioneer because of the so-called curse."

Schott won't be replaced by the Sequim Pioneer Association and will be honored and remembered throughout the year, Wyatt said. Family members will attend each event in Schott's place.

Schott was extremely excited to be named a pioneer and had laid out an outfit for each festival event already, according to Wyatt.

"I am very happy that I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Mary before she passed away," Wyatt said.

"She was a very nice and interesting woman who left her mark on the community."

About Mary Schott

Born in Rosebud, Mont., Schott moved to Port Angeles in 1923 where she attended Lincoln School before locating to an 80-acre farm off Hooker Road in 1927.

As a child, she'd milk 15 cows before and after school. She was an "outdoor girl" who spent many hours chopping wood, fishing, cutting Christmas trees, picking wild strawberries and other outdoorsy activities.

She attended Carlsborg School until 1935 when she transferred to Sequim High School for three years.

Schott married William Lloyd Stipe on her family's farm in 1937. They had four sons and farmed homesteads on Lost Mountain and Riverside Road.

They divorced and she married Theodore William Otto Schott in 1953. They had three daughters. The couple bought a farm on Cays Road where they grew peas, potatoes, corn and other vegetables for more than 13 years.

Schott was the sole manager of the farm known by customers as "Schott's Produce Farm."

She was a longtime member of the Sequim Garden Club, a lifetime member of the Sequim Prairie Grange and she enjoyed going to the casino with friends and family. She also liked sewing, crocheting and knitting in her spare time.

Seven children, 21 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren survive her.

A full obituary was printed in the Feb. 25 issue of the Sequim Gazette.

Ashley Miller can be reached at ashleyo@sequim

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