Sequim activist and local merchant dies

Alice "Jean" Haught, owner and proprietress of Dungeness Bay Wine and Cheese and Queen's Cabinet, died Tuesday, June 16, after suffering complications of a stroke on May 27.

She was airlifted to Harbor-view Medical Center where she spent 20 days before being moved to Sequim Health and Rehab Center where she spent her final days.

Haught will be remembered for her great sense of humor and unfailing energy for her business and for her community. Besides being a longterm business owner, she was a dynamic community activist who had a passion for preserving Sequim's downtown business core and at the same time challenging it to change and grow with the times.

On her own, she brought a sense of vibrancy and vision to all of her special projects and the many community committees she sat on.

Her husband, Jerry, moved to Sequim on July 1, 1989, to take a job with Clallam County as a building inspector. She followed and they bought their home in Happy Valley in 1990.

Jean Haught, who had

been a nurse and Realtor in her former life, volunteered at the

Sequim Visitor's Center before opening her first retail shop, Queen's Cabinet Antiques, on Cedar Street in 1992.

In an interview from a

Sequim Gazette article in March 2006 Haught said, "I've always been a person who likes to sell ... the customers' expressions when they come in and leave satisfied with their purchases are uplifting."

From the beginning, her store became a social hub. A group of visionary-community minded folks gravitated to form Sequim Town Partners, a nonprofit whose mission was to work with businesses and local government to enhance the economic and cultural vitality of Sequim.

Sequim Town Partners took on many projects in its time, and at the heart of them was Haught's vision to find ways to encourage people to come downtown and shop.

"We consider it our job to keep Sequim's village atmosphere," she said.

"We want people to say

that Sequim has a friendli-

ness you can't put a price on."

In that first decade or so that Queen's Cabinet was open, Haught kept a careful but changing balance of antiques, eclectic gifts and specialty food products. In 2003, she introduced artisan cheeses paired with a variety of wines, and the store became two businesses, Dungeness Bay Wine and Cheese and Queen's Cabinet.

After the Thanksgiving holiday in 2005, she moved the store from its West Cedar Street location onto Washington Street and undertook an inventory change that produced a new personality for the store.

Tracy Blume and Neil Culberston of Notable Events are dedicating this year's Jazz in the Alley to Haught's memory. She was instrumental in getting the jazz event off the ground three years ago and was a big supporter as both a sponsor and as a music venue.

She and her son Craig

came up with the idea for Jazz in the Alley wines, which are available exclusively at Dungeness Bay Wine and Cheese.

"I loved stopping into Jean's shop," Blume said.

"She'd invite you into 'her office,' which was a bistro table near the wine bar, offer you a taste of some new wine she'd just discovered, and we'd talk about all kinds of crazy events we could have to stimulate the downtown economy.

"We'll be celebrating her life, her passions and her indomitable spirit."

Craig Haught is the store sommelier and has been instrumental in helping his mother from the beginning with the wine inventory.

Jerry and Jean Haught would have celebrated 51 years of marriage on June 28.

Asked what the family's plan is for the store, Jerry said, "Craig does the wine and will try his darndest to keep the store open. Jean did all the ordering, but Kim (Craig's fiancee) has been really helpful."

Jean Haught's obituary appears on page A-17.

Reach Sue Ellen Riesau at publisher@sequim

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