Obituaries — July 28, 2021

Frances Eula Thompson

1935 – 2020

Frances Eula Thompson (nee Dressel), formerly of Hoquiam and Sequim, passed away at her home in Loveland, Ohio on June 1, 2020, at the age of 84. She is survived by two daughters, Martha (Mike Taylor) and Whitney (Rich Crettol), six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

As the only child of Frank and Eula Dressel of Hoquiam, Washington, Frances grew up in a hard-working mill town during the Great Depression and World War II. Not only did she enjoy adventures like fishing, hunting, and tramping through the woods at the family’s Arcadia property with Frank, but she also was influenced by Eula to study the musical arts of vocal and piano performance. As a pianist and member of the high school women’s vocal sextet, she was already an accomplished musician by the time she graduated from high school.

Upon graduating from Hoquiam High School in 1953 as an honors student, she was thrilled to study for two years as a piano performance major at the University of Washington in Seattle. There Frances joined the list of musical descendants of Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt by studying with her beloved Washington piano professor, Berthe Poncy Jacobson. (Mrs. Jacobson had studied in her native Geneva with Liszt’s last student.)

After her marriage in 1955 to high school beau, Larry Thompson, Frances transferred to his Willamette University in Salem, Oregon for two years, and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1957. The young couple then relocated to the Midwest where Larry pursued a doctorate at the University of Illinois, while Frances worked as a secretary in the Zoology Department while awaiting the birth of their first child. In 1960 when Larry joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota at Duluth, the growing family settled permanently in northern Minnesota.

During 48 years of marriage, Frances supported Larry’s scientific career by managing their home life and raising their children. Frances even learned Portuguese and oversaw a transplanted household in the late 1960s when an opportunity for Larry to teach in Brazil moved the family to South America for a year.

At home in Duluth, Frances ran her own piano studio out of her living room, with students arriving after school for lessons on her treasured Steinway grand piano. (While listening to a student warm up on the piano, she sometimes ducked into the kitchen to check the roast in the oven.) She switched gears in the late 1970s to become the first woman to receive a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota at Duluth, and then embarked on a business career with Krenzen Cadillac in Duluth. When duty called in the mid-1980s, she quit her job to care for her elderly mother and handle family business in Hoquiam. Frances later retired for several years to a second home in Sequim, Washington, where she enjoyed the dry climate, sunshine, and friendly neighbors. She also liked to travel occasionally and talked about her favorite trips to the Red Rock area in Arizona and the art museums in Paris.

Frances spent her entire life as an artist—primarily as a classical pianist, but also as an accomplished and self-taught dressmaker and expert pie baker. Believing in doing things herself by hand, she tackled every project from restoring antiques to creating custom window treatments to refinishing woodwork, always with an artistic flair and perfection as her standard.

Finding herself divorced late in life, Frances built a new home in Loveland, Ohio to escape harsh Minnesota winters and to be close to family. With three musically talented grandchildren following in her footsteps, she delighted in accompanying at their recitals and music contests, and in attending their many concerts in the Cincinnati area. Her acoustically-designed living room, equipped with her piano, was turned into a professional recording studio where her grandchildren made audition recordings so often that the neighbors affectionately called it “Frances’ Place.” Despite worsening arthritis, Frances continued to play her beloved piano for her own enjoyment to the very end, leaving Brahms and Beethoven scores in the music stand.

Most recently at the Loveland Presbyterian Church and the Sequim Community Church, Frances found a church home in the communities where she lived. She especially liked to lead and participate in small group bible studies, and also answered the call to sponsor a Haitian child (she considered her an adopted grandchild) for many years through Compassion International.

Frances is lovingly remembered by her family as the mother and grandmother with bright green eyes who played beautiful music on the piano, sewed everything from costumes to aprons, and baked the world’s best lemon meringue pie to share with those she loved.

Frances will be laid to rest with her parents at Sunset Memorial Park in Hoquiam, Washington on September 17, 2021.

Coleman Mortuary in Hoquiam is handling arrangements.

Maury Medlen

July 27, 1927 – March 29, 2020

Maurice “Maury” Walter Medlen died at home in Sequim, Washington at age ninety-two on March 29, 2020 of lymphoma.

Maury was born at home on Walnut Grove Farm near Annapolis, Missouri on July 27, 1927, to Anna Benson and Charlie Clarence Medlen. He was the youngest and last surviving of eight children. His siblings were Ida Pauline Medlen, Irma Louise Wilson, Clarence “Benson” Medlen, Katherine “Kay” Russell, Marion Medlen, Anna “Ann” Martin Fitchitt, and Charles Medlen.

At age seventeen Maury enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and was in boot camp when an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. He had sea duty in the Pacific, and helped take one vessel through the Panama Canal for decommissioning on the East coast. By the end of his enlistment, he was a Machinist Mate Third Class.

Maury graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in 1950. He then married Mary Margaret Kealey, moved to Washington, and then to Oregon, where his sons were born. His primary occupation for thirty-nine years was insurance agent.

Maury and Mary Margaret had three sons: Robert “Zane” Medlen (Kristen), William “Bill” Pardon Medlen, and Rex Walter Medlen (Joan). He has five grandchildren by his sons; Jeremy Daniel Medlen (Brandi), Justin Christopher Medlen, Kealey Ann Medlen, Ryan Rex Medlen (Felicia), and Andrew James Medlen. He has one great-grandchild, Zane Stephen Medlen.

Maury was married to Betty Patricia (Osborn) Medlen for forty-four years until her death in 2008. His step-children by Betty were Diana Kit Young (Sid), and Roger Stephen Kellar (Jo). Through Betty’s descendants he has five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren.

At age eighty-four Maury married Donna (Still, Cole, Andre) Medlen, and they were married nearly eight years before his death. His step-children by Donna were Byron James Cole (Marge), Terry Dean Cole (Cheryl), and Judy Kaye Cole Jansen (Jim). Through Donna’s descendants he has nine grandchildren, and twenty-one great-grandchildren.

Maury enjoyed hunting, wine making, growing his own grapes, and playing golf. He always dreamed of living near the golf course in Sunland near Sequim, Washington, which he did for the last three years.

For most of his life, Maury was unusually healthy, and his decline spanned four months. For a number of years Maury coordinated and led an annual family hike to the lighthouse at Dungeness Spit. At age ninety-one, Maury hiked the entire eleven miles in one day. At age ninety-two he hiked five and a half miles, and was picked up by a boat at the lighthouse for the return trip.

A committed Christian, Maury most recently belonged to the Dungeness Community Church in Sequim. Maury was selfless, and put the needs of others ahead of his own. He is loved by all who knew him, and is missed by his family and friends.

R.F.(Harry) Schlaffman

March 29, 1928 – July 6, 2021

R.F.(Harry) Schlaffman grew up in Beulah, ND. While in high school, he rode the train to Seattle to visit his older sister. Upon seeing the Northwest, he vowed to return someday.

After a short stint in the Army as a paratrooper, he completed his college degree in teaching. He went on to marry, started a family, and took a teaching job in Sequim in 1957.

There he remained until retirement. Several generations of students passed through his classes including drivers ed. He acted as yearbook advisor for years.

Upon retirement, he served as a Sequim city councilman and was an honorary pioneer for the irrigation festival.

Preceding him in death were his wife Bonnie and daughter Taryn. He is survived by son’s Rikk and Ronn. Grandchildren, Jonathan, Ian, Makenna and Grayson.

Ronald Lawrence Tollefson, Jr.

April 29, 1944 – March 21, 2021

Ronald Lawrence Tollefson, Jr. (Ronnie) sadly left us too quickly and way too soon on July 2, 2021.

Ronnie was born the oldest of four children on April 3, 1943, in Seattle, Wash. to Ronald and Verna Tollefson, Sr. He moved with his parents and baby brother, John, to Bremerton (Gorst area) when he was 3 yrs. old, where he resided most of his life.

He graduated from South Kitsap High School in 1961, studied engineering at Olympic College before being drafted in the Army in 1965. He served as a dental technician in Vietnam until his discharge in 1967. He then studied at Northwest College in Kirkland, graduating with a BA in Biblical Literature and a minor in New Testament Greek. After college, he worked as a Nuclear Electrician from 1973 until he retired in 2004 for the Bremerton Naval Shipyard.

His deep Christian faith in Jesus sustained him throughout his lifetime and he enjoyed active ministry under the Rev. Frank Schoonover at South Park Assembly in Port Orchard for many years.

After his dad passed in 2004, Ron Jr. retired early to now care for his widowed, elderly mom, who later passed at 99 yrs. of age in 2012.

In 2017, at 75 years of age, after buying a home in Sequim, Ronnie, married for the first time, after finding love with Bonnie Thomsen. They lived a very active life together, surrounded by her and his family and friends.

Ron’s hobbies throughout his lifetime included trout fishing since he was a young boy, landscape oil painting, gardening & landscape design, and many remodeling and carpentry projects for their home and church.

He loved to laugh and joke with his family whom he loved very much. He is survived by his loving wife, Bonnie, his two sisters, Linda and Barbara (Gary), his sister-in-law, Margaret, and his 8 nieces and nephews, and their spouses and children. His younger brother, John (Margaret), predeceased him in 2017.

Patricia Pomeroy

August 29, 1956 – June 5, 2021

Patricia (Pat) Samida Pomeroy passed away on June 5th, 2021 due to complications from newly diagnosed Leukemia; she was 64 years old. Pat was a genuinely warm-hearted woman with a beautiful smile and a laugh which could only be described as infectious.

Born August 29th, 1956 to parents John and Jean Samida, Pat spent her childhood years in southern California. Pat was an inquisitive child with a precocious sense of adventure, often spending great lengths of time outdoors. Pat developed a special bond with her father who instilled in her a profound love of literature. From an early age, the two were known to spend countless hours pouring over the works of great writers such as Edgar Allen Poe and Lewis Carroll.

From her early teenage years, Pat was known for her love of singing. With a humble demeanor, Pat was never one to boast, yet the raw power and subtle warmth of her alto voice was known to leave audiences speechless. At 16, Pat performed as the leading role in Amal and the Night Visitors, a particularly challenging role not often attempted without years of preparation even by professionals.

In 1975, Pat gave birth to her first child- her son, Bryn. As a single mother, circumstances were often difficult for the pair. Nevertheless, Pat always made sure to provide, working multiple jobs while attending college. In 1984, Pat earned a B.A. degree in English from Cal State Fullerton. She later went on to obtain a Masters Degree in Education from City University.

Pat met the love of her life, Trent Pomeroy, while singing in the University Choir in 1983. What began with a kiss and a yellow rose from Pat on their second date eventually grew into a loving partnership spanning four decades. The two married on November 21st, 1987 in Upland, California, shortly followed by a move to Lake Stevens, Washington.

In 1989, Pat’s daughter, Allegra, was born, followed by her second son, Hayden, in 1992. Pat loved all her children for their unique personalities. Be it Bryn’s sense of adventure, Allegra’s passion for language, or Hayden’s introspective nature, Pat fostered those traits which helped them express themselves and see beauty in the world. She raised her children to appreciate education, but to never forget those things which could not be taught in a classroom.

After the family’s move to Port Angeles in 2000, Pat began her career as an elementary school teacher. She eventually found her home teaching third and fourth grade students at Crescent School in Joyce. For nearly 15 years, she helped inspire creativity and a passion for learning in hundreds of children on the Olympic Peninsula. Throughout her career, Pat worked to create numerous school-wide programs, such as the Summer Reading Program and Night of the Notables, many of which are still in use today.

Along with her family and teaching, nothing made Pat happier than her home near Freshwater Bay. The log cabin surrounded by trees was Pat’s dream home and has been used to host many holiday dinners, celebrations for friends and family, and even a wedding. Pat spent 21 years filling her home with love, laughter and spirit, and her family plans to continue in her footsteps for years to come.

Pat is preceded in death by her father John Samida and mother Jean Samida. She is survived by her husband Trent Pomeroy, son Bryn Keller and daughter-in-law Cally Keller, daughter Allegra Warwick and son-in-law Chris Warwick, and son Hayden Pomeroy; sisters Leigh VanDenBerg and Margaret Samida; Mother Mary Samida; 8 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. A celebration of life will be held for Patricia on Saturday, July 31 at the Freshwater Bay Upper Picnic Area at 2298 Freshwater Bay Road, Port Angeles WA 98363. The service will begin at 1:00 PM with a reception to follow at the Pomeroy Family home at 62 Chinook Lane, Port Angeles WA 98363.

In lieu of flowers, the family would request that donations be made to Dignity Toilets for Togo. Donations for Dignity Toilets for Togo may be sent to: Nor’Wester Rotary P.O. Box 176, Port Angeles WA 98362.

“I will see you in singing skies and dancing waters,

Laughing children growing old

And in the heart, and in the spirit,

And in the truth where it is told.”

-John Denver.

Daniel O Moran

July 9, 1958 – May 22, 2021

Daniel O Moran breathed his last breath here in PA ~ ~ only after dealing with a relentless battle (14+ years) around kidney cansur. Having spent most of his life in Vermont (Burlington & Charlotte), Washington became his home state in the spring of 2019 (NWP) … until Saturday, May 22, 2021.

He regrettably left behind his father Harold B. Moran & siblings Karen, Sean & Timothy all from the greater Burlington area.

This insidious disease demanded numerous surgeries, numerous clinical trials, multiple stereo-tactic & regular radiation series, a scary number of CT/MRI test and then the meat & potato; immunotherapy medication pill & or by infusion (often two @ same time). As overwhelming as it is to read; it proved to be just the right mix that kept him alive for as long as it did. “It got him where he lived” is an expression I believe that sums it up nicely- the tumors bathed his brain/shut it down. Many Truly Exceptional Doctors (Dr. Ades, Dr. Ernstoff, Washingtons’ own Dr. Jensen, Dr. Kinsey, Dr. Moore, Dr. Plante and Washingtons’ own Dr. Willerford ) —— made all the difference, really!

Moran (as he was known in the computer world) must not of been the easiest patient either. Respectful yes – Pushover no.

A gathering in Vermont with Remembrance & then a send-off at Lakeview Cemetery took place on June 17, 2021. Impressive turnout 4 this stoic guy and talented Data Processing (his major) guru. Please join me in the hope that his leaving this earthly life-he seamlessly is reunited with his Mother Flo (Laramee) Moran.

Cecile (Ceal Trahan) Moran, a constant by his side since way before their June 20, 1980 marriage. This medical JOURNEY only proved to be an excuse to fight tirelessly day and night, 4 What Really Matters; mental health – in the thick of it.

You might check out / set up your own site for loved ones (forevermissed.com/daniel-o-moran). In lieu of flowers… remember these local resources – they’ve earned respect of wifey. Golden Years in PA outskirts, Linde-Price Funeral Services in Sequim, St. Joseph & QOA in Sequim/PA respectfully and Volunteer Hospice of CC, who all made a very difficult time happen almost seamlessly.

R.I.P. My Love

CEAL-

Daniel Carl Wilder Sr.

September 14, 1948 – July 9, 2021

Daniel Carl Wilder Sr. (72) of Port Angeles, WA went to his heavenly home on Friday, July 9, 2021. He died of complications from a surgery at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, WA. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather; a life-long friend to many; a respected businessman; and most importantly—a devoted follower of Jesus Christ.

Dan Sr. was born on September 14, 1948 in Denver, Colorado to Velma and Carl Wilder. His family then moved to southern California where Dan spent his childhood years. As a pre-teen he moved north to Chico, California. It was there that he met the love of his life, Sally (his wife of 56 years), while they were both students in junior high.

Dan and Sally started “going steady” at age 14, and he affectionately called her his “brown-eyed girl.” They were married in 1965 at the age of 16—the start of a beautiful, lasting love story. Soon after, they started attending a small church in Sacramento where they both decided to commit their lives to Christ. Oh, what a glorious day that was! And one that would change the course of their lives forever.

Dan began his career in the car business in 1966 as a parts delivery driver. He attended Corban University in Salem, OR from 1970-1974. In 1977 he had the opportunity to move to Port Angeles to buy a car dealership. At age 28, he became the second youngest Volkswagen dealer in the US. In time he built up Wilder Auto and Wilder RV & Homes to employ 120 team members. Dan truly loved being in the car business, and he always thought of his Wilder team as family, some of whom have worked with him for over 35 years. He was a former WSADA President, 2009 Robert P. Mallon Dealer of the Year, and 2010 Time Magazine Dealer of the Year Award Regional Finalist.

Dan faithfully attended Independent Bible Church in Port Angeles where he served on the IBC Church Elder Board for 38 years. His faith in God was his first priority, followed closely by the priority to care for his family. His life verse was Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” He loved people sincerely and made friends wherever he went—sharing the love of Christ with all those he met. He was a great listener who always wanted to know your life story.

As a loving father and grandfather, he modeled God’s grace and generosity in countless ways. His favorite place to be was anywhere he was surrounded by family. Dan got so much joy from spoiling his grandchildren who affectionately called him their “Pop.” He shared his love for the Olympic Peninsula community, travel, German shepherds, and sports—especially football as he was an avid LA Rams fan. Additionally, Dan shared his patriotic enthusiam for our country and a sincere gratitude for our US veterans.

Dan is survived by the love of his life, Sally Wilder; sister, Evelyn Bond; daughter, Tami (Dale) Rose; son, Dan Jr. (Jodi) Wilder; grandchildren, Britt (T.J.) McConahay, Boe (Kennedy) Brodhun, Carson Wilder, Karli Wilder, Sean (Sarah) Rose, and Ryan Rose; and eight beloved great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his father, Carl Wilder; mother, Velma Wilder; and his two older brothers, Charles “Chuck” West and John Wilder.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held for Dan at Independent Bible Church at 116 E. Ahlvers Rd in Port Angeles at 3:00 PM on Sunday, August 15th. Dress is casual. The service will also be livestreamed in consideration of those who are out of the area.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula. Mail to: PO Box 4167 Sequim, WA 98382. Note: Port Angeles Clubhouse on your check if you’d like the donation to go to the Port Angeles location.

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