Obituaries — June 13, 2018

J.B. Parker


JB Parker passed away peacefully at home after achieving his goal of reaching 100 years of age.

The last of eight boys born to James and Martha Parker in the hardscrabble hills of Tennessee,

JB moved with his family to the Rainier Valley of Seattle in 1919. There he discovered the passion for baseball that would largely shape and define the course of his life. JB and Fred Hutchinson teamed in elementary school and to become a locally famous battery during the “Golden Age” of baseball when Seattle was a small town and American Legion ball was the main attraction.

On a visit to his brother’s family, JB was charmed by the petite and spirited Alma Crawford, a Shaw Island girl who boarded with the Jesse Parker family while attending high school in Anacortes. Their marriage in 1942 spanned seven decades and produced four children.

JB and Alma made their home in the Seattle area until retiring to Sequim in 1980. His eye for baseball talent led to scouting work for the New York Yankees and Seattle Pilots in the 1960’s. Perhaps JB’s greatest accomplishment on the baseball field was the patient coaching and guidance he provided to hundreds of Little League, Babe Ruth, and Connie Mack ballplayers. In the days before the Civil Rights Act JB recruited racially integrated baseball teams from throughout the Seattle area, a practice unusual if not unique at the time. Asked if he was making a social statement, JB replied that he was looking for the best ball players in town and he knew where to find them. Teaming with Garfield High coach Robert “Woody” Woodard, JB and Woody assembled a team that would win the 1960 Connie Mack League National Championship in then-segregated St. Joseph, Missouri.

JB is pre-deceased by seven brothers, his wife of 73 years, Alma, and son Jay. He leaves two daughters, Pat (Mike) Cozine of Coupeville, Marilyn (Carlos) Venegas of Sedona, Arizona, and a son Steve (Lisa) of Zillah, Washington, six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

The values he instilled in his children came directly from baseball: fair play, hard work, respect for yourself and others. A memorial for JB will be held at the Jefferson Park Golf Club in Seattle at 1 pm Saturday, July 14, 2018.

Marlene Pearl Born

March 1, 1935 – May 29, 2018

Marlene Pearl Born was born to Foster and Dora West in Yakima, Washington on March 1, 1935 – the oldest of four children. She passed away at home on May 29, 2018, surrounded by loved ones.

In her early years, she grew up on the family dairy farm and was very active in 4-H and Future Homemakers of America.

Soon after marrying Glenn Born in 1957, she and Glenn volunteered for two years at Church World Service Center, New Windsor, Maryland where she designed clothing patterns for refugees.

Throughout her life, she created beautiful floral designs for churches and weddings, mostly from flowers she grew in her own garden. She was an excellent homemaker and a devoted wife and mother.

From 1979 to 1985, Marlene worked with husband Glenn and sister and brother-in-law, Dortha and Clyde Glover, in Born Glover Custom Cabinet Shop.

She was an active member of Peninsula Evangelical Friends Church for 50 years.

She will be affectionately missed by husband Glenn; daughter Marcia (Bruce) Harris; son Wesley (Joy) Born; sister Dortha Glover; brother Rodney (Joyce) West; grandchildren Heather (Ryan) Hanson, Edward (Tricia) Gorsegner, Deanna, Holly and Trevor Born; great-grandchildren Sienna, Connor, and Aria Hanson, and Abby, Leyna, Kate and Braelynn Gorsegner.

She will be missed by many who knew her.

A celebration of her life will be held at 2:00 pm on June 30th at Peninsula Evangelical Friends Church on the corner of Barr Rd. and Old Olympic Highway.

Henry (Hank) L. Brahlit

August 19, 1921- May 15, 2018

Henry, a native New Englander, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His father Ernest, a cabinet maker by trade, had emigrated to the U.S. from Latvia with his wife Pauline. He moved his family from Boston to Carlisle, Massachusetts, due to Henry’s ill health, when Henry was two years old.

It was on the farm that his father taught him how to work with wood, along with other skills that would later enhance his career. Hank went to the University of Massachusetts to study to be a farm manager. His academic career was interrupted by WWII. After he returned from the Air Force, he went on to get his degree and tried his hand at farming. He married August (Bunny) Zakis, a Latvian displaced person, soon after graduation.

A short time later, he was employed by Sikorsky Aircraft. Here he put to work some of the skills he learned in the service as a sheet metal worker. He soon moved into the area of industrial training at Sikorsky. Here he taught many technical subjects and hand skills for 14 years. In the 70’s he shifted his field to Quality Control at Sikorsky, retiring from there in 1983.

It was during his last year at Sikorsky that he enrolled in an evening class on bird carving at the local high school. This began his retirement hobby. In the years that followed, Hank produced numerous works of art in bird form, which he sold – but mostly gave away. The quality of his work made them priceless treasures. One of his birds now rests in the home of former Washington Governor Gardner and his wife Jean.

After retirement, he and Bunny moved to Sequim. He continued to hone his carving skills, but needed more than that in life.

In the early 80’s, he visited the high school to offer help to the students of Jack Headrick’s wood shop classes. Thus began his second career. Hank, along with Jack, retired 15 years later. During that time, Jack and his family adopted Hank and Bunny as their own.

Hank is preceded in death by his wife Augusta, father and mother Ernest and Pauline, sister Wally Mezitt, and nephew Roger Mezitt. He is survived by his nephew Wayne Mezzitt and his wife Beth, his niece Merylyn (widow of Roger), and his adopted family “The Headricks”: Jack and Judy, Michelle, Scott and Stephanie, and their children Kiera and Emmett.

Hank enjoyed his life in Sequim, with all its outdoor activities; fishing on the lakes and crabbing in the Dungeness Bay were always on his “To Do” list. His annual trips to Alaska once produced a 150 pound halibut that he was very proud of.

We would like to thank the staff at Sherwood Assisted Living for the loving care they gave Hank in his final years.

At his request, there will be no services. Hank and Bunny will find their new home “together” at Ocean View Cemetery in Port Angeles.

Rest in Peace, friends!

Jeffrey Dean Leach

March 13, 1952 – March 23, 2018

Jeffrey Dean Leach was born in Ozark Camp Rucker, Alabama. After an extended ICU stay at University of Washington Med Center, Jeff, 66, died from heart complications.

Survived by his wife Debbie Chavez Leach, Sequim, sisters Jean (Scott) Ihlenfeld, Milwaukee Jerri (Robert) Greenberg, Chapel Hill NC, brother-in-law Rob Rupnow, Kaneohe HI, many nieces and nephews and his 4 well loved dogs. Preceded in death by his father Jim step father Vic Reinhardt, nephews Frank Dan and Joshua Schmitt. Closely proceeded in death by mother Janet Reinhardt and sister Josie Dan Rupnow.

Jeff was a presidential scholar, a life-long student of American history and an avid Beatles fan. He studied music at Pima College in Tucson where he learned to play alto saxophone, graduated from Charter Oak State College in 2004, holding the school record of 244.5 credits. He served Tucson for 30 years with Tucson Fire, retiring in 2010 at the rank of Captain.

He made his final home with his wife here on the Olympic Peninsula where he could hike, bike, kayak and walk his dogs in the pristine wilderness. With a 6 week Alaska trip in 2015, he met his goal of visiting all 50 states. Member of Sequim Valley Lions, BCA pool league and reading tutor at Greywolf Elementary. He was personal assistant to film maker John Gussman who documented the take down of two dams on the Elwha River. As an active member of The Sierra Club, he was involved in protests of the Atlantic salmon fish pens in our Salish Sea. He lived to hear the news that Governor Inslee signed a bill into law banning the pens. He had an infectious laugh and a twinkle in his eye He lived an amazing life without regrets. He never gave up. He was a remarkable man. A celebration of his life is planned on Friday June 15,2018, 5:00 PM at the VFW in Sequim, where he was President of VFW Auxiliary.

Too many to mention, Jeff was a long term supporter of many social, child education and environmental causes. His parting gift was the donation of his corneas which gave sight to two women who are no longer blind. Continuing his legacy, memorials can be made in his name to St. Joseph’s Indian School PO Box 326, Chamberlain, SD 57326.

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