Obituaries — Nov. 22, 2017

Andrew Clark Courney

November 23, 1955 – October 18, 2017

“Eventually, all things merge into one and a river runs through it.” Norman McClean.

Andy was suddenly and tragically taken from us in a car wreck. He was a much-loved member of the community and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Andy was born in Xenia, Ohio, to Clark and Millicent Courney. He loved music and art and played guitar from a young age. He graduated from Fairmont East High School in Kettering, Ohio in 1973, and shortly after, enlisted in the army for two years, where he was trained as a meteorological observer at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

After the army Andy spent summers in Bettles, Alaska, doing weather observation and returned to Ohio to attended Wright State University during the winter months where he studied art. He was married to Susan Craig and they had one son, Jonathan.

Andy came to the Olympic Peninsula to work as a weather observer at the Quileute Prairie near Forks. He has lived on the Olympic Peninsula ever since, with the exception of a short weather job in The Dalles, Ore., and a longer employment at the Hoquiam Airport as a weather observer.

Andy married Janet Watral in 1992, in Sequim, Washington after meeting at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington where he recieved his electronics training. For over 25 years, they have been happily together in her families log home, where they gardened, maintained the grounds and buildings and enjoyed hiking, kayaking, walks together, and enjoyed many gatherings on the deck and around the wood stove with family and friends..

Andy was always playing music and was a valued member of a large community of musicians and music lovers. He played various styles of music and was especially known for his Hawaiian slack-key playing on guitar, often with his friend, Mark Eisenstadt. He was also making great strides on his fiddle and mandolin and got a great kick out of playing at jams with his friends.

His artistic work included watercolors painting, kayak paddle building, and the carving of pendants in wood, bone and jade.

Andy’s favorite activities included biking, hiking, fly fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding and spending time with his grandchildren. He always had a project on the house or grounds, which were beautifully kept. He remained an avid weather watcher, especially when a storm was imminent. He could often be found at the bluffs overlooking the Dungeness spit, observing still.

Andy was a quiet, kind man and all were drawn to his peaceful demeanor. He was a wonderful caretaker to both his beloved wife, Janet, and his mother.

He is survived by his wife, Janet Watral, mother Millicent Courney, his son, Jonathan Courney (Lana), stepson, Brian Wagner (Marcela), stepdaughters, Jessica Dulin (Keith), and Kelly Wagner. His surviving siblings are Timothy Courney, Rebecca (Craig) Danielson, Sarah (Randy) VanAusdle, and Daniel (Sandra) Courney. His surviving grandchildren are, Willa Gradillas, Ryker Gradillas, Bastien Wagner, and Macey Wagner. Andy was preceded in death by his father Clark Courney.

There will be a Winter Solstice celebration to honor Andy at the Pioneer Memorial Park Clubhouse, 387 E. Washington, Sequim, on December 21 from 5-9 pm, with a potluck meal from 5-6:30 and spoken and musical tributes from 6:30-9. Contact Ron @ 360-460-0643 for info.

Memorial donations may be made to Friends of Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, 715 Holgerson Rd, Sequim, WA 98382, or to the Sequim Food Bank, send checks to P.O. Box 1453, Sequim Washington, 98382.

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